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Cable and satellite TV are lowered again as online streaming sucks

The cable cutting continued at a steady pace in 2018, as cable and satellite TV providers in the United States lost more than 3 million video subscribers, a new report from the Leichtman Research Group said. Satellite TV services were particularly hard hit. AT&T-owned DirecTV lost 1 .24 million subscribers and ended in 2018 with 19.2 million subscribers. Meanwhile, the bowl lost 1.13 million subscribers and ended in 2018 with 9.9 million. The combined DirecTV and bowl losses of 2.36 million customers in 2018 increased from the companies' total loss of 1.55 million in 2017. Top cable companies – Comcast, Charter, Cox, Altice, Mediacom and Cable One lost a Combined 910,000 TV subscribers 2018, up from a net loss of 660,000 in 2017. The six companies had a total of 47 million TV subscribers by the end of 2018. DirecTV and Dish made some of their subscriber losses by nudging customers against the online versions of their services. DirecTV Now-AT & T's online version of the DirecTV received 436,000 subscribers in 2018 to move up to a total of 1.59 million. Dish-owned Sling TV received 205,000 customers and achieved a total of 2.42 million. Although they are delivered over the Internet, both DirecTV Now and Sling TV are linear pay-TV services similar to traditional cable and satellite TV. Leichtman tally also includes TV services offered by large phone companies, namely Verizon FiOS, AT & T U-verse and Frontier. These three services lost a combined 244,000 TV subscribers in 2018 and…

 A person's hand holding a TV remote control with a Netflix button.

The cable cutting continued at a steady pace in 2018, as cable and satellite TV providers in the United States lost more than 3 million video subscribers, a new report from the Leichtman Research Group said.

Satellite TV services were particularly hard hit. AT&T-owned DirecTV lost 1

.24 million subscribers and ended in 2018 with 19.2 million subscribers. Meanwhile, the bowl lost 1.13 million subscribers and ended in 2018 with 9.9 million. The combined DirecTV and bowl losses of 2.36 million customers in 2018 increased from the companies’ total loss of 1.55 million in 2017.

Top cable companies – Comcast, Charter, Cox, Altice, Mediacom and Cable One lost a Combined 910,000 TV subscribers 2018, up from a net loss of 660,000 in 2017. The six companies had a total of 47 million TV subscribers by the end of 2018.

DirecTV and Dish made some of their subscriber losses by nudging customers against the online versions of their services. DirecTV Now-AT & T’s online version of the DirecTV received 436,000 subscribers in 2018 to move up to a total of 1.59 million. Dish-owned Sling TV received 205,000 customers and achieved a total of 2.42 million. Although they are delivered over the Internet, both DirecTV Now and Sling TV are linear pay-TV services similar to traditional cable and satellite TV.

Leichtman tally also includes TV services offered by large phone companies, namely Verizon FiOS, AT & T U-verse and Frontier. These three services lost a combined 244,000 TV subscribers in 2018 and dropped to 8.99 million in total, despite the U-verse receiving 47,000.

Broadband subscriptions increased

However, Leichtman’s survey of the US broadband market found that cable companies added 2 , 9 million Internet subscribers in 2018 and reached a total of 64.3 million.

DSL and fiber companies missed 472,000 broadband subscribers in 2018, which fell to a total of 33.9 million.

Cable companies have been trying to disrupt video loss by introducing data capsules into their broadband services. This makes it harder for customers to rely entirely on streaming. But rising cable prices and poor customer service have helped cable TV users to streaming services anyway.

Online streaming saws

Leichtman video data is for linear TV providers, and it does not include streaming options such as Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. However, that part of the market is clearly rising. In the US, Netflix reported 58.5 million paid memberships at the end of Q4 2018, up from 52.8 million in the previous year. Hulu says it hit 25 million US subscribers in 2018, an increase of 48 percent the year before.

Amazon’s Prime Video is tied with lots of other Prime services, so it’s more difficult to find specific Prime Video data. Data published by Reuters a year ago showed that Amazon had about 26 million viewers in the United States.

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