Major U.S. pay TV providers lost 1,956,000 subscribers in 1Q 2022

Tuesday, May 17th, 2022 
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Major Pay-TV Providers Lost About 1,950,000 Subscribers in 1Q 2022

  • Annual Net Losses Similar to Last Year

DURHAM, NH — Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) found that the largest pay-TV providers in the U.S. – representing about 93% of the market – lost about 1,955,000 net video subscribers in 1Q 2022, compared to a pro forma net loss of 1,910,000 in 1Q 2021, and 1,960,000 in 1Q 2020.

The top pay-TV providers now account for about 74.1 million subscribers – with the top seven cable companies having about 40.5 million video subscribers, other traditional pay-TV services having 26.2 million subscribers, and the top publicly reporting Internet-delivered (vMVPD) pay-TV services having about 7.4 million subscribers.

Key findings for the quarter include:

  • Top cable providers had a net loss of about 825,000 video subscribers in 1Q 2022 – compared to a loss of about 780,000 subscribers in 1Q 2021
  • Other traditional pay-TV services had a net loss of about 625,000 subscribers in 1Q 2022 – compared to a loss of about 865,000 subscribers in 1Q 2021
  • Top publicly reporting vMVPDs had a net loss of about 505,000 subscribers in 1Q 2022 – compared to a loss of about 265,000 subscribers in 1Q 2021

“Pay-TV net losses of about 1.95 million in 1Q 2022 were similar to the net losses in the first quarters of 2021 and 2020,” 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 4,735,000 subscribers, similar to a loss of about 4,820,000 over the prior year.”

                             Subscribers at     Net Adds
Pay-TV Providers             End of 1Q 2022   in 1Q 2022
---------------------------  --------------  -----------
Cable Companies
 Comcast                         17,664,000    (512,000)
 Charter                         15,721,000    (112,000)
 Cox*                             3,310,000     (80,000)
 Altice**                         2,658,700     (73,600)
 Mediacom*                          555,000     (17,000)
 Breezeline**                       339,021      (7,708)
 Cable One**                        238,000     (23,000)
Total Top Cable                  40,485,721    (825,308)

Other Traditional Services
 DIRECTV^                        14,300,000    (300,000)
 DISH TV (DBS)                    7,993,000    (228,000)
 Verizon Fios (Telco)             3,566,000     (78,000)
 Frontier (Telco)*                  363,000     (17,000)
Total Top Other Traditional      26,222,000    (623,000)

Internet-Delivered (vMVPD)
 Hulu + Live TV                   4,100,000    (200,000)
 Sling TV                         2,252,000    (234,000)
 fuboTV                           1,056,245     (73,562)
Total Top vMVPD^^                 7,408,245    (507,562)

Total Top Providers              74,115,966  (1,955,870)

Sources: The Companies and Leichtman Research Group, Inc.
* LRG estimate
** LRG estimate of pro forma net adds
^ LRG estimate, includes DIRECTV, U-verse, and DIRECTV Stream
^^ List 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 93% 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