A recent Leichtman Research Group analysis revealed the severity of the impact on the US pay-tv industry caused by the pandemic. The report reveals a loss of 5.12 million net video subscribers in 2020, approximately 325,000 more than the previous year.
Major TV providers, consisting of 95% of the market, now account for 81.3 million subscribers. The top seven companies have collectively garnered 43.9 million subscribers, while satellite TV holds 21.8 million subscribers. The largest phone companies have 7.9 million subscribers and inter-delivered pay-tv services have 7.7 million subscribers.
About 3.44 million satellite TV services were lost last year, compared to 3.7 million subscribers in 2019. Losses dramatically increased in 2020 to 1.915 million video subscribers compared to 1.560 million in 2019. However