YouTube TV Is Now the 5th-Largest U.S. Pay TV Operator With 5.7 Million Subs (Estimate)

YouTube TV
(Image credit: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

By the time Leichtman Research Group published its Q1 pay TV report Tuesday, the drama had already leaked out in numerous previous reports about record cord cutting during the January-March period. 

But we did notice a few interesting tidbits from today's LRG report.

One is LRG's estimate for DirecTV, which the research company believes lost around 350,000 customers in the first quarter. LRG also projects that DirecTV has about 12.75 million remaining customers across DirecTV satellite TV, DirecTV Stream and U-verse. 

This estimate might actually be on the low side -- an earlier guestimate from equity research firm MoffettNathanson suggests DirecTV is losing customers at a clip of nearly 17% a year. Doing the math on that reveals losses of over half a million customers each quarter. 

DirecTV was spun off by private equity in 2021 and no longer publicly discloses data for what is, collectively, the third largest pay TV platform.

Meanwhile, publicly traded Alphabet doesn't drill down on subscriber numbers for the top virtual MVPD, YouTube TV, either. 

LRG estimates that YouTube TV was the only major pay TV platform that grew in Q1 adding a projected 100,000 customers to reach 5.7 million. That would rank the Google live streaming platform No. 5 among all U.S. pay TV operators ... and climbing, as traditional incumbents bleed out subscribers at an accelerating rate. 

(Image credit: Leichtman Research Group)
Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!