Cable operators lost nearly 4% of their subscribers in the top 15 markets during the first quarter, according to a new report by SNL Kagan, which found that satellite and telco providers picked up nearly the same number of video customers.
While the number of cable subscribers fell 3.8% to 23.2 million from 24.1 million in big cities, satellite saw a small increase of 0.1% to 10.6 million. Telco subs jumped 24% to 4.4 million. Overall, the number of multichannel subscribers fell 0.1% to 38.2 million in the quarter in the biggest 15 markets.
In some big markets, the total number of multichannel video subscribers fell significantly. New York registered a 0.8% drop. In Chicago, subs were down 2.3% and in Dallas they dropped 2%.. The biggest decline was registered in Atlanta, where there was a 5.2% decrease overall, including 8% slippage on the cable side. Subs also fell in Detroit, Phoenix, Seattle and Minneapolis/St. Paul.
In Los Angeles, the number of multichannel subscribers rose 3.9%. Gains were also seen in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Houston, and Tampa/St. Petersburg.
Telco video market share is creeping up in major markets, reaching 23% in Dallas, nearly 20% in Washington, D.C. and more than 17% in Tampa-St. Petersburg and Houston.
Outside the top 15 markets, telco video market share is more than 23% in Baltimore (No. 26), at 20% in Richmond-Petersburg, Va., (No. 57) and 15% in Providence-New Bedford, R.I.-Mass. (No. 53), all FiOS markets. The highest market share for AT&T's U-verse is in Houston at 17%, followed by Dallas at 13%, according to Kagan.