Second quarter pay TV results a 'mixed bag,' analyst firm says

The second quarter provided a "mixed bag" of positives and negatives for the pay TV industry, analysis from Zacks.com said, noting that the industry continued to lose video subscribers but "the rate of customer churn has narrowed down considerably."

This lower churn resulted in the best second quarter performance in the last six years, the report said, even though that meant that pay TV subscribers across cable and satellite continued to drop customers.

To emphasize the mixed results, Zacks.com pointed out that the pay TV industry as a whole lost 305,000 video subscribers in the second quarter compared with 387,000 in the same time frame in 2013. Cable TV operators lost 517,000 video customers, which was an improvement over the 617,000 in 2Q 2013. Satellite was a little better, losing 78,000 subscribers in the second quarter compared with 162,000 last year.

The losses were offset by telcos, which gained 290,000 video subscribers during the period. Again, this was a mixed blessing since those same carriers added 373,000 customers in the year-ago period.

"Over the last six years the internal dynamics of the pay TV market have been gradually shifting from cable TV offerings toward fiber-based video services of large telecom operators … (and) the strong presence of online video streaming," the report said.

For cable operators in particular, this means that the "core business area (video services) seems to be slipping out of their hands."

For more:
- Zacks.com has this report

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