Cord cutting slowed a bit in Q4, analyst says

Viewing video on a tablet - cord cutting
Pay TV operators slowed the viewer exodus somewhat in Q4, but vMVPD services continued to grow. (Image: Pixabay / concun)

Linear pay TV services lost 560,000 customers in the fourth quarter, a 23% blood-loss increase over the fourth quarter of 2016, according to estimates published by Evercore ISI analyst Vijay Jayant.

But it was a marked improvement over the hurricane-impacted third quarter, which saw U.S. cable, satellite and IPTV platforms lose 943,000 customers, a 40% year-over-year uptick. 

If not for the heavy losses of satellite TV, which dropped 268,000 customers in the fourth quarter accord go to Jayant, traditional pay TV’s subscriber metrics were pretty solid.

RELATED: Cord cutting hits 632K for Q3 with bulk of top platforms reporting

Meanwhile, virtual MVPD services continue to grow, adding 773,000 users in the fourth quarter and largely masking the continued losses of traditional services. 

Altice USA will be the last major U.S. pay TV service to report Q4 metrics this week. 

Jayant also estimates that cable operators added 655,000 broadband customers in the fourth quarter, down from 720,000 in Q4 2016.