tv_watchingMarket research highlighting cord cutting data from SNL Kagan reveals the number of subscribers to cable, direct broadcast satellite (DBS) and telco multichannel video services (telcoTV) dropped by 430,000 in 3Q’16. Results are a bit worse than they were for the same period one year ago. Year-to-date, combined pay TV subscribership dropped 1.3 million, the largest-ever drop through the first nine months of a calendar year, SNL Kagan highlights.

The overall loss wasn’t evenly distributed. The number of DBS subscribers actually rose year-over-year in 3Q and cable service providers showed some success in stemming losses, but telco numbers dragged down the combined results.

Other key takeaways of the SNL pay TV subscribership research include:

  • Cable operators lost 94,000 total video customers, the platform’s best third-quarter performance since 2006. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, the sector cut the 2015 decline in half. For the interval, this is the industry’s best results since 2007.
  • DBS gained 46,000 subscribers, benefiting from AT&T’s strategic shift away from U-verse and towards DIRECTV. The segment now is in position to deliver gains for the year.
  • The planned wind down of AT&T U-verse continues to pressure telcoTV subscriptions, down an aggregate 382,000 in the third quarter. Year-to-date, multichannel video subscribers served by the telco segment are down nearly 1.2 million.
  • Factoring in the estimated 925,000 customers for DISH Network’s Sling TV service, the trailing twelve-month multichannel decline is reduced to 822,000.

Cord Cutting Data
In related market research released in late September, LRG estimated that just over 8 in 10 U.S. TV households will wind up subscribing to a traditional pay-TV services come year-end. That would be a drop from 87 percent in 2011 and about in line with the 82 percent reading taken in 2005.

Fourteen percent of those who paid for pay-TV subscriptions in the past year don’t have them anymore, according to LRG. More broadly, about 2.6% of TV households that subscribed in the past year do not have a pay-TV subscription at present. That compares to 2% in 2006, 1.5% in 2011, 3% in 2014 and 2.5% in 2015.

Image courtesy of flickr user D.Reichardt.

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