Tough Q1 for Pay TV

May 14, 2015
According to the Leichtman Research Group, the 13 largest pay TV providers in the United States - representing about 95% of the market ...
According to the Leichtman Research Group, the 13 largest pay TV providers in the United States - representing about 95% of the market - added fewer than 10,000 net video subscribers in the first quarter 2015, compared to a gain of more than 250,000 video subscribers in 1Q 2014. This marked the weakest first quarter for pay TV net adds since LRG began tracking the industry more than a decade ago.

The top pay TV providers account for nearly 95.2 million subscribers - with the top nine cable companies having about 49.2 million video subscribers, satellite TV companies having over 34.2 million subscribers, and top telephone companies having more than 11.7 million subscribers.

Other findings indicate:

  • The top nine cable companies lost about 60,000 video subscribers in 1Q 2015, similar to a loss of about 50,000 subscribers in 1Q 2014.
  • Satellite TV providers lost 74,000 subscribers in 1Q 2015, compared to a gain of 52,000 in 1Q 2014. Total DBS net adds in 1Q 2015 were the fewest in any first quarter, and fourth lowest in any quarter, since LRG began tracking the industry.
  • The top telephone providers added 140,000 video subscribers in 1Q 2015, compared to 251,000 net additions in 1Q 2014. Net video adds for the Telcos in 1Q 2015 were the fewest in any quarter since 4Q 2006.
  • Over the past year, pay TV providers lost about 370,000 subscribers - compared to a loss of about 65,000 subscribers over the prior year.

"The traditionally strong first quarter for the pay TV industry did not prove to be so this year. Despite virtually breaking even in the quarter, the first quarter of 2015 marked the first significant sign of an acceleration in pay TV subscriber losses," wrote Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for LRG. "In addition to changes in consumer demand for video services spurred by competition from alternatives, the decline of about 0.4% of subscribers over the past year was also driven by several providers becoming more discerning in customer acquisition and retention, focusing on higher-value/lower-churn customers at the expense of the volume of subscribers."

About the Author

BTR Staff

EDITORIAL
STEPHEN HARDY
Editorial Director and Associate Publisher
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MATT VINCENT
Senior Editor
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SALES
KRISTINE COLLINS
Business Solutions Manager
(312) 350-0452
[email protected]
JEAN LAUTER
Business Solutions Manager
(516) 695-3899
[email protected]

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