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Top U.S. MVPDs Lost 255K Subs in Q3: LRG

The nation’s top eleven pay TV providers, representing about 95% of the market, lost about 255,000 net video subs in Q3, up from a loss of about 210,000 subs in the year-ago quarter, Leichtman Research Group found in its latest analysis of the sector.

LRG said those top MVPDs now account for 93.65 million subscribers – the top six cable MSOs have 48.8 million video subscribers compared to satellite TV’s 34.4 million subscribers and 10.5 million among the top telcos.

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By segment, cable shed 90,000 in Q3, narrowed from a loss of about 170,000 a year earlier, and the fewest in any Q3 since 2006, LRG said.

Led by gains at DirecTV as AT&T continued to put more emphasis on that platform and including gains from Dish-owned Sling TV, an OTT-TV service, the satellite sector added 207,000 subs in Q3, compared to a small gain of 3,000 subs in the year-ago period.

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With AT&T driving subs to DirecTV, the top telcos lost 375,000 video subs in the quarter, widened from a loss of 45,000 subs in Q3 2015. AT&T has lost about 1.33 million U-verse subs in the past year alongside adding 1.2 million DirecTV customers, LRG found.

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“Over the past year, the top pay-TV providers (including DISH’s Sling TV) lost about 755,000 subscribers – compared to a loss of about 445,000 over the prior year,” Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for LRG, said in statement.