Yesterday Leichtman Research Group released their third-quarter subscriber data for the 10 largest pay-TV operators.
The report had several interesting details including the fact that Sling TV’s gains outpaced Dish’s losses by 16,000. Sling TV reportedly added 240,000 subscribers compared to Dish’s 224,000 subscriber losses.
According to multiple reports, this should put Sling TV comfortably over two million subscribers, which is well ahead of services such as DIRECTV NOW at roughly 800,000. Sling TV’s early head start and aggressive marketing seems to be paying off with strong subscriber growth; however, according to some reports, Sling TV’s growth rate is now behind DIRECTV NOW’s.
Some analysts are still dismissing subscriber growth by pointing to smaller profit margins of services such as Sling TV; however, others are pointing to the age-old saying that something is better than nothing.
Although it is true that live TV streaming services offer smaller profit margins for pay-TV providers, they are helping to offset the huge decline in traditional pay-TV subscribers. According to Leichtman live TV streaming services Sling TV and DIRECTV NOW added roughly 536,000 subscribers in the third quarter 2017. (Note: PlayStation Vue and Hulu did not disclose their subscriber numbers.)
It will be interesting to see how the live TV streaming world plays out over the next few years.
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