The thirteen largest U.S. pay-TV providers, representing 95% of the market, lost roughly 300,000 net video subscribers in the second quarter, a tick below the 350,000 they lost in the year-ago quarter, according to a new report from Leichtman Research Group.
Broken down further, the top nine cable operators shed 510,000 video subs, the fewest losses in in any second quarter since 2009, LRG said, but pointed out that Cable ONE lost 6.5% of all cable subs in the period, the highest percentage loss in one quarter by any top provider in the past decade.
DirecTV and Dish Network lost 78,000 video subs in the quarter, narrowed from a loss of 162,000 in the year-ago quarter, while the top telcos added 290,000, versus 373,000 net adds a year earlier.
The top multichannel programming video distributors (MVPDs) analyzed by LRG ended the quarter with nearly 95.5 million subs, with cable accounting for 49.9 million, satellite 34.3 million, and top telcos 11.3 million.
“The top pay-TV providers lost about 300,000 subscribers in the traditionally weak second quarter, but cumulative net losses in 2Q 2014 were slightly fewer than in any second quarter since 2Q 2010,” said Bruce Leichtman, LRG’s president and principal analyst, in a statement. “Over the past year, the top pay-TV providers actually had a small net gain of about 20,000 subscribers, compared to a cumulative net loss of about 70,000 subscribers over the prior year.”
Last week, MoffettNathanson principal and senior media analyst Craig Moffett issued a report finding that the U.S. pay-TV sector lost a net 305,000 subs in the second quarter. When accounting for new housing formation, he found that cord-cutting had closed to an annualized rate of about 400,000 homes, well below the peak, yet still modest, rates seen in 2012.
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