Large numbers of US homes have dropped pay-TV services, with big losses for satellite provider DirecTV, and cable companies Time Warner and Comcast. Rounding up the latest quarterly earnings results issued by major TV providers, Reuters reported today that Comcast lost 176,000 subscribers, Time Warner lost 169,000 customers, and DirecTV lost 52,000.
While Reuters said these losses total about 400,000 American homes dropping pay-TV service since the beginning of the year, it’s still a small minority. Time Warner Cable has more than 12 million customers, for example, and many customers simply switched services, as Verizon’s FiOS TV and AT&T’s U-verse added 275,000 subscribers in the second quarter. The second quarter is traditionally weak because of people moving before summer and college students leaving campus.
But this quarter’s losses were stark for DirecTV, which lost customers for the first time ever, and for Time Warner, who lost customers for the tenth straight quarter and lost more than analysts expected.