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Cable Networks Take Another Hit in March Subscriber Estimates

Cable networks mostly saw more declines in Nielsen’s subscriber universe estimates for March.

According to an analysis by Brian Wieser of Pivotal Research, pay-TV subscribers were down 2% to 115.4 million, continuing a trend seen over the last couple of years. The median decline for individual cable networks was 2.3%.

Neither figure includes the growing ranks of subscribers to virtual MVPDs like Dish’s Sling, Sony’s PlayStation Vue or AT&T’s DirecTV Now.

Wieser says that the biggest decliners included Viacom’s CMT, down 9.8%, and Spike, 7.2% lower; Time Warner’s Boomerang, dropping 7.5%; and Discovery’s Family Channel, off 6.4%, and American Heroes Channel, down 5.9%.

Big gainers included AMC’s SundanceTV, jumping 10.5%, and BBC America, up 3.4%; 21st Century Fox’s FXX, up 7.5%; Discovery’s Velocity, up 6.3%; and CBS’ Smithsonian, up 5.4%.

Wieser found that among 117 networks, 27 were up.