Cable and Satellite TV Plunge Continues

Another acknowledgement that online streaming is the future of entertainment. Dunno about you, but we love it when an a tech site gets all excited about the same things that send us over the top:

by Jon Brodkin

Cord cutting continued at a steady rate in 2018, as cable and satellite TV providers in the United States lost more than 3 million video subscribers, a new report from Leichtman Research Group said.

Satellite TV services were hit especially hard. AT&T-owned DirecTV lost 1.24 million subscribers and finished 2018 with 19.2 million subscribers. Meanwhile, Dish lost 1.13 million subscribers and ended 2018 with 9.9 million. The combined DirecTV and Dish losses of 2.36 million customers in 2018 was up from the companies’ combined loss of 1.55 million in 2017.

The top cable companies—Comcast, Charter, Cox, Altice, Mediacom, and Cable One—lost a combined 910,000 TV subscribers in 2018, up from a net loss of 660,000 in 2017. The six companies had a total of 47 million TV subscribers at the end of 2018.

DirecTV and Dish made up some of their subscriber losses by nudging customers toward the online versions of their services. DirecTV Now—AT&T’s online version of DirecTV—gained 436,000 subscribers in 2018 to move up to a total of 1.59 million. Dish-owned Sling TV gained 205,000 customers, achieving a total of 2.42 million. Despite being delivered over the Internet, both DirecTV Now and Sling TV are linear pay-TV services that are similar in function to traditional cable and satellite TV.

The Leichtman tally also includes TV services offered by large phone companies, namely Verizon FiOS, AT&T U-verse, and Frontier. These three services lost a combined 244,000 TV subscribers in 2018, dropping to 8.99 million total, despite U-verse gaining 47,000….

Read it all at ARSTECHNICA.COM