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Multichannel pay video providers lose about 325,000 subscribers in second quarter

The thirteen largest multichannel video providers in the United States — representing about 94 percent of the market — lost about 325,000 net additional video subscribers in the second quarter of this year. The video subscription losses were about 1,500 more than in the same quarter a year ago.

The top multichannel video providers account for nearly 94.7 million subscribers — with the top nine cable companies having about 52.1 million video subscribers, satellite TV companies having nearly 34 million subscribers and top telephone companies having 8.6 million subscribers, said Leichtman Research Group, Inc., a specialist in media research and analysis.

The top nine cable companies lost about 540,000 video subscribers in the second quarter, compared to a loss of about 600,000 subscribers in the same period a year ago. The top telephone providers added 275,000 video subscribers in the quarter, compared to 386,000 net additions in the second quarter. Telco video net additions in the quarter were the fewest since the third quarter of 2007.

Satellite TV providers lost 62,000 subscribers in the second quarter, compared to a loss of 109,000 in the same period a year ago. DirecTV lost 52,000 subscribers in the quarter. It was the service’s first quarterly subscriber loss ever.

“While reports of multi-channel video industry losses in the second quarter of 2012 have rekindled pronouncements of cord-cutting impacting the industry, the reality is that industry-wide losses in the traditionally weak quarter were nearly identical to losses in last year’s second quarter,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc.

“Over the past year, multi-channel video providers added about 375,000 subscribers, compared to a gain of about 210,000 over the prior year.”