Oct 22, 2021
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Pay-TV Industry Loses More Subscribers

The latest subscriber numbers are likely to intensify the debate in the TV industry about the competitive impact of cheap online video services on pay television. Also likely to play into that debate are statements from some pay TV providers on Tuesday and last week that they’re seeing a growing preference among their customers for subscribing only to broadband, rather than a package of broadband and TV.

On Tuesday, Verizon Communications Inc. VZ -0.09% ’s Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo told an investor conference that Verizon was seeing “that less people are taking” television, focusing instead on higher broadband speeds. “And if you look at the demographics, I mean 30 and below don’t care if they have linear TV. They’re looking at getting their content through other means.”

Last week Tom Rutledge, chief executive of cable operator Charter Communications Inc., CHTR +0.61% said he was surprised by the number of customers opting to take Internet broadband service only.

The brunt of the pay TV subscriber losses are being borne by cable operators, with phone companies Verizon and AT&T Inc. T +0.68% continuing to increase their market share. In the latest quarter, the satellite operators also posted stronger results than they did a year ago, gaining 174,000 customers compared with 48,000, MoffettNathanson reported.

Dish reported Tuesday that it added 35,000 video customers in the quarter, a marked improvement to the loss of 19,000 it saw a year ago. Meanwhile, Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen told analysts on a conference call that he’s “cautiously optimistic” that Dish will reach a new agreement for carriage of Walt Disney Co. DIS -0.19% ’s channels, including ESPN.

The two companies have been negotiating for several months. Mr. Ergen added that the negotiation is addressing not just fees, but also “where the technology is going and what the world might look like in several years.” Disney is among several media companies that are suing Dish over its “Hopper” digital video recorder, which has a feature that makes ad-skipping much easier. Mr. Ergen made clear that “we’re not going to negotiate on giving up a customer experience we think is important.”

Late last week, Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger said on a conference call that “progress is being made” in the Dish talks.

The pay TV industry continued to lose subscribers in the third quarter, analysts estimated on Tuesday, providing further evidence that some consumers are dropping their pay TV subscriptions, or cutting the cord.

The industry as a whole lost 113,000 subscribers in the quarter compared with 101,000 in the year ago-period, according to a report by Wall Street research firm MoffettNathanson LLC, issued on Tuesday after Dish Network Corp. DISH -0.43% released its quarterly report. Dish was the last of the publicly traded pay TV providers to report for the quarter. MoffettNathanson’s estimate includes a calculation for performance of privately-held distributors. The firm estimates that total pay-TV subscribers shrank 0.2% over the 12 months ended Sept. 30.

MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett concluded that “the pay TV industry has reported its worst 12 month stretch ever,” based on estimates that the industry lost more subscribers in the past four quarters overall than in any comparable 12-month period. After years of steady growth, the pay-TV industry began stagnating in the past few years.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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Headline, Industry News

Pay-TV Industry Loses More Subscribers

The latest subscriber numbers are likely to intensify the debate in the TV industry about the competitive impact of cheap online video services on pay television. Also likely to play into that debate are statements from some pay TV providers on Tuesday and last week that they’re seeing a growing preference among their customers for subscribing only to broadband, rather than a package of broadband and TV.

On Tuesday, Verizon Communications Inc. VZ -0.09% ’s Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo told an investor conference that Verizon was seeing “that less people are taking” television, focusing instead on higher broadband speeds. “And if you look at the demographics, I mean 30 and below don’t care if they have linear TV. They’re looking at getting their content through other means.”

Last week Tom Rutledge, chief executive of cable operator Charter Communications Inc., CHTR +0.61% said he was surprised by the number of customers opting to take Internet broadband service only.

The brunt of the pay TV subscriber losses are being borne by cable operators, with phone companies Verizon and AT&T Inc. T +0.68% continuing to increase their market share. In the latest quarter, the satellite operators also posted stronger results than they did a year ago, gaining 174,000 customers compared with 48,000, MoffettNathanson reported.

Dish reported Tuesday that it added 35,000 video customers in the quarter, a marked improvement to the loss of 19,000 it saw a year ago. Meanwhile, Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen told analysts on a conference call that he’s “cautiously optimistic” that Dish will reach a new agreement for carriage of Walt Disney Co. DIS -0.19% ’s channels, including ESPN.

