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Subscribers Leave Pay, Cable TV, Join Satellite TV

26 Mar, 2014 By: Doug McPherson

ARLINGTON, Va. – Last year will go down as a blah year for U.S. TV providers, says SNL Kagan.

The media research company says cable TV providers lost the most ground for the year – 2 million subscribers, or 4 percent – totaling 54 million by the end of 2013. Cable lost 388,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter alone.

And in total, the pay TV business lost 251,000 subscribers – 0.3 percent – to settle around 100 million U.S. pay TV homes. But the overall business gained some in the fourth quarter of 2013 – up by 40,000 video subscribers.

TV satellite providers added 170,000 – 0.5 percent higher, for a total of 34.3 million video customers. SNL Kagan says nearly all of the gain came from DirecTV. In the fourth quarter, the business added 101,000 subscribers.

Telecommunications’ TV provider services continued to enjoy the strongest growth in recent estimates – adding 296,000 subscribers, up 3 percent to total 10.9 million by year’s end. AT&T U-Verse and Verizon’s FiOS added 286,000 new customers total.

From fourth quarter 2011 to fourth quarter 2013, cable TV providers lost 3.7 million subscribers, with satellite companies up 460,000 million and telco services adding 3 million.

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