Pay TV Providers Lose 1.75 Million Subscribers For 3Q 2019

The bleeding continues for major pay television providers. New numbers for the third quarter of 2019 show a net loss of 1,740,000 customers, compared to a loss of 975,000 during that same quarter of 2018.

AT&T was by far the biggest loser, with 1,370,000 subscribers jumping ship across its three services – DIRECTV, AT&T U-verse, and AT&T NOW. This isn’t terribly surprising given that the company has made a decision to focus on getting and keeping what they deem to be “more proditable” customers.

Satellite services lost 1,140,000 subscribers overall, compared a loss of 725,000 subscribers in 3Q of 2018. DIRECTV was the biggest loser there, posting record net losses for the sixth consecutive quarter.

Naturally, millennials lead the way in ditching cable, but what’s surprising is that it’s not entirely because of financial reasons. A report from USA Today showed they’re just happy with what’s available a la carte. They simply don’t need cable. Analysts have for years predicted that this decade would see the end of cable/satellite pay television, and while there may be a few holdouts into the next few years, that appears to be largely true.

People are just into flexibility these days, and it’ll be interesting to see if big cable can make changes before it’s too late.