The two companies have been negotiating for several months. Mr. Ergen added that the negotiation is addressing not just fees, but also “where the technology is going and what the world might look like in several years.” Disney is among several media companies that are suing Dish over its “Hopper” digital video recorder, which has a feature that makes ad-skipping much easier. Mr. Ergen made clear that “we’re not going to negotiate on giving up a customer experience we think is important.”

Late last week, Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger said on a conference call that “progress is being made” in the Dish talks.

The pay TV industry continued to lose subscribers in the third quarter, analysts estimated on Tuesday, providing further evidence that some consumers are dropping their pay TV subscriptions, or cutting the cord.

The industry as a whole lost 113,000 subscribers in the quarter compared with 101,000 in the year ago-period, according to a report by Wall Street research firm MoffettNathanson LLC, issued on Tuesday after Dish Network Corp. DISH -0.43% released its quarterly report. Dish was the last of the publicly traded pay TV providers to report for the quarter. MoffettNathanson’s estimate includes a calculation for performance of privately-held distributors. The firm estimates that total pay-TV subscribers shrank 0.2% over the 12 months ended Sept. 30.

MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett concluded that “the pay TV industry has reported its worst 12 month stretch ever,” based on estimates that the industry lost more subscribers in the past four quarters overall than in any comparable 12-month period. After years of steady growth, the pay-TV industry began stagnating in the past few years.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Headline, Industry News

Pay-TV Industry Loses More Subscribers

The latest subscriber numbers are likely to intensify the debate in the TV industry about the competitive impact of cheap online video services on pay television. Also likely to play into that debate are statements from some pay TV providers on Tuesday and last week that they’re seeing a growing preference among their customers for subscribing only to broadband, rather than a package of broadband and TV.

On Tuesday, Verizon Communications Inc. VZ -0.09% ’s Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo told an investor conference that Verizon was seeing “that less people are taking” television, focusing instead on higher broadband speeds. “And if you look at the demographics, I mean 30 and below don’t care if they have linear TV. They’re looking at getting their content through other means.”

Last week Tom Rutledge, chief executive of cable operator Charter Communications Inc., CHTR +0.61% said he was surprised by the number of customers opting to take Internet broadband service only.

The brunt of the pay TV subscriber losses are being borne by cable operators, with phone companies Verizon and AT&T Inc. T +0.68% continuing to increase their market share. In the latest quarter, the satellite operators also posted stronger results than they did a year ago, gaining 174,000 customers compared with 48,000, MoffettNathanson reported.

Dish reported Tuesday that it added 35,000 video customers in the quarter, a marked improvement to the loss of 19,000 it saw a year ago. Meanwhile, Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen told analysts on a conference call that he’s “cautiously optimistic” that Dish will reach a new agreement for carriage of Walt Disney Co. DIS -0.19% ’s channels, including ESPN.

The two companies have been negotiating for several months. Mr. Ergen added that the negotiation is addressing not just fees, but also “where the technology is going and what the world might look like in several years.” Disney is among several media companies that are suing Dish over its “Hopper” digital video recorder, which has a feature that makes ad-skipping much easier. Mr. Ergen made clear that “we’re not going to negotiate on giving up a customer experience we think is important.”

Late last week, Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger said on a conference call that “progress is being made” in the Dish talks.

The pay TV industry continued to lose subscribers in the third quarter, analysts estimated on Tuesday, providing further evidence that some consumers are dropping their pay TV subscriptions, or cutting the cord.

The industry as a whole lost 113,000 subscribers in the quarter compared with 101,000 in the year ago-period, according to a report by Wall Street research firm MoffettNathanson LLC, issued on Tuesday after Dish Network Corp. DISH -0.43% released its quarterly report. Dish was the last of the publicly traded pay TV providers to report for the quarter. MoffettNathanson’s estimate includes a calculation for performance of privately-held distributors. The firm estimates that total pay-TV subscribers shrank 0.2% over the 12 months ended Sept. 30.

MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett concluded that “the pay TV industry has reported its worst 12 month stretch ever,” based on estimates that the industry lost more subscribers in the past four quarters overall than in any comparable 12-month period. After years of steady growth, the pay-TV industry began stagnating in the past few years.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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