While the publicly reported pay TV customer numbers for the second quarter have been universally bad, could the ones not being disclosed create a very different narrative.
According to MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett, virtual MVPDs Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV each added around 300,000 customers in the second quarter. Hulu’s virtual pay TV service now has around 2.4 million customers, which would rank it on par with category leader Sling TV. Operator Dish Network reported that Sling TV finished Q2 with 2.472 million subscribers, while adding 48,000 users during the quarter.
YouTube TV would rank third among vMVPDs with around 1.5 million users.
Again, neither Hulu nor Google have reported any official subscriber numbers for their respective virtual pay TV services in quite some time. Hulu's total subscriber base, including for the subscription VOD service, was last reported as 28 million.
YouTube TV offers more than 70 channels, including the major broadcast networks, along with ESPN and the major cable channels, for $50 a month. Subscribing households can have six simultaneous users and the service comes with a cloud DVR.
Hulu with Live TV users get largely the same offering—plus access to the Hulu SVOD service—for $45 a month. Parent company Disney last week announced that it would bundle Hulu’s base-tier SVOD service along with the upcoming Disney+ product. It’s unclear, however, if Hulu with Live TV will factor into that bundling strategy.