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Decline in US pay-TV subscriptions

A reduction of 802,000 subscriptions in the first quarter of 2017 has taken place due to an increasing number of subscribers moving away from traditional multi-channel avenues for VOD (video-on-demand) as cited by research firm Kagan. There has been 0.8% decline from a strong first three months of the year according to First Quarter US Multichannel Subscriber Report. New streaming options according to Kagan are an important contributor to the loss of subscribers with there being a shift in platforms with familiar subscription construct as opposed to outright cord-cutting. Traditional multi-channel subscriptions declined to 97 million in the first quarter as per estimates. Parallelly, estimated subscribers from virtual services including Sling TV, DirectTV Now and PlayStation Vue with the total subscriptions amounted to 99.2 million for live linear channels and on-demand content combined subscription.

Cable operators lost 188,000 total video customers with their worst first-quarter performance since 2013, according to Kagan. These numbers were higher from reports from Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) and telecommunications org (Telco). DBS segment stumbled in Q1 after full-year gains in 2016. Virtual Service Provider (VSP) alternatives lost a combined 2,91,000 subscribers in the quarter. The Telco sector lost 324,000 subscribers in the first three months of the year because of several leading players withdrawing from multichannels. Read More

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