Top U.S. Pay TV Providers Shed 665K Subs in Q2

The 11 largest pay TV providers in the U.S., representing about 95% of the market, lost about 665,000 net video subs in Q2 2016, widened from a loss of 545,000 subs in the year-ago period, Leichtman Research Group (LRG) found in its latest market tally.

Among individual providers, the top six cable MSOs shed about 225,000 video subscribers in Q2, narrowed from a year-ago loss of 340,000, marking the fewest MSO losses in any Q2 since 2006, LRG said.

Led by DirecTV’s net adds of 342,000, the nation’s satellite TV providers added 61,000 subs in Q2 (including gains from Dish’s Sling TV OTT service), versus a loss of 214,000 a year earlier.

The top U.S.  telcos lost 500,000 video subs in Q2 2016, versus a gain of 10,000 in Q2 2015. AT&T U-verse’s 391,000 net losses in Q2 were the most ever in a quarter by any provider, LRG noted.

The top six cable MSOs ended Q2 with 48.9 million video subs, compares to 34 million for satellite TV (including Sling TV), and 10.8 million among the telcos.

“The top pay-TV providers lost about 665,000 subscribers in the traditionally weak second quarter, with net losses in 2Q 2016 surpassing the previous quarterly low set in last year’s second quarter,” Bruce Leichtman, LRG’s president and principal analyst, said in a statement. “Over the past year, the top pay-TV providers (including DISH’s Sling TV) lost about 705,000 subscribers – compared to a loss of about 380,000 over the prior year.”