More and more people are ditching traditional cable TV providers, according to a report from Leichtman Research Group, Inc. In the third quarter of 2017, the largest pay-TV providers in the United States, representing about 95% of the market—the other 5% accounting for various small local providers yet to be subsumed by the larger companies—lost nearly half a million subscribers in Q3 of 2017, as compared to a net loss of around a quarter of a million over the same time period in 2016.
In addition, according to the company’s release:
“The top pay-TV providers account for 92.2 million subscribers — with the top six cable companies having 48.1 million video subscribers, satellite TV services about 32.3 million subscribers, the top telephone companies 9.3 million subscribers, and the top Internet-delivered pay-TV services having about 2.5 million subscribers.”
The two major satellite TV providers were the biggest losers, with DIRECTV and DISH Network losing 251,000 and 224,000 respectively. Cable giant Comcast lost 126,000 subscribers, and Charter Spectrum lost around 90,000. AT&T U-Verse also lost big, with more than 135,000 subscribers ditching the phone provider’s cable TV option.
The trends are looking up in only one area—internet-delivered, cable TV like packages. Both Sling TV and DIRECTV NOW, delivered via internet connections as opposed to their regular satellite TV counterparts, grew by 240,000 and 296,000 subscribers respectively. The advantages to these packages—lower cost, less hardware and installation, and the ability to further curate slimmer channel lineups based on your particular taste, fall in line with what many consumers are looking for. Basically, if you don’t want ESPN or HBO, Sling TV can give you a package tailored to your taste at far below the cost. Look for the industry to trend this way in the future, as following the leader is the way of this business.