Top U.S. pay-TV providers lost 465,000 subscribers in 3Q 2023

Tuesday, November 14th, 2023 
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Major Pay-TV Providers Lost About 465,000 Subscribers in 3Q 2023

  • vMVPDs Added About 1.3 Million Subscribers in the Quarter

DURHAM, NH — Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) found that the largest pay-TV providers in the U.S. – representing about 96% of the market – lost about 465,000 net video subscribers in 3Q 2023, compared to a pro forma net loss of about 385,000 in 3Q 2022.

The top pay-TV providers now account for about 71.5 million subscribers – with the top seven cable companies having about 34.9 million video subscribers, other traditional pay-TV services having 21.9 million subscribers, and the top Internet-delivered (vMVPD) pay-TV services having 14.7 million subscribers.

Key findings for the quarter include:

  • Top cable providers had a net loss of about 1,015,000 video subscribers in 3Q 2023 – compared to a loss of about 985,000 subscribers in 3Q 2022
  • Other traditional pay-TV services had a net loss of about 780,000 subscribers in 3Q 2023 – compared to a loss of about 700,000 subscribers in 3Q 2022
  • Top vMVPDs added about 1,325,000 subscribers in 3Q 2023 – compared to a gain of about 1,300,000 subscribers in 3Q 2022

“Similar to recent years, pay-TV net losses in the third quarter were more modest than in the first two quarters of the year due to the strength of sports on Internet-delivered vMVPD services,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “While traditional pay-TV services had a net loss of about 1.8 million subscribers in 3Q 2023, vMVPDs had over 1.3 million net additions in the quarter.”

                                 Subscribers at     Net Adds
Pay-TV Providers                 End of 3Q 2023   in 3Q 2023
-------------------------------  --------------  -----------
Cable Companies
 Comcast                             14,495,000    (490,000)
 Charter                             14,379,000    (327,000)
 Altice                               2,326,500     (79,400)
 Breezeline                             288,881      (8,071)
 Cable One                              148,900      (9,200)
 Other major private companies*       3,240,000    (100,000)
Total Top Cable                      34,878,281  (1,013,671)

Other Traditional Services
 DIRECTV**                           11,850,000    (500,000)
 DISH TV (DBS)                        6,720,000    (181,000)
 Verizon Fios (Telco)                 3,076,000     (79,000)
 Frontier (Telco)^^                     248,000     (19,000)
Total Top Other Traditional          21,894,000    (779,000)

Internet-Delivered (vMVPD)
 YouTube TV^                          6,500,000      600,000
 Hulu + Live TV                       4,600,000      300,000
 Sling TV                             2,120,000      117,000
 Fubo                                 1,477,000      310,000
Total Top vMVPD                      14,697,000    1,327,000

Total Top Providers                  71,469,281    (465,671)

Sources: The Companies and Leichtman Research Group, Inc.
* Includes LRG estimates for Cox and Mediacom
** LRG estimate, includes DIRECTV, U-verse, and DIRECTV Stream
^ LRG estimate
^^ Includes LRG estimate for non-residential subscribers
Company subscriber counts may not solely represent residential households
Top pay-TV providers represent approximately 96% 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