US Cord-Cutting Slows While Satellite Suffers Record Customer Losses in 2018 Q2

The pressure on traditional multichannel subscriptions abated in the US during the second quarter of 2018, a positive direction that is further supported by the forwarded momentum of virtual services Sling TV and DirecTV Now, according to Kagan, a division of S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Combined, the cable, direct broadcast satellite (DBS) and telco multichannel sectors lost 860,640 video subscribers in the second quarter of 2018, down to 92.2 million, including 89.4 million residential customers. The DBS platform logged its second-largest quarterly decline on record, losing a combined 478,000 customers.

Throwing DirecTV Now and Sling TV into the mix reduces quarterly subscription losses by approximately 45%, raising the residential figure to 93.5 million. Kagan’s report also shows that the residential multichannel penetration rate stood at 75% as of June 30th when including the virtual multichannel services owned by AT&T and Dish Network (DirecTV Now and Sling TV).

Cable logged its largest second-quarter video subscriber drop since 2015, bringing year-to-date losses to 685,790, while the telco video segment improved dramatically during the period, reducing its losses to just 56,000, a fraction of the pattern of quarterly losses established in the last two years.