AT&T’s US pay-TV subscribers
Over the past few quarters, AT&T (T) has been experiencing customer losses in the traditional US pay-TV market. Wall Street analysts expect a net loss of 450,000 traditional US pay-TV customers for AT&T in the first quarter, as the company has continued to face stiff competition from video streaming service providers.
In the fourth quarter of 2018, AT&T lost 391,000 traditional US pay-TV subscribers, including 403,000 satellite TV subscriber losses and 12,000 U-verse TV subscriber gains. Comcast (CMCSA) and Charter Communications (CHTR) lost 19,000 and 36,000 residential video customers, respectively, in the fourth quarter of 2018.
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Traditional pay-TV operators have been losing customers as users have continued to forgo pay-TV services in favor of OTT (over-the-top) offerings at competitive prices. OTT services directly provide content to consumers via the Internet. Alphabet’s YouTube TV, Netflix (NFLX), and Amazon’s Prime Video are the leading providers of OTT services. In the first quarter, Netflix added 9.6 million subscribers worldwide.