Skip to main content

Telcos a Drag on Pay TV’s Q2 Numbers

Cable operators managed to continue improving their video subscriber lot in the second quarter, but heavy losses at telco TV provider AT&T fueled cord-cutting fears, according to SNL Kagan.

MSOs lost about 298,000 video customers in the second quarter, an improvement over the 350,000 the sector lost in the same period last year. It was the fifth straight year that cable has shown second-quarter improvement, a feat because the period is generally the sector’s weakest, with college students and “snowbirds” disconnecting service as they move to summer residences.

But heavy losses at AT&T — its U-verse television service lost 391,000 subscribers — and a strike-fueled 41,000 losses for Verizon Communications’ Fios TV service sent overall pay TV customer rolls down by 812,000 homes in the period, a new record, compared with the previous high of 625,000 customers lost in Q2 2015.

AT&T U-Verse has lost about 1 million video customers since mid-2015, according to Kagan, as it transitions its TV customers to its DirecTV satellite television platform. Satellite fared better in the quarter, with a loss of about 26,000 customers, an improvement over the 304,000 the sector lost in Q2 last year.