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AT&T Loses Another 1M Pay TV Subscribers in Q1

(Image credit: AT&T TV)

AT&T reported the loss of another 1.035 million pay TV subscribers in the first quarter across its myriad video platforms, quashing hopes that the new AT&T TV internet-based platform would reignite customer growth.

The Dallas-based telecom said it lost 897,000 users across its premium pay TV services, grouping the just-launched AT&T TV with DirecTV satellite and U-verse IPTV platforms. AT&T is seeking to transition its premium base to the new AT&T TV platform, which launched at the beginning of March. It’s not selling new U-verse subscriptions and its selling existing U-verse TV and DirecTV subscribers on the notion of switching over to AT&T TV, which is provisioned around cost-efficient customer-install of a proprietary Android TV set-top and requires no satellite support either. 

So how many AT&T TV customers are there a month and a half in? Unclear.

Also read: AT&T TV: Everything You Need to Know About the Streaming Version of AT&T’s Premium Pay TV Service

AT&T now has just 18.58 million remaining pay TV users. It had the biggest pay TV user base in the U.S. when it closed its $50 billion purchase of DirecTV in 2015, serving more than 26 million customers. AT&T has lost around 38% of its pay TV negotiating scale in five years. 

In March, it was reported that AT&T COO John Stankey, who has overseen the company’s video strategy as head of its entertainment group, saw his pay increase by 38% to $22.5 million in 2019. 

Also read: AT&T TV, DirecTV Add Free Year of HBO

But there was more bad news for AT&T’s video business during Wednesday’s Q1 report. 

Notably, AT&T also lost another 138,000 AT&T TV Now virtual MVPD subscribers. Once approaching 2 million users on a promotion-fueled growth ride, AT&T TV Now is down to just 788,000 users.

You can read more about AT&T’s first-quarter earnings report here