The largest U.S. pay-TV providers, representing about 95% of the market, dropped about 410,000 net video subs in Q1 2017, versus a gain of about 10,000 subs in the year-ago quarter, according to Leichtman Research Group.
LRG said it’s the first time that those major providers had a net loss of video subs in a first quarter and appears to factor into a small but accelerating cord-cutting trend. LRG attributed to the decline to multiple other factors, noting that some providers have dialed back their pursuit of lower value customers.
Those service providers ended the quarter with 93.3 million subs—48.6 million for the top six cable operators, and 33.2 million for satellite TV, and 9.8 million subs among the top telco TV providers.
The top OTT-powered pay TV services—notably Dish-owned Sling TV and AT&T’s DirecTV Now—added about 350,000 subs in Q1, ending the quarter with a combined 1.7 million subs, LRG estimated.
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