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Press Release


Pay-TV Industry Losses Slightly Lower than in Last Year's Second Quarter

Durham, NH -- August 17, 2017 -- Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) found that the largest pay-TV providers in the US -- representing about 95% of the market -- lost about 655,000 net video subscribers in 2Q 2017, compared to a loss of about 715,000 subscribers in 2Q 2016.

The top pay-TV providers account for 92.6 million subscribers -- with the top six cable companies having 48.4 million video subscribers, satellite TV services over 32.7 million subscribers, the top telephone companies 9.5 million subscribers, and the top Internet-delivered pay-TV services having about 1.9 million subscribers.

Key findings for the quarter include:

  • The top six cable companies lost about 190,000 video subscribers in 2Q 2017 -- compared to a loss of about 225,000 subscribers in 2Q 2016
    • Top MSO net losses were the fewest in any second quarter since 2006*
  • Satellite TV services lost about 435,000 subscribers in 2Q 2017 -- compared to a gain of about 15,000 subscribers in 2Q 2016
    • DBS net losses were more than in any previous quarter
  • The top telephone providers lost about 270,000 video subscribers in 2Q 2017 -- compared to a loss of about 550,000 subscribers in 2Q 2016
    • Traditional pay-TV services (not including Internet-delivered services) lost about 895,000 subscribers in 2Q 2017 -- compared to a loss of about 760,000 in 2Q 2016

"The pay-TV market lost about 655,000 subscribers in the traditionally weak second quarter, with overall net losses slightly lower than in last year's second quarter," said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. "While satellite TV services, DIRECTV and DISH, had more combined net losses in 2Q 2017 than in any previous quarter, these losses were partially offset by gains from their Internet-delivered flanker brands, DIRECTV NOW and Sling TV. These Internet-delivered services (along with the others that do not publicly report results) are now clearly part of providers' segmentation strategies and consumers' pay-TV options."

Pay-TV Providers Subscribers at
End of 2Q 2017
Net Adds in
2Q 2017
Cable Companies
Comcast 22,516,000 (33,000)
Charter* 17,071,000 (76,000)
Altice 3,463,000 (37,000)
Mediacom 829,000 (3,000)
Cable ONE** 297,990 (9,197)
Other major private company*** 4,245,000 (30,000)
Total Top Cable 48,421,990 (188,197)
Satellite Services (DBS)
DIRECTV 20,856,000 (156,000)
DISH-DBS^ 11,892,000 (281,000)
Total DBS 32,748,000 (437,000)
Phone Companies
Verizon FiOS 4,666,000 (15,000)
AT&T U-verse 3,853,000 (195,000)
Frontier 1,007,000 (58,000)
Total Top Phone 9,526,000 (268,000)
Sling TV^ 1,440,000 85,000
DIRECTV NOW 491,000 152,000
Total Internet-Delivered 1,931,000 237,000
Total Top Providers 92,626,990 (656,197)
Sources: The Companies and Leichtman Research Group, Inc.
* Charter includes a change in the seasonal customer program for former Bright House properties
** Cable ONE does not include the NewWave acquisition in May 2017
*** Includes LRG estimate for Cox
^ DISH reports combined DBS and Sling TV subscribers, the individual counts for DISH and Sling TV are LRG estimates
Company subscriber counts may not solely represent residential households
Top pay-TV providers represent approximately 95% of all subscribers
Top cable does not include overbuilder WOW with 458,200 subscribers
Internet-delivered does not include PlayStation Vue, Hulu with Live TV, or YouTube TV which have not publicly reported sub totals
Net additions reflect pro forma results from system sales and acquisitions, and reporting adjustments -- therefore, comparing totals in this release to prior releases may not produce accurate findings

About Leichtman Research Group, Inc.

Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) specializes in research and analysis on broadband, media and entertainment industries. LRG combines ongoing consumer surveys with industry tracking and analysis, to provide companies with a richer understanding of current market conditions, and the potential impact and adoption of new products and services. For more information about LRG, please call (603) 397-5400 or visit

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