Sky had a net loss of subscribers for the first time, losing 98,000 across the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy in Q3 2019, having gained 304,000 in the previous quarter, according to the informitv Multiscreen Index of 100 leading subscription television service providers. This drop leaves the company with 23.92 million customers.
The top ten service providers in the United States lost 1.67 million television subscribers between them in the third quarter of 2019, with a cumulative loss of 5.53 million in 12 months, although they still have 78.73 million between them, the report notes. [That means they lost 6.5% of their subscribers in a single year]. The largest losses were for AT&T Premium TV, which includes DIRECTV and U-Verse customers, with a loss of 1.16 million in the third quarter. That left it with 20.42 million television subscribers, fractionally fewer than Comcast.
Vodafone now has 18.04 million television customers in total, making it the fifth largest group worldwide by television subscribers. The largest subscriber gain for the quarter across the 100-index was by Vodafone Germany, following the acquisition of Unitymedia from Liberty Global. It now claims 13.71 million television subscribers, although these include around 4.7 million basic cable customers that were not previously included in the Index.
For the world as a whole, the informitv Multiscreen Index of 100 shows an overall loss of 2.09 million in the third quarter, or 0.46% of the total. Amidst these figures, 41 of the 100 services in the Multiscreen Index did report subscriber gains.
“This is not the first net subscriber loss we have reported, or the largest, but in the first three months of this year these 100 operators lost 7.51 million television subscribers between them. That sounds like a lot, but they still have a total of nearly 450 million,” comments Dr William Cooper, Founder and Chief Executive at informitv
By region, 1.88 million of the losses were in the Americas, while the Europe, Middle East and Africa region showed a loss of 0.66 million. Asia Pacific showed a small gain of 0.46 million.
“Although some operators are losing television subscribers, the Multiscreen Index puts this in context,” adds its editor, Cooper. “Despite some subscriber attrition, corporate consolidation is creating some very large players with economies of scale. With substantial recurring revenues they can still afford to lose some customers.”
The Multiscreen Index comprises 100 leading multichannel television and video services that report subscriber numbers. They collectively account for almost 450 million subscribing homes worldwide. The index provides an industry benchmark of the relative performance of television service providers against which customer gains or losses can be measured. The latest quarterly Multiscreen Index report is available from www.multiscreenindex.com