Major US multichannel video providers lose 105,000 subscribers in 2013

Friday, March 14th, 2014 
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Annual Losses Amount to 0.1% of Subscribers

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 — lost about 105,000 net video subscribers in 2013. Annual net multi-channel video additions in 2013 were about 280,000 fewer than in 2012, when the industry added about 175,000 subscribers.

The top multi-channel video providers account for over 94.6 million subscribers — with the top nine cable companies having 49.6 million video subscribers, satellite TV companies having 34.3 million subscribers, and top telephone companies having 10.7 million subscribers.

Other key findings include:

  • The top nine cable companies lost about 1,735,000 video subscribers in 2013 — compared to a loss of about 1,410,000 subscribers in 2012
  • The top telephone providers added 1,460,000 video subscribers in 2013 — compared to 1,298,000 net additions in 2012
  • Satellite TV providers added 170,000 video subscribers in 2013 — compared to 288,000 net additions in 2012

“2013 was the first year for multi-channel video industry losses, but the modest losses represent only about 0.1% of all subscribers,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “While the overall market remains fairly flat, further share-shifting has taken place. Cable providers now have a 52% share of the top multi-channel video subscribers in the US, compared to a 58% share three years ago.”

                              Subscribers at  Net Adds in
Multi-Channel Video Provider     End of 2013         2013
----------------------------  --------------  -----------
Cable Companies
 Comcast                          21,690,000    (305,000)
 Time Warner                      11,393,000    (825,000)
 Charter                           4,342,000    (121,000)
 Cablevision                       2,813,000     (80,000)
 Suddenlink                        1,177,400     (33,800)
 Mediacom                            945,000     (55,000)
 Cable ONE                           538,894     (54,721)
 Other Major Private
    Cable Companies*               6,675,000    (260,000)
Total Top Cable                   49,574,294  (1,734,521)

Satellite TV Companies (DBS)
 DIRECTV                          20,253,000      169,000
 DISH Network                     14,057,000        1,000
Total Top DBS                     34,310,000      170,000

Telephone Companies
 AT&T U-verse                      5,460,000      924,000
 Verizon FiOS                      5,262,000      536,000
Total Top Phone                   10,722,000    1,460,000
----------------------------  --------------  -----------
Total Multi-Channel Video         94,606,294    (104,521)

Sources: The Companies and Leichtman Research Group, Inc.
* Includes LRG estimates for Cox and Bright House Networks
Top cable companies do not include WOW
Net additions reflect pro forma results from system sales and acquisitions
Top multi-channel video providers represent approximately 94% of all subscribers
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