U.S. linear and virtual pay TV operators lost a combined 1.4 million subscribers in the first quarter, a 75% year-to-year cord-cutting uptick, making it the worst quarter ever for video customer attrition.
According to MoffettNathanson, the annual pace of decline of the U.S. pay TV ecosystem is now 4.8%, also the worst mark ever.
“The accelerating decline of traditional pay TV subscribers in Q1 is by this point old news,” the equity research company said in a report this morning. “Even the subtexts of this story are already familiar: Cable operators are increasingly indifferent to video retention, and the wheels are rapidly falling off satellite.”
The more pressing news, MoffettNathanson asserted, was the impact on media companies.
With virtual MVPD services no longer growing fast and picking up the slack, distribution for cable networks hit a worst-ever decline of 1.9%.
“That’s been less widely reported, but it will have a much bigger impact on where things go from here,” the firm said.