Research: US pay-TV slump gathers pace

May 18, 2023

Findings from Leichtman Research Group indicate that the largest pay-TV providers in the US – representing about 96 per cent of the market – lost about 2,215,000 net video subscribers in 1Q 2023, compared to a pro forma net loss of about 1850

Key findings for the quarter include:

  • Top cable providers had a net loss of about 1,060,000 video subscribers in 1Q 2023 – compared to a loss of about 825,000 subscribers in 1Q 2022
  • Other traditional pay-TV services had a net loss of about 760,000 subscribers in 1Q 2023 – compared to a loss of about 625,000 subscribers in 1Q 2022
  • Top vMVPDs had a net loss of about 395,000 subscribers in 1Q 2023 – compared to a loss of about 400,000 subscribers in 1Q 2022

“Pay-TV net losses of about 2.2 million in 1Q 2023 were more than in any previous quarter,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group.  “Similar to recent quarters, the record net losses appear to be as much a function of a slowdown in new connects as an increase in disconnects.”

The top pay-TV providers now account for about 73.7 million subscribers – with the top seven cable companies having about 36.8 million video subscribers, other traditional pay-TV services having 23.4 million subscribers, and the top Internet-delivered (vMVPD) pay-TV services (now including an estimate for YouTube TV) having about 13.5 million subscribers.

Company subscriber counts may not solely represent residential households

Top Pay-TV providers represent approximately 96 % of all subscribers. 

Net additions reflect pro forma results from system sales and acquisitions, reporting adjustments, and changes to the list of top providers – therefore, comparing totals in this release to prior releases will not produce accurate findings.