Subscriber losses for multichannel video service providers increased in the first quarter, despite cable’s best performance in eight years, according to SNL Kagan.
According to Kagan, cable, satellite and telco sectors lost 162,000 video customers during the period. In the trailing 12 months, the combined decline fell just short of 1.2 million subscriptions, despite the uptick in occupied households.
Cable operators had their best Q1 since 2008 – when the segment added 6,000 video customers – shedding a total of 18,300 total video subscribers, according to Kagan. Satellite gained 166,000 subscribers, driven by DirecTV – which added about 384,000 net new customers in the period, offsetting losses from Dish Network’s focus on profitability and its Sling TV initiative, which Kagan estimated had about 677,000 customers at the end of the period.
Telco providers were the biggest factor in the overall decline, accelerated by AT&T’s shift away from its U-Verse TV product in favor of DirecTV. Driven by U-verse losses, multichannel video subscribers served by the segment were down nearly 4% from its peak of 13.2 million mid-year 2015, according to Kagan. .