For the year as a whole, according to the informitv Multiscreen Index. they lost 5.98 million, which was slightly less than the 6.08 million in 2019.
In the fourth quarter of 2020, nine of the top 10 services in US lost TV subscribers, with Sling TV gaining 10,000. Charter Communications was the only service among them not to report a net loss of TV customers in 2020.
Comcast lost 227,000 consumer video subscribers in the fourth quarter, reducing its total over the year by 1.30 million to 18.99 million, down from 20.96 million at the end of 2018.
Meanwhile, AT&T lost 616,000 premium TV customers in the last quarter and shed a total of 2.99 million over the year, leaving it with 16.51 million, compared to 22.90 million at the end of 2018. AT&T NOW TV lost 262,000 online customers over the year, ending with 0.66 million.
DISH Network lost 140,000 satellite TV customers in the quarter and 574,000 over the year, with 8.82 million remaining, down from 9.90 million at the end of 2018. Sling TV lost 122,000 online customers over the year, down to 2.47 million.
Verizon Fios lost 72,000 in the quarter and 298,000 over the course of the year, ending with 3,85 million, down from 4.38 million at the end of 2018.
Altice USA lost 74,1000 in the quarter, while Frontier fell by 33,000 and Mediacom declined by 20,000. They lost over 460,000 television customers between them over the year.
Charter lost 66,000 in the last quarter, having gained in the two previous quarters, producing a net gain of 19,000 over the year and ending with 15.64 million TV customers.
The online services from AT&T and DISH Network failed to compensate for the loss of satellite TV customers. AT&T TV NOW and Sling TV lost 384,000 customers between them over the year. Meanwhile, although the Hulu + Live TV online service lost 100,000 subscribers in the last quarter of 2020, it gained 800,000 over the year to reach 4.00 million, which would place it above Verizon Fios in subscriber numbers.
Commenting on the figures, Dr William Cooper, the editor of the informitv Multiscreen Index, said: “2020 saw a further fall in the number of TV subscribers in the US.
“The top 10 services in our index lost 7.8% of their customer base in 2020, compared to 7.3% the previous year. They now have just over 70 million TV customers between them, which is just under 60% of TV homes in the US”.
Subscriber numbers are as reported by service providers rather than analyst estimates. Cox Communications is not included in the top 10 as it does not report subscriber numbers.