The informitv Multiscreen Index of 100 leading subscription television service providers shows a net loss of 2.09 million worldwide in the third quarter of 2019. 1.88 million were in the Americas, while the Europe, Middle East and Africa region showed a loss of 0.66 million. Asia Pacific showed a small gain of 0.46 million. The top 10 service providers in the United States lost 1.67 million television subscribers between them in the third quarter of 2019, with a cumulative loss of 5.53 million in 12 months, although they still have 78.73 million between them.
In Europe, Sky had a net loss of subscribers for the first time, losing 98,000 across the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy, having gained 304,000 in the previous quarter, leaving it with 23.92 million.
The largest losses were for AT&T Premium TV, which includes DIRECTV and U-Verse customers, with a loss of 1.16 million in the third quarter. That left it with 20.42 million television subscribers, fractionally fewer than Comcast.
Comcast, which now owns Sky, has 44.34 million television customers worldwide, putting it ahead of AT&T with 34.87 million.
The largest gain was by Vodafone Germany, following the acquisition of Unitymedia from Liberty Global. It now claims 13.71 million television subscribers, although these include around 4.7 million basic cable customers that were not previously included in the Index.
Vodafone now has 18.04 million television customers in total, making it the fifth largest group worldwide by television subscribers, after América Móvil and Multichoice.
41 of the 100 services in the Multiscreen Index services reported subscriber gains, but these were offset by losses elsewhere, resulting in a net loss of 0.46% of the total subscriber base in the third quarter.
“Although some operators are losing television subscribers, the Multiscreen Index puts this in context,” noted its editor, Dr William Cooper. “Despite some subscriber attrition, corporate consolidation is creating some very large players with economies of scale. With substantial recurring revenues they can still afford to lose some customers.”
The Multiscreen Index comprises 100 leading multichannel television and video services that report subscriber numbers. They collectively account for almost 450 million subscribing homes worldwide. The index provides an industry benchmark of the relative performance of television service providers against which customer gains or losses can be measured.