Cable TV is continuing to struggle as companies like Comcast, Charter, DIRECTV, and Spectrum deal with the growth of cord cutting. Now, a new report from the Leichtman Research Group reports that the major cable and satellite companies lost 1,792,671 during the 3rd quarter of 2023. That works out to over 19,000 Americans canceling cable TV every single day.
The good news for cable networks is every major live TV streaming service added subscribers, including YouTube TV, Hulu, Sling TV, and Fubo, with over 1.3 million additions.
“Similar to recent years, pay-TV net losses in the third quarter were more modest than in the first two quarters of the year due to the strength of sports on Internet-delivered vMVPD services,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “While traditional pay-TV services had a net loss of about 1.8 million subscribers in 3Q 2023, vMVPDs had over 1.3 million net additions in the quarter.”
Now it is important to note that YouTube TV and DIRECTV do not disclose subscriber numbers. Instead, the Leachman Research Group uses its own numbers to track these companies. According to that report, YouTube TV added about 600,000 subscribers, but DIRECTV in all of its forms, lost 500,000 subscribers.
Some key highlights from the 3rd quarter of 2023 include:
- Top cable providers had a net loss of about 1,015,000 video subscribers in 3Q 2023 – compared to a loss of about 985,000 subscribers in 3Q 2022
- Other traditional pay-TV services had a net loss of about 780,000 subscribers in 3Q 2023 – compared to a loss of about 700,000 subscribers in 3Q 2022
- Top live TV streaming services added about 1,325,000 subscribers in 3Q 2023 – compared to a gain of about 1,300,000 subscribers in 3Q 2022
The 3rd quarter is always strong for cable and streaming with the start of NFL football, but once again, Americans are still ditching cable TV to go streaming only.