The 13 largest U.S. pay-TV providers collectively lost about 125,000 video subscribers in 2014 on a net basis, according to new market data from LRG (Leichtman Research Group). Taken together the 13 pay-TV providers for which LRG gathered data on video subscriber numbers represent about 95 percent of the U.S. market.
The 125,000 net loss in video subscribers is comparable to what the top 13 U.S. pay-TV providers lost in 2013, when their video subscriber ranks were winnowed by about 95,000, LRG notes in a press release.
The number of pay-TV video subscribers totals 95.2 million across the top 13 providers in the U.S. The top nine U.S. cable providers have 49.3 million subscribers. Satellite pay-TV providers’ video subscriber numbers total 34.3 million, while the top two telcos – AT&T and Verizon – have 11.6 million pay-TV video subscribers, LRG says.
Cable TV Subscriber Losses
All nine cable companies suffered net losses in pay-TV video subscribers last year. Time Warner Cable lost the most, dropping a net 401,000 as of end 2Q 2014 to bring its video subscriber base down to 10.992 million. Comcast, the largest U.S. pay-TV provider, lost a net 194,000 video subscribers, second highest, to bring its video subscriber base down to 22.383 million.
Among the 2014 U.S. pay-TV subscriber data highlighted by LRG:
- The top nine cable companies lost about 1,195,000 video subscribers in 2014 – compared to a loss of about 1,695,000 subscribers in 2013;
- Cable video losses in 2014 were the fewest since 2008;
- The top telephone providers added 1,050,000 video subscribers in 2014 – compared to 1,430,000 net additions in 2013;
- Satellite TV providers added 20,000 video subscribers in 2014 – compared to 170,000 net additions in 2013.
Among satellite pay-TV providers, DirecTV added a net 99,000 video subscribers as of end-2Q last year, increasing its subscriber base to 20.352 million. DISH, its sole competitor in the satellite-provider segment, lost a net 79,000, bringing its subscriber base down to 13.978 million.
Among telco pay-TV providers, AT&T U-verse added a net 660,000 to the ranks of its video subscribers to bring its total pay-TV video subscriber base to 5.943 million. Verizon FiOS added a net 387,000, to bring its total to 5.649 million.
Commenting on its latest annual U.S. pay-TV market research results, LRG President and founder Bruce Leichtman commented: “2014 marked the second consecutive year for pay-TV industry net losses, but the losses remained modest again this year.
“Despite a relatively saturated market, and increasing alternatives for consumers to watch video, the top pay-TV providers have only lost about 0.2% of all subscribers over the past two years.”