Kagan: Pay TV Subs Drop 3.7% in 2017

Pay TV subscriber rolls fell by 3.7% in 2017 according to industry researcher Kagan, fueled by larger than expected losses at satellite TV providers and accelerated declines at cable operators.

Total pay TV subscribers fell to 94 million in 2017. Including virtual MVPDs like Sling TV and DirecTV Now boosts the total count to 97.3 million, according to Kagan, a unit of S&P Global Intelligence.  Combined Kagan estimated that cable, satellite and telco subscriptions were down by 7.4 million customers from their peak in 2012.

Cable operators lost 986,411 video subscribers in 2017, more than twice their 2016 drop. That, according to  Kagan, broke the sector’s three-year streak of decelerating video subscriber losses.

Telcos slowed their net subscriber losses for a third consecutive quarter. The sector shed 903,262 subscribers overall in 2017 to end the year at 10.6 million.

The satellite TV sector was down nearly 1.7 million subscribers in 2017, its biggest annual loss on record, as DirecTV joined Dish Network in posting traditional subscriber declines.