Cable & Satellite Lost About 5.6 Million Customers in 2021





man cutting cord with scissors

According to data from Leichtman Research Group, the largest pay-TV providers in the U.S. lost 4,689,244 net video subscribers in 2021. That number includes cable, satellite, and live TV streaming services. Without the gains from live TV streamers, the data shows that cable and satellite lost 5,558,171 customers by the end of the year.

Leichtman says that the top pay-TV providers now have just over 76 million customers, with 7.9 million of those coming from live TV streaming services.

Here are the customer losses from cable and other traditional TV providers for the year.

  • Comcast -1,670,000
  • Charter -367,000
  • Cox -260,000
  • Altice -240,900
  • Mediacom -71,000
  • Breezeline/Atlantic Broadband -36,271
  • Cable One -50,000
  • DIRECTV -1,905,000
  • DISH TV -595,000
  • Verizon Fios -283,000
  • Frontier -105,000

Meanwhile, live TV streaming services saw an increase in subscribers for the year.

  • Hulu + Live TV +300,000
  • Sling TV +12,000
  • fuboTV +581,927

*Note that Leichtman does not include other live TV streaming services, like YouTube TV and Philo, because they don’t regularly report on subscriber numbers

“While the pay-TV industry continued to lose subscribers, net losses in 2021 were fairly similar to those in recent years,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc.  “In 2021, the top pay-TV providers had a net loss of about 4.7 million subscribers, compared to a pro forma loss of about 4.9 million subscribers in 2020, and a loss of 4.1 million in 2019.”

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