So much for the deceleration of cord cutting.
Cable and satellite TV providers lost 1.1 million subscribers between July and September, their largest quarterly loss ever, according to a MoffettNathanson, a media research firm.
Per USA Today, Dish alone had a net loss of 341,000, (367,000 in total losses were slightly offset by 26,000 Sling TV additions) a dramatic increase from the 16,000 it lost during the same quarter in 2017. AT&T’s DirectTV wasn’t too far behind with a net loss of 297,000. All satellite providers combined dropped 726,000 subscribers.
Cable TV providers lost about 293,000 subscribers during the quarter. Comcast was the biggest loser on the cable side, bleeding 106,000 subscribers, but the telecom giant offset this with 363,000 new broadband subscribers. Cable providers’ losses, however, actually look encouraging when considering that they lost 322,000 subscribers during Q3 2017.
BTIG Media and Technology Analyst Rich Greenfield tweeted that Q3 2018 was “the third-worst quarter in industry history and worst since Q2 2016.”
Approximately 78 percent of U.S. T.V. households now subscribe to some type of pay-TV service, an eight-percent dip from 2013.
The report stated that new homes were being created at a rate of “249K households per quarter faster than a year ago,” which should equate to “about 200K more subscribers per quarter, on average.” Instead, things are massively trending in the other direction, bucking the optimism analysts felt following Q2 2018, normally a slow period, during which cable and satellite providers had their smallest Q2 losses in four years.
“Cord cutting does not appear to be slowing at all,” reads MoffettNathanson’s report.
In July, research firm eMarketer predicted that cable and satellite would lose 33 million customers by year’s end. Meanwhile, Netflix is reportedly outspending every Hollywood studio this year after it overtook HBO in Emmy nominations.
Nick Santangelo is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia. He loves video games and sports, but not sports video games. Follow him on Twitter.