Distribution

Top 25 MVPDs

2017's leading pay TV providers 2/27/2017 8:00 AM Eastern

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1. AT&T-DirecTV
Subscribers: 25.3 million
As the undisputed MVPD leader for the second year in a row, AT&T has turned its eyes toward over-the-top distribution (DirecTV Now) and content, via the pending $108.7 billion purchase of Time Warner.

2. Comcast
Subscribers: 22.5 million
After six straight years of improved losses, Comcast finally entered the black in 2016, reporting its first full year of basic videosubscriber growth (161,000 customers) in a decade.

3. Charter Communications
Subscribers: 17.2 million
Six months after it closed the purchases of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, Charter was said to have caught the eye of Verizon, a combination many consider too costly and too hard to pass by regulators.

4. Dish Network
Subscribers: 13.7 million
Dish surprised analysts by adding 28,000 net new subscribers in Q4, primarily driven by growth at its over-the-top service Sling TV. Sling added 273,000 customers while traditional satellite lost 245,000, according to analysts’ estimates.

5. Verizon Communications
Subscribers: 4.7 million
Verizon has been shedding some of its Fios TV assets — it sold 1.1 million customers to Frontier Communications last year — leading some to believe it is abandoning its wireline business for a mobile strategy.

6. Cox Communications
Subscribers: 4.1 million

7. Altice USA*
Subscribers: 3.6 million

8. Frontier Communications
Subscribers: 1.5 million
Frontier closed its $10.5 billion buy of Fios TV assets in California, Texas and Florida last year, suffering a series of outages after the “flash cut” switchover. Frontier said it has ironed out those problems and is fully committed to video.

9. Mediacom Communications
Subscribers: 828,000

10. WideOpenWest
Subscribers: 486,400
The sale of WOW by longtime cable private equity player ABRY Partners to Crestview Partners last year marked the industry return of a cable pioneer, namely former Marcus Cable CEO and current Crestview partner Jeff Marcus.

11. Texas Pacific Group (TPG)
Subscribers: 377,000
The new kid on the MVPD block, TPG vaulted to the No. 12 spot after purchasing RCN and Grande Communications in a deal valued at $2.25 billion.

12. Cable One*
Subscribers: 329,386
After taking a broadband-centric tack in 2012, Cable One’s video customers are down to 330,000 from 600,000. A possible seller, but bought New Wave Communications systems in January for $735 million.

13. CenturyLink-Prism
Subscribers: 325,000
High programing costs are pushing CenturyLink to de-emphasize the Prism IPTV product in favor of Prism Stream, an over-the-top offering expected to launch in Q2. Next up: closing its $34 billion merger with Level 3 Communications.

14. Atlantic Broadband
Subscribers: 246,000

15. Armstrong Cable
Subscribers: 219,700

16. Midcontinent
Subscribers: 218,300

17. Service Electric
Subscribers: 188,000

18. Blue Ridge Communications
Subscribers: 150,000

19. Telephone & Data Systems
Subscribers: 144,700

20. Wave Broadband
Subscribers: 138,000

21. Cincinnati Bell
Subscribers: 137,600
Cincinnati Bell took up the skinny bundle mantle in March 2016, launching Fioptics MyTV, a low-cost, 50-channel bundle geared at more price-conscious customers.

22. Buckeye/Block Communications
Subscribers: 128,000
Owned byToledo Blade publisher Block, Buckeye Cable launched in 1965, followed by business net Telesystems in 1997 and prepaid broadband service Nymble last year.

23. General Communication Inc.*
Subscribers: 108,900

24. NewWave Communications**
Subscribers: 86,000

25. Metrocast/Harron
Subscribers: 86,000

*Q3 figures
**NewWave agreed to be purchased by Cable One in January.

SOURCE: Individual companies, SNL Kagan,industry associations, published reports and Multichannel News estimates

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