Cord Cutting Is Slowly Destroying Satellite TV Providers




Teenager girl with remote control laying down and watching tv eating popcorn.

Teenager girl with remote control laying down and watching tv eating popcorn.We often talk about how bad things are for cable TV providers; however, they are not the only ones having a really bad time. Satellite providers are also seeing devastatingly fast subscriber losses.

In the second quarter 2017 AT&T lost 351,000 pay-TV subscribers; however, DIRECTV NOW did add about 152,000 subscribers in the second quarter 2017 so AT&T lost just 199,000 pay-TV subscribers.

Dish is doing no better. It lost 196,000 pay-TV subscribers even when counting the new subscribers it gained from Sling TV. (Note: Dish does not break out the subscriber numbers from Sling TV vs the Dish numbers.)

So in total over just three months satellite TV providers Dish and DIRECTV lost 394,000 pay-TV subscribers. Now that number is likely well over 600,000 when you just look at the losses of traditional pay-TV providers.

These rapid drops in subscribers likely point to why Dish and DIRECTV are so aggressive with their new live TV streaming services Sling TV and DIRECTV NOW.

Now the efforts to save Dish and DIRECTV from cord cutting does not stop at a live TV streaming service.

Dish has recently announced plans to launch its own 5G Internet service allowing it to jump into the growing home Internet market. Its CEO says it plans to have half the United States covered by its 5G Internet service sometime in 2020.

Dish has also recently started to use its network of trained technicians to do everything from repair cell phones to install antennas in your home. It seems that Dish is trying to leverage its network of technicians to help the company diversify into more areas.

DIRECTV took a more direct and quick route to avoid cord cutting. Last year it was sold to AT&T in an effort to leverage AT&T’s other services such as phone and home Internet to help the company withstand the growing trend of cord cutting. Now you see deals such as get AT&T Unlimited for your cell phone and receive $25 off DIRECTV NOW.

The question now is can satellite providers diversify and grow their live TV streaming services fast enough to offset the growing trend of cord cutting.

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