Video cord cutting continued, but the rate of people leaving cable, satellite and telco video services slowed in the second quarter of the year, according to the latest report from Kagan, the media research arm of S&P Global Market Intelligence.
According to the report, the cable, direct broadcast satellite (DBS) and telco multichannel sectors lost 860,640 video subscribers during 2Q18, which ended June 30. That brought the number of pay-tv subscribers to 92.2 million, including 89.4 million residential customers. The DBS segment saw its second-largest quarterly decline on record, losing a combined 478,000 customers.
New vMVPD services, DIRECTV NOW and Sling TV, brought some relief to their DBS platform owners and the industry as a whole. When accounting for these vMVPD additions, quarterly pay-tv subscription losses are reduced by about 45%, raising the residential pay-tv figure to 93.5 million.
Additional takeaways from Kagan’s 2nd-quarter U.S. Multichannel Subscriber report:
- The residential multichannel penetration rate stood at 75% as of the end of the second quarter when including vMVPD services owned by AT&T (DIRECTV NOW) and Dish Network (Sling TV).
- Cable logged its largest second-quarter video subscriber drop since 2015, bringing year-to-date losses to 685,790, though that was somewhat offset in the total loss figure as the telco video segment improved dramatically during the period, reducing its losses to just 56,000, or just a fraction of the pattern of quarterly losses established in the last two years.