The major publicly traded pay-TV companies lost 200,000 video subscribers in the first quarter, an acceleration over the 54,000 lost in the first quarter of 2015, BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield says.
Greenfield's analysis discounts IP services like Dish Network's Sling TV, customer gains for which the satellite operator rolls into its quarterly subscriber data. His tally is focused on the top seven operators: Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA), DirecTV (NYSE: T), Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR), Dish (NASDAQ: DISH), AT&T U-Verse and Verizon FiOS (NYSE: VZ).
"Trends have actually been deteriorating for the past five quarters, with trailing 12-month subscriber additions down 588,000 compared with 92,000 in the prior 12-month trailing period," Greenfield said to investors in a note intercepted by Broadcasting & Cable.
"We believe if the video subscriber trends of the past six-months continue throughout 2016, video subscribers could fall by over 600,000 in 2016 compared to the 48,000 subscribers lost by the top seven MPVDs in 2015 and the 393,000 video sub net adds in 2014."
When all MVPDs are considered, SNL Kagan estimated that pay-TV lost a total of 1.1 million subs in 2015.
Greenfield estimates that pay-TV will lose around 2 million customers this year who are paying the full rate for services to a combination of cord shaving and cutting.
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