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U.S. Pay-TV Providers Lost 366,000 Subs in Q2: SNL Kagan

It was SNL Kagan’s turn to present its findings from the seasonally soft second quarter on Tuesday as the research firm estimated that U.S. cable, satellite and telco TV providers lost a combined 366,000 video subscribers.

Those combined losses fall closely in line with the findings of Leichtman Research Group, which reported last month that the nation’s top 13 multichannel video providers – representing 94% of the U.S. market – lost a combined 345,000 net video subs in the second quarter, known for “seasonality” as college students and snowbirds turn off services.

The domestic pay-TV market is also feeling the effects of a small but growing cord-cutting trend. Craig Moffett, founder of Moffett Research (renamed MoffettNathanson LLC on Tuesday) reported recently that about 911,000 U.S. homes have cut the cord in the past year.

SNL Kagan said second quarter losses represented an 11% improvement versus the loss in the same period in 2012, but noted they were higher than the video subscriber losses tallied in the first quarter of 2013.  

Cable was the hardest hit, with video subscriber losses of 607,000 in the quarter, but still represented a slight improvement from the year-ago period, SNL Kagan said. The U.S. cable industry shed 1.8 million subs over the previous 12 months, causing market share to slip to 55.3%. Dish Network and DirecTV combined to lose 162,000 subs.

U.S. telcos bucked the trend by adding more than 400,000 net subs in the second quarter of 2013, extending their combined total to 10.7 million subs.