uploads///Telecom Q US Pay TV Losses

How AT&T’s US Pay-TV Customer Losses Compare to Its Peers’

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May. 15 2019, Published 1:43 p.m. ET

Cord cutting is denting the US pay-TV customer base

Recently, many US pay-TV service operators have lost customers due to cord cutting. AT&T (T) lost 544,000 traditional US pay-TV customers on a net basis during the first quarter, surpassing Wall Street analysts’ expectation of 385,000 net losses. AT&T’s traditional US pay-TV customer count fell YoY (year-over-year) to 22.4 million in the first quarter from 23.9 million in the first quarter of 2018. The YoY reduction in the US pay-TV customer base has mainly been the result of the growing popularity of OTT (over-the-top) offerings.

In the first quarter, Comcast (CMCSA) and Charter Communications (CHTR) lost net 121,000 and 145,000 total video customers, respectively. Frontier Communications (FTR) also lost video customers.

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OTT market

Millions of users have already swapped traditional pay-TV services for OTT video-streaming services, as OTT services provide content directly to consumers over the Internet at lower rates than cable or satellite TV connections. Netflix (NFLX), Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube TV are popular streaming service providers. In the first quarter, Netflix added 9.6 million customers worldwide.

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