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

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!