Pay television providers lost a collective 1.1 million subscribers in 2015 according to SNL Kagan, despite gains by some cable companies, which the research firm interpreted as a share shift rather than a retreat from cord cutting.
According to Kagan, the losses were more than four times those in 2014 and it was the third consecutive overall annual drop for the industry. Kagan added that the sectors showed some signs of stabilization during the latter part of the year, losing a collective 15,000 total customers in the fourth quarter of 2015, matching the losses of the same period in 2014.
In its monthly subscriber report, SNL Kagan noted that cable operators lost 599,000 total video customers in 2015, its best performance since 2007 when the industry lost 458,000 customers. It was also the platform’s first sub-1 million drop in 7 years. The satellite sector shed 478,000 subscribers during the year to end at 33.1 million customers, compared to a loss of 39,000 in 2014. The telco segment ended 2015 essentially flat, with downward pressure from AT&T's shift away from U-verse to the lower cost video platform of DirecTV weighing on the overall platform’s performance.