The ten leading pay-TV services in the U.S. lost 663,000 subscribers between them in the second quarter of 2016, according to the latest informitv Multiscreen Index, which emphasizes how mergers and acquisitions have reshaped this segment.
AT&T is the largest pay-TV group in the Multiscreen Index, with 37.82 million TV customers, of which 25.3 million are in the U.S. Its satellite subsidiary DIRECTV gained 342,000 television customers in the U.S., while its U-verse telco service lost 391,000. Comcast is the largest single service, reducing its TV customer loss for the quarter to 4,000, ending the period with 22.4 million television subs. Following the merger with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, Charter became the third largest provider, with a total of 16.93 million television subscribers and a quarterly loss of 152,000.
Verizon Fios TV subscribers declined by 1,226,000, following the transfer of some markets to Frontier, which gained 1,085,000 and entered the top ten, although organic losses were 112,000. Optimum and Sudden link lost 2,000 and 23,000, respectively. Both are now owned by Altice, which now has 10.29 million subs worldwide.
“Mergers and acquisitions have reshaped the top ten pay-television services in the United States,” said Dr. William Cooper, the editor of the informitv Multiscreen Index. “Our index shows how new players rank and tracks the overall subscriber trends.”
“DIRECTV was the only company in the top ten to report organic subscriber growth, although that was largely at the expense of AT&T U-verse,” added informitv analyst Dr. Sue Farrell. “It’s been a turbulent quarter with some large losses but the real story is one of consolidation.”