The informitv Multiscreen Index shows that the ten leading pay-television operators in the United States collectively lost 20,600 subscribers in the last quarter of 2014, compared to a loss of 45,000 the previous quarter. Over the year, they gained 82,200 subscribers, taking their combined total to 87.67 million. The cable operators collectively lost over 800,000 digital television subscribers in 2014, while the telcos gained 865,000. While overall television subscriber numbers remain relatively flat, there is churn beneath the surface.

DIRECTV added 149,000 subscribers in the United States in the last quarter, gaining 99,000 over the year, while Dish Network lost 79,000 during 2014.

AT&T sold its Connecticut wireline operations to Frontier, including around 197,000 U-verse TV subscribers, but net additions of 73,000 subscribers left it with 125,000 fewer than the previous quarter. Verizon gained 116,000 FiOS television subscribers in the last three months of 2014.

Comcast gained just 7,000 digital television subscribers in the last quarter but lost 194,000 in the course of the year. Time Warner Cable lost 38,000 over the quarter and 408,000 over the year. Charter, Cablevision, Mediacom and Suddenlink collectively declined by 200,800 in 2014.

United States
Service Change
-20,600 87.67
Comcast 7,000 22.38
DIRECTV 149,000 20.35
DISH Network -63,000 13.98
Time Warner Cable -38,000 10.79
AT&T U-verse -125,000 5.92
Verizon FiOS 116,000 5.65
Charter 3,000 4.16
Cablevision -34,000 2.68
Mediacom -10,000 0.89
Suddenlink -25,600 0.87
Source: informitv Multiscreen Index. Digital television subscriber numbers at the end of December 2014 for the 10 leading pay-television services in the United States that report figures.

In the same quarter Netflix gained another 1.43 million paid members in the United States, taking its total to 39.79 million. Despite continuing gains by companies like Netflix, this does not necessarily appear to be at the expense of the pay television market as a whole.

“With intense competition in the American market, the telcos are continuing to gain television customers at the expense of cable companies,” says Dr William Cooper, the editor of the informitv Multiscreen Index. “Although the total number of subscribers has remained relatively static, customer churn means that the larger operators have to sign up a couple of million new customers between them every quarter just to maintain their figures.”

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.