Number of Television Subscribers in the United States Continues to Decline

During the 3rd quarter of 2019, the 10 largest television services in the United States lost approximately 1.67 million subscribers cumulatively according to data from the Multiscreen Index. The reduction has led to a total present number of 78.73 million subscribers, which accounts for around two thirds of the total market.

Of the various services, AT&T lost the highest number of subscribers, with 1.36 million subscribers in terms of net loss. The 3rd quarter of 2019 has been the worst in terms of television subscriber losses in the country, after a loss of 1.41 million subscribers in the 2nd quarter of 2019.

AT&T Premium TV lost 1,163,000 subscribers across U-verse telco television and DIRECTV satellite, and the latest AT&T TV service, which had launched in the first quarter of this year, while ending the third quarter with 20.42 million. This number is now the same as that for Comcast, which lost 221,000 residential television subscribers during the same period.

Verizon and DISH Lose Substantially

AT&T’s TV NOW service, also formerly known as DIRECTV NOW, lost a further 199,000 subscribers, down to 1.13 million. The Entertainment Group of AT&T had overall revenues of USD 11.2 billion for the 3rd quarter of 2019, a slump of 3.4 per cent from the same period in 2018.

On the other side, Charter Spectrum lost 77,000, with 3rd quarter figures reaching 15.73 million. DISH Network also lost 66,000 satellite subscribers reaching 9.49 million, even as the company’s Sling TV online service managed to remain the only one to gain subscribers in the top 10 services of the country, with an increase of 214,000 subscribers.

Cumulatively both services of DISH accounted for 12.18 subscribers, which is a net increase of 148,000 for the 3rd quarter, which is an improvement on the 341,000 subscriber loss for the same period in the preceding year.

Following the losses, the top 10 services in the United States cumulatively have 83.56 subscribers, despite constituent services being different. The losses also mean that the top 10 services have only around 65 per cent of the overall subscriber base.