At the mid-year mark, however, the trajectory continues to point to an unprecedented annual decline according to data compiled by Kagan, a group within S&P Global Market Intelligence.
Overall, traditional multichannel subscriptions dropped below 96.1 million in the second quarter, down 1.8 million since year-end 2016. Adding the top two virtual service providers (VSPs) affiliated with legacy multichannel distributors (DISH Network’s Sling TV and AT&T’s DIRECTV Now) lifts the combined total subscriptions to a package of live linear channels and on-demand content to 98 million.
Additional takeaways from Kagan’s second-quarter US Multichannel Subscriber report: Cable operators lost 246,000 total video customers. Following the sizable first-quarter drop, total losses at the mid-year mark are up 65.4% annually.
Traditional satellite services took a hit in the second quarter, posting an estimated net loss of 443,000 subscriptions to retreat below the 33 million threshold for the first time since 2010. Total traditional video subs on the telco platform dropped to 10.9 million, declining 10.9% annually. With AT&T emphasising DIRECTV as its primary delivery platform, U-verse accounted for two-thirds of the decline.
Based on figures compiled from US Census reports, a calculated 75.8% of the potential residential universe subscribe to a legacy multichannel product in the second-quarter.