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.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.