Broadband Subscriptions Rise as Pay-TV Subscriptions Fall

DURHAM, NH — Confirming a continuing shift in consumer viewing preferences, in 3Q 2014 about 700,000 households added broadband while during the same period Pay-TV providers lost about 150,000 subscribers, according to two different studies released by Leichtman Research Group (LRG), a provider of research and analysis on the broadband, media and entertainment industries.

Pay-TV Providers Lose Subscribers
Leichtman research found that the thirteen largest pay-TV providers in the US — representing about 95 percent of the market — lost about 150,000 net video subscribers in 3Q 2014, compared to a loss of about 25,000 video subscribers in 3Q 2013, and more net losses than in any previous third quarter.

The top pay-TV providers account for 95.3 million subscribers — with the top nine cable companies having nearly 49.5 million video subscribers, satellite TV companies having over 34.2 million subscribers, and the top telephone companies having about 11.6 million subscribers.

Other key findings for the quarter include:

  • The top nine cable companies lost about 440,000 video subscribers in 3Q 2014 compared to a loss of about 600,000 subscribers in 3Q 2013

  • Time Warner Cable lost 182,000 subscribers in 3Q 2014 compared to a loss of 304,000 in 3Q 2013

  • Satellite TV providers lost 40,000 subscribers in 3Q 2014 compared to a gain of 174,000 in 3Q 2013

  • DirecTV lost 28,000 subscribers in 3Q 2014 compared to a gain of 139,000 subscribers in 3Q 2013

  • The top telephone providers added 330,000 video subscribers in 3Q 2014 compared to 400,000 net additions in 3Q 2013

  • Over the past year, major pay-TV providers lost about 105,000 subscribers compared to a loss of about 45,000 over the prior year


"The pay-TV industry is characterized by seasonality. While the first and second quarters of 2014 showed slight industrywide improvements over 2013, the third quarter was down from a year ago," said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group. "If recent history is an indicator, the pay-TV industry will follow the fourth quarter trend, and close 2014 with a modest subscriber gain in the quarter."

Broadband Providers Gain Subscribers

In another study Leichtman Research Group found that the seventeen largest cable and telephone providers in the US — representing about 94 percent of the market — acquired over 700,000 net additional high-speed Internet subscribers in the third quarter of 2014. These top broadband providers now account for 86.6 million subscribers — with top cable companies having over 51.2 million broadband subscribers, and top telephone companies having nearly 35.4 million subscribers.

Other broadband findings include:

  • Overall, broadband additions in 3Q 2014 amounted to 135 percent of those in 3Q 2013

  • The top cable companies accounted for 83 percent of the net broadband additions for the quarter versus the top telephone companies

  • The top cable companies added about 580,000 subscribers, representing 133 percent of the net additions for the top cable companies in 3Q 2013

  • The top telephone companies added about 120,000 broadband subscribers in 3Q 2014 compared to a gain of about 80,000 in 3Q 2013

  • Over the past year, there were about 2,930,000 net broadband adds compared to about 2,540,000 over the prior year, and 2,925,000 two years ago


"Despite there being 86.6 million broadband subscribers in the U.S. via major cable and telco providers, the industry has added subscribers at a faster pace over the past year than it did over the prior year," said Leichtman. "Over the past year, cable companies accounted for 86 percent of the 2.9 million net broadband adds."

 

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