Kagan: Telco Losses Drive Pay TV to Record Quarterly Decline

Losses in the telco TV sector drove pay TV subscriber losses to record heights in the second quarter, as 812,000 customers dropped their monthly subscriptions, according to research firm SNL Kagan.

According to Kagan, the losses were higher than the previous record – last year’s Q2 loss of about 625,000 pay TV customers. Cable subscriber losses continued to decline: Kagan estimated about 298,000 cable subscribers cut service in the period, a 13.6% improvement and the fifth consecutive year of diminishing losses for the period ended June 30. Satellite TV service providers shed about 26,000 customers in the quarter, while telco losses mounted. Kagan said the heaviest losses were at AT&T, which has been migrating its U-verse customers to its DirecTV satellite platform. Kagan estimated that U-verse customers are down by nearly 1 million since mid-2015.

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Factoring in the estimated 764,000 customers for Dish Network’s Sling TV service, which Kagan argues is a multichannel video programming distributor, the trailing 12-month multichannel decline is reduced to 853,000.