Major U.S. multi-channel video providers added about 170,000 subscribers in 2012

Monday, March 18th, 2013 
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Cable Providers’ Losses About 185,000 Fewer Than in 2011

DURHAM, NH — Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) found that the thirteen largest multi-channel video providers in the US — representing about 94% of the market — acquired over 170,000 net additional video subscribers in 2012. Annual net multi-channel video additions in 2012 were about 230,000 fewer than in 2011.

The top multi-channel video providers account for over 94.7 million subscribers — with the top nine cable companies having 51.3 million video subscribers, satellite TV companies having over 34.1 million subscribers, and top telephone companies having 9.3 million subscribers.

Other key findings include:

  • The top nine cable companies lost about 1,415,000 video subscribers in 2012 — compared to a loss of about 1,600,000 subscribers in 2011
  • The top telephone providers added 1,300,000 video subscribers in 2012 — compared to 1,505,000 net additions in 2011
  • Satellite TV providers added 288,000 video subscribers in 2012 — compared to 496,000 net additions in 2011

“The overall market for these top multi-channel video providers grew by less than 0.2%, adding about 170,000 subscribers in 2012, with subscriber losses for cable providers offset by gains for Telco and satellite TV providers,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “In this saturated and competitive market, it has become a contest over market share. Cable providers now have a 54% share of the top multi-channel video subscribers in the US, compared to a 58% share two years ago.”

                              Subscribers     Net Adds
Multi-channel Video Provider  at end 2012      in 2012
----------------------------  -----------  -----------
Cable Companies
 Comcast                       21,995,000    (336,000)
 Time Warner                   12,218,000    (525,000)
 Charter                        4,158,000    (156,000)
 Cablevision                    3,197,000     (53,000)
 Suddenlink                     1,211,200     (37,800)
 Mediacom                       1,000,000     (69,000)
 Cable ONE                        593,615     (27,808)
 Other Major Private
  Cable Companies*              6,935,000    (210,000)
Total Top Cable                51,307,815  (1,414,608)

Satellite TV Companies (DBS)
 DIRECTV                       20,084,000      199,000
 Dish Network                  14,056,000       89,000
Total Top DBS                  34,140,000      288,000

Telephone Companies
 Verizon FiOS                   4,726,000      553,000
 AT&T U-verse                   4,536,000      745,000
Total Top Phone                 9,262,000    1,298,000
----------------------------  -----------  -----------
Total Multi-channel Video      94,709,815      171,392

Sources: The Companies and Leichtman Research Group, Inc.
* Includes LRG estimates for Cox and Bright House Networks
Net additions reflect pro forma results from system sales and acquisitions
Top multi-channel video providers represent approximately 94% of all subscribers
Top cable companies do not include WOW
Company subscriber counts may not solely represent residential households
Note that LRG consumer research finds that about 1% of households subscribe to both cable and DBS