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Pay-TV Subscriptions Take a Hit in Q1 2019

cord cutting

According to MoffettNathanson’s “Cord Cutting Monitor” report, traditional video, including US pay-TV, reported a record 1.4 million subscriber loss, representing a 4.8% loss year over year. US satellite TV providers lost 892,000 subscribers, while US cable TV providers dropped 366,000 subscribers.

Virtual MVPDs are reporting subscriber gain but at a slower rate from last year. Virtual MVPDs such as DirecTV Now, Sling TV, Hulu, YouTube TV, Philo and fuboTV gained 563,000 subscribers this year, showing a significant drop from the 722,000 subscriber gain from 2018. MoffettNathanson attributed the slowing growth to password sharing, the resurgence in over-the-air broadcast TV antennas, and subscribers narrowing their subscriptions to single VoD services.

Additional findings include:

  • US virtual MVPDs ended Q1 2019 with nearly 8 million subscribers.
  • The pay-TV industry is expected to continue declining as programmers are forced to raise rates, accelerating the rate of decline.
  • Virtual MVPDs perpetuate slowing subscriber rates with price increases.

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