Major U.S. pay-TV providers lost nearly 6 million subscribers in 2022

Friday, March 3rd, 2023 
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Major Pay-TV Providers Lost About 5,900,000 Subscribers in 2022

  • Pay-TV Net Losses in 2022 Were About 1.2 Million More Than in 2021

DURHAM, NH — Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) found that the largest pay-TV providers in the U.S. – representing about 92% of the market – lost about 5,880,000 net video subscribers in 2022, compared to a pro forma net loss of about 4,700,000 in 2021.

The top pay-TV providers now account for about 70.2 million subscribers – with the top seven cable companies having about 37.8 million video subscribers, other traditional pay-TV services having 24.1 million subscribers, and the top publicly reporting Internet-delivered (vMVPD) pay-TV services having 8.3 million subscribers.

Key findings for the year include:

  • Top cable providers had a net loss of about 3,530,000 video subscribers in 2022 – compared to a loss of about 2,695,000 subscribers in 2021
  • Other traditional pay-TV services had a net loss of about 2,720,000 subscribers in 2022 – compared to a loss of about 2,890,000 subscribers in 2021
  • Top publicly reporting vMVPDs (not including YouTube TV, which does not regularly report results) added about 370,000 subscribers in 2022 – compared to a gain of about 885,000 subscribers in 2021
  • Traditional pay-TV services (not including vMVPD) had a net loss of about 6,250,000 subscribers in 2022 – compared to a net loss of about 5,585,000 in 2021

“The top pay-TV providers had a net loss of about 5.9 million subscribers, compared to a pro forma loss of about 4.7 million subscribers in 2021, and 4.9 million in 2020,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “At the end of 2022, top pay-TV providers had about 70.2 million subscribers, down from 95.5 million at the end of 2012.”

                             Subscribers at     Net Adds
Pay-TV Providers                End of 2022      in 2022
---------------------------  --------------  -----------
Cable Companies
 Comcast                         16,142,000  (2,034,000)
 Charter                         15,147,000    (686,000)
 Cox*                             3,050,000    (340,000)
 Altice                           2,439,000    (293,300)
 Mediacom*                          510,000     (62,000)
 Breezeline**                       309,627     (37,102)
 Cable One**                        181,500     (79,500)
Total Top Cable                  37,779,127  (3,531,902)

Other Traditional Services
 DIRECTV^                        13,100,000  (1,500,000)
 DISH TV (DBS)                    7,416,000    (805,000)
 Verizon Fios (Telco)             3,301,000    (343,000)
 Frontier (Telco)*                  306,000     (74,000)
Total Top Other Traditional      24,123,000  (2,722,000)

Internet-Delivered (vMVPD)
 Hulu + Live TV                   4,500,000      200,000
 Sling TV                         2,334,000    (152,000)
 fuboTV                           1,445,000      323,000
Total Top vMVPD^^                 8,279,000      371,000

Total Top Providers              70,181,127  (5,882,902)

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. YouTube noted in a blog post that the TV service had “5 million subscribers and trialers” at the end of June 2022.
Company subscriber counts may not solely represent residential households
Top pay-TV providers represent approximately 92% 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