Report: Major pay-TV providers lost 2M+ subscribers in Q1

May 18, 2020
Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) reports that the quarter's pay-TV net losses were more than in any previous quarter.

Recent industry analysis from Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) found that the largest pay-TV providers in the U.S., representing about 95% of the market, lost about 2,065,000 net video subscribers in 1Q 2020, compared to a pro forma net loss of about 1,025,000 subscribers in 1Q 2019.

According to the analyst, the top pay-TV providers account for 83.9 million subscribers – with the top seven cable companies having 45.2 million video subscribers, satellite TV services 24.1 million subscribers, the top telephone companies 8.2 million subscribers, and the top publicly reporting Internet-delivered (vMVPD) pay-TV services 6.4 million subscribers.

LRG's key research findings for the quarter include:

  • Satellite TV services lost about 1,030,000 subscribers in 1Q 2020 – compared to a loss of about 810,000 subscribers in 1Q 2019.
  • The top seven cable companies lost about 595,000 video subscribers in 1Q 2020 – compared to a loss of about 335,000 subscribers in 1Q 2019.
  • The top telephone companies lost about 125,000 video subscribers in 1Q 2020 – compared to a loss of about 105,000 subscribers in 1Q 2019.
  • The top publicly reporting Internet-delivered (vMVPD) services (Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and AT&T TV NOW) lost about 320,000 subscribers in 1Q 2020 – compared to about 225,000 net adds in 1Q 2019.

“Pay-TV net losses of over 2 million subscribers in 1Q 2020 were more than in any previous quarter,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “The record net losses were partly related to the impact of the coronavirus, but do not solely reflect consumers’ dropping services. Several providers cited a decrease in connects as a key component of net losses in the quarter, rather than an increase in disconnects.”

View LRG's full news statement with a chart of providers' info for the quarter.

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