Multichannel video providers in the U.S. lost 1.2 million subscribers in the third quarter, according to a tabulation by Kagan, a media research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence.
The loss left the number of pay-TV subscriber at 91 million, including 88.2 million residential customers.
Kagan attributed the acceleration in subscriber losses to declines at satellite providers and to weakening net ads for streaming virtual MVPDs such as Sling TV and DirecTV Now.
Kagan found that virtual multichannel subscriptions rose by 2.1 million subscribers in the last nine months, compared with a 2.8 million drop in subscribers at traditional providers.
Other finding from Kagan included:
- The residential penetration rate stood at 76.2% as of Sept. 30 when including traditional multichannel and the estimated virtual multichannel universe.
- DBS had its worst quarter on record with a loss of 726,000 subscribers.
- Cable operators lost nearly 1.1 million subscribers year-to-date as of Sept. 30, their worst performance at the three-quarter mark since 2014.
- Traditional telco subscriptions fell by 94,000. By itself, Verizon shed a net 63,000 subs.