A study conducted by Leichtman Research Group (LRG) has released findings that the 13 biggest pay-TV services in the country, which make up around 95% of the market, had a gain of 10,000 video subscribers in the first quarter of this year. This is good news for these companies, even though last year, the figure was at 170,000.
Data released by LRG shows that at this point, TV providers have 94.2 million subscribers in the market. Of the leading nine cable companies, there are 49.1 million subscriber additions, while satellite TV has gained 34 million subscribers. The latter includes 665,000 from Sling TV, owned by Dish. The rest, which is 11.1 million subscribers, went to the top telephone companies
When you look at the pay-TV market in more detail, LRG has good news for cable. The cable companies mentioned above got 50,000 new video subscriptions in the first quarter compared to a loss of 65,000 the same time last year. Since 2008, this is the first time that MSOs have met gains in the first quarter of the year. The largest, Comcast, alone had 53,000 subscribers coming in this past quarter to bring up the total to 22.4 million. Cablevision sustained a loss of 15,000 customers to have its total number go down to 2.58 million.
The first order was also good for satellite companies, which had subscriber numbers leap by 305,000. This also counts gains that came in from Sling TV. The gain last year at this time was 95,000. DBS provider gains without Sling TV subscriptions climbed about 175,000, compared to a fall of 74,000 last year. DirecTV added 328,000 customers, and the number has been more than they have managed since Q1 2009.
On the other side of things, IPTV providers let go 344,000 video subs in the first quarter, doing a roundabout from the gain of 140,000 they had the same time last year. “While DirecTV and top cable providers had a comparatively strong quarter in Q1 2016, their gains were largely offset by a historically weak quarter for AT&T U-verse,” stated LRG President and principal analyst, Bruce Leichtman. “Overall, the traditionally strong first quarter for the pay-TV industry was tepid this year. Despite slight gains in the quarter, net adds in Q1 2016 were down by about 160,000 from a year ago.”