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Pay-TV didn’t lose 400,000 subscriptions last quarter – it’s more like 425,000

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:31PM EST

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A report on Thursday suggested that 400,000 American homes cut the cord last quarter, ditching cable and satellite television services to get their home entertainment elsewhere. A number of people argued that the massive figure didn’t account for the 275,000 subscribers that switched to AT&T’s (T) U-Verse and Verizon’s (VZ) FiOS service. What Reuters’s figure also doesn’t account for, however, is the estimated 280,000-300,000 subscribers Charter (CHTR) and Cablevision (CVC) are expected to report having lost during the second quarter.

Assuming that figure comes in close to the high end of estimates, which is likely, pay-TV in the U.S. will have shed approximately 425,000 net subscribers in the second quarter.

As AllThingsD points out, however, much of those losses can likely be attributed to temporary disconnects such as college students moving back home for the summer. In 2011, the site says pay-TV services shed 442,000 subscribers in the second quarter but recovered later in the year to finish with a net positive 200,000 additions.

The bad news for traditional cable companies, however, is that all of that growth went to telco services like U-Verse and FiOS, leaving traditional cable TV service providers with net losses.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.