Major U.S. pay TV providers lost ~1,230,000 subscribers in 2Q 2021

Tuesday, August 17th, 2021 
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Major Pay-TV Providers Lost About 1,230,000 Subscribers in 2Q 2021

  • Pay-TV Net Losses Were About 275,000 Fewer Than in 2Q 2020

DURHAM, NH — Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) found that the largest pay-TV providers in the U.S. – representing about 95% of the market – lost about 1,230,000 net video subscribers in 2Q 2021, compared to a pro forma net loss of about 1,505,000 in 2Q 2020.

The top pay-TV providers now account for about 77.6 million subscribers – with the top seven cable companies having 42.6 million video subscribers, other traditional pay-TV services having about 28.2 million subscribers, and the top publicly reporting Internet-delivered (vMVPD) pay-TV services having about 6.8 million subscribers.

Key findings for the quarter include:

  • Top cable providers had a net loss of about 590,000 video subscribers in 2Q 2021 – compared to a loss of about 505,000 subscribers in 2Q 2020
  • Other traditional pay-TV services had a net loss of about 700,000 subscribers in 2Q 2021 – compared to a loss of about 1,045,000 subscribers in 2Q 2020
  • AT&T Premium TV had 473,000 net losses in 2Q 2021 – compared to 887,000 net losses in 2Q 2020
  • Top publicly reporting vMVPDs added about 55,000 subscribers in 2Q 2021 – compared to a gain of about 45,000 subscribers in 2Q 2020

“Pay-TV net losses of 1,230,000 in 2Q 2021 were about 275,000 fewer than in 2Q 2020 on a pro forma basis,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “Over the past year, top pay-TV providers had a net loss of about 4,520,000 subscribers, compared to a loss of about 5,460,000 over the prior year.”

                            Subscribers at     Net Adds
Pay-TV Providers            End of 2Q 2021   in 2Q 2021
--------------------------  --------------  -----------
Cable Companies
 Comcast                        18,956,000    (399,000)
 Charter                        16,012,000     (50,000)
 Cox*                            3,530,000     (60,000)
 Altice**                        2,870,500     (48,300)
 Mediacom                          611,000     (15,000)
 Atlantic Broadband                309,242      (4,349)
 Cable One**                       287,000     (11,000)
Total Top Cable                 42,575,742    (587,649)

Other Traditional Services
 AT&T Premium TV^               15,412,000    (473,000)
 DISH TV (DBS)                   8,554,000    (132,000)
 Verizon FiOS (Telco)            3,782,000     (63,000)
 Frontier (Telco)*                 423,000     (30,000)
Total Top Other Traditional     28,171,000    (698,000)

Internet-Delivered (vMVPD)
 Hulu + Live TV                  3,700,000    (100,000)
 Sling TV                        2,439,000       65,000
 fuboTV                            681,721       91,291
Total Top vMVPD^^                6,820,721       56,291

Total Top Providers             77,567,463  (1,229,358)

Sources: The Companies and Leichtman Research Group, Inc.
* LRG estimate
** Includes recent acquisitions and LRG pro forma estimates of net adds
^ AT&T Premium TV includes DIRECTV, U-verse, and AT&T TV
^^ vMVPD does not include YouTube TV or Philo, as neither regularly report results.
Company subscriber counts may not solely represent residential households
Top pay-TV providers represent approximately 95% of all subscribers

Net additions reflect pro forma results from system sales and acquisitions, reporting adjustments, and changes to the list of top providers – therefore, comparing totals in this release to prior releases will not produce accurate findings

Links: Leichtman Research