After losing 1.52 million more subscribers in the second quarter of 2020, the top 10 U.S. pay-TV service providers now collectively serve 73.14 million television customers covering 60% of U.S. homes,

The update comes by way of the informitv Multiscreen Index as reported this week by U.K. video business site RapidTVNews. The index calculated that the top 10 U.S. pay-TV providers collectively continued to hemorrhage subscribers in Q2-2020, as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic hardships forced a reassessment of some folks’ entertainment priorities.

On a positive note for the traditional pay-TV providers, the Q2 loss was narrower than the collective loss in the first quarter of the year, when a record 2.33 million subscribers jumped the pay-TV ship. The index tabulates the top 10 U.S. pay-TV services have now collectively lost over 10 million television subscribers during the last two years.

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Among the reported Q2 changes that stood out for the period, according to the informitv Multiscreen Index, were the following:

• AT&T lost 886,000 premium television subscribers in the United States across its satellite, telco and online platforms and a further 66,000 for the AT&T TV NOW online service.

• Comcast lost 427,000 television subscribers, dropping its total to 19.47 million, from 20.64 million a year earlier.

• Charter broke a series of quarterly television subscriber losses and increased its count by 102,000, to a total of 15.65 million, down from 15.80 million a year before.

• DISH slightly increased its subscriber numbers by 5,000 to 9.02 million, after losing 382,000 the previous quarter. The company’s Sling TV live OTT service dropped 56,000 subscribers.

• Frontier lost 61,000 subscribers to 0.56 million, forcing it to be dropped from the Multiscreen Index of 100 leading service providers.

Cox’s numbers do not appear in the index because the company does not publicly disclose quarterly subscriber numbers.

The informitv service attributed the declines to a combination of the pandemic, economic conditions and the near absence of sporting events. Nevertheless, informitv pointed out that even with the subscriber losses the providers still generated considerable revenue from their still sizeable collective audience.

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By Greg Tarr

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