The informitv Multiscreen Index shows that gains by telco providers in the United States substantially offset subscriber losses among leading cable and satellite television services. In the third quarter there was a net loss of 45,000 digital television homes across the 10 leading services in the United States included in the Multiscreen Index. While any loss may seem significant, it should be viewed in the context of over 87 million television subscribers they have in total. As such it represents a loss of just 0.05% of their subscriber base.
Although the total number of television customers among these 10 services has fallen slightly over the last two quarters, it has actually increased by around a quarter of a million over twelve months and by over half a million over two years. The continuing gains by telco providers have more than offset losses by the others. This suggests that in a mature market there is a demand for competitive services that can offer more flexible viewing options.
AT&T and Verizon gained 328,000 television customers between them in the third quarter, with U-verse expanding by 214,000 and FiOS adding 114,000.
Comcast and Time Warner together lost 265,000 digital television subscribers over the quarter, while Charter, Cablevision, Mediacom and Suddenlink collectively declined by 68,000.
DIRECTV lost 28,000 subscribers in the United States and Dish Network fell by 12,000, compared to gains of 139,000 and 35,000 respectively for the same quarter a year previously.
In the same quarter Netflix gained another 1.18 million paid members in the United States, taking its total to 36.27 million, but this appears to have had little effect on overall television subscriptions.
“There is increasing competition for customers in America,” says Dr William Cooper, the editor of the informitv Multiscreen Index. “The leading telcos continue to gain ground, while cable companies in particular are still suffering heavy subscriber losses. The total figures do not demonstrate a mass defection from the pay-television proposition but show that incumbent service providers cannot afford to be complacent.”
|Time Warner Cable||-184,000||10.83|
The Multiscreen Index tracks trends in television services and provides an accessible compilation of top 10 tables and charts showing annual and quarterly changes in subscriber numbers. The index of 100 leading pay-television services worldwide provides a context for comparing changes in customer numbers by region and mode of delivery, as well as ranking those with the largest subscriber gains or losses.