Cable Networks Take Another Hit in March Subscriber Estimates

Viacom’s CMT and Spike among biggest decliners in subscribers, says Wieser
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Cable networks mostly saw more declines in Nielsen’s subscriber universe estimates for March.

According to an analysis by Brian Wieser of Pivotal Research, pay-TV subscribers were down 2% to 115.4 million, continuing a trend seen over the last couple of years. The median decline for individual cable networks was 2.3%.

Neither figure includes the growing ranks of subscribers to virtual MVPDs like Dish’s Sling, Sony’s PlayStation Vue or AT&T’s DirecTV Now.

Wieser says that the biggest decliners included Viacom’s CMT, down 9.8%, and Spike, 7.2% lower; Time Warner’s Boomerang, dropping 7.5%; and Discovery’s Family Channel, off 6.4%, and American Heroes Channel, down 5.9%.

Big gainers included AMC’s SundanceTV, jumping 10.5%, and BBC America, up 3.4%; 21st Century Fox’s FXX, up 7.5%; Discovery’s Velocity, up 6.3%; and CBS’ Smithsonian, up 5.4%.

Wieser found that among 117 networks, 27 were up.