Kagan: Pay-TV Shed 251K Subscribers in 2013

Pay-TV subscribers declined by 251,000 in 2013, as heavy losses by cable operators outpaced growth at satellite and telco TV providers, according to research firm SNL Kagan.

Cable operators shed about 2 million subscribers in 2013, according to Kagan, ending the year with 54.4 million subscribers. Satellite TV companies continued to grow, but slowly in 2013 – they added a collective 170,000 subscribers for the year, as most big companies focused on attracting higher margin customers. Telcos had another strong year, adding nearly 1.6 million video customers in 2013.

The industry added about 40,000 pay-TV subscribers in the fourth quarter, fueled mainly by a return to video customer growth at Comcast, but it wasn’t enough to stem the flow. New housing rose by about 197,000 units in 2013, based on Kagan estimates using U.S. Census Bureau data.