Top U.S. Pay-TV Providers Shed 125K Subs In 2014

The top 13 pay-TV providers in the U.S., representing 95% of the market, lost about 125,000 net video subs in 2014, Leichtman Research Group (LRG) said in a new report.

That compares to about 95,000 net sub losses in 2013 among the nation’s top pay-TV service providers, according to LRG.

The top nine cable MSOs lost 1.19 million video subs in 2014, narrowed from losses of about 1.69 million in 2013, marking the fewest losses over a year's span since 2008, LRG said. 

The top telcos added 1.05 million video subs in 2014, down from 1.43 million net adds in 2013, while the U.S. satellite TV providers added 20,000 video subs in 2014, well off 170,000 net additions in the year prior.

At the end of 2014, the top 13 pay-TV providers accounted for 95.2 million subs, with the top nine cable MSOs serving 49.3 millio, followed by Dish Network and DirecTV (34.3 million combined), and Verizon Communications and AT&T (11.6 million combined).  

“2014 marked the second consecutive year for pay-TV industry net losses, but the losses remained modest again this year,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for LRG, in a statement. “Despite a relatively saturated market, and increasing alternatives for consumers to watch video, the top pay-TV providers have only lost about 0.2% of all subscribers over the past two years.”