SNL Kagan estimated that the pay TV sector lost about 430,000 subscribers in the third quarter, slightly worse than declines in the same period last year.
According to Kagan, continued heavy losses in the telco TV sector weighed on overall pay TV performance, while cable operators reported another strong quarter. Still, Kagan added that the most recent decline brings year-to-date losses to 1.3 million subscribers, what the researcher said was the largest drop ever for the first nine months of the year.
On the bright side, cable had its best Q3 performance since 2007, losing about 94,000 total video customers, according to Kagan. Satellite TV gained 46,000 subscribers, benefiting from AT&T’s strategic shift away from U-verse and towards DirecTV.
Kagan said the planned wind down of AT&T U-verse continues to pressure telco subscriptions, with losses of 382,000 subscribers in the third quarter. Year-to-date, multichannel video subscribers served by the telco segment are down nearly 1.2 million subscribers. Factoring in the estimated 925,000 customers for Dish Network’s Sling TV service, the trailing twelve-month multichannel decline is reduced to 822,000, according to Kagan.