LRG: Top Pay-TV Cos. Dropped 1.2M Subs In Q2 As Broadband Climbed
The attrition from traditional pay-TV services continued in the second quarter of 2021 even as some of those same services (cable and wireline telco providers) gained broadband subscribers, according to research released by the Leichtman Research Group (LRG) Tuesday.
In a sign that the “cord-cutting” trend continues, LRG’s research based on company statements and Leichtman’s estimates, the largest pay-TV providers representing 95% of U.S. market lost more than 1.2 million net traditional video service subscribers in Q2-2021, down from a pro-forma net loss of 1.5 million in the same period a year ago.
The subscriber defections left the top pay-TV providers with a cumulative 77.6 million subscribers in the United States going into the third quarter of 2021.
The research found the top seven cable companies were down to 42.6 million video subscribers, while other traditional pay-TV services (satellite, telco etc) now have a cumulative 28.2 million subscribers, and the top reporting Internet-delivered (vMVPD) pay-TV services accounted for about 6.8 million subscribers in Q2-2021.
Other key findings for the quarter include:
- Top cable providers had a net loss of about 590,000 video subscribers in Q2 2021 – compared to a loss of about 505,000 subscribers in Q2 2020
- Other traditional pay-TV services had a net loss of about 700,000 subscribers in Q2 2021 – compared to a loss of about 1,045,000 subscribers in Q2 2020
- AT&T Premium TV had 473,000 net losses in Q2 2021 – compared to 887,000 net losses in Q2 2020
- Top publicly reporting vMVPDs added about 55,000 subscribers in Q2 2021 – compared to a gain of about 45,000 subscribers in Q2 2020
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“Pay-TV net losses of 1,230,000 in Q2 2021 were about 275,000 fewer than in Q2 2020 on a pro forma basis,” stated Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group. “Over the past year, top pay-TV providers had a net loss of about 4,520,000 subscribers, compared to a loss of about 5,460,000 over the prior year.”
Meanwhile, LRG said Wednesday that subscribers to the largest cable and wireline telco broadband services continued to climb in the period to 890,000 net additional Internet subscribers, compared to a pro forma gain of about 1,260,000 subscribers in 2Q-2020.
The company’s market research indicates the top broadband providers now account for about 107.4 million subscribers, with top cable companies having about 74.7 million broadband subscribers, and top wireline phone companies having about 32.7 million subscribers.
In other findings for the quarter:
- Overall, broadband additions in 2Q 2021 were 71% of those in 2Q 2020
- The top cable companies added about 840,000 subscribers in 2Q 2021 – 60% of the net additions for the top cable companies in 2Q 2020
- The top wireline phone companies added about 50,000 total broadband subscribers in 2Q 2021 – compared to a net loss of about 140,000 subscribers in 2Q 2020
- Telcos had about 400,000 net adds via fiber in 2Q 2021, and about 350,000 non-fiber net losses
“Net broadband additions in the second quarter of 2021 were the most in any second quarter in the past decade, except for 2Q 2020,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “Top broadband providers added 8,000,000 subscribers over the past two years, including about 4,330,000 net adds over the past year, and about 3,670,000 net adds over the prior year.”
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By Greg Tarr
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