Pay TV service subscribers down for first time in US


No surprise, given the economy: The number of subscribers to cable, satellite and telecom TV services in the U.S. fell for the first time ever in Q2, according to research firm SNL Kagan. The U.S. multichannel TV market lost 216,000 customers last quarter, vs. a gain of 378,000 a year ago. The total number of subscribers to cable, satellite and telecom video fell to 100.1 million in the second quarter, SNL Kagan reported.

Cable TV firms lost 711,000 subscribers last quarter, while satellite and telecom TV services managed to add 81,000 and 414,000 subscribers, respectively.

Are more people moving to Internet-based TV? “Although it is tempting to point to over-the-top video as a potential culprit, we believe economic factors such as low housing formation and a high unemployment rate contributed to subscriber declines in the second quarter,” said SNL Kagan analyst Mariam Rondeli.

Many analysts believe over-the-top TV eventually could upend the pay TV biz, reports Investors Business Daily. OTT TV is video programming delivered over broadband Internet and bypassing traditional service providers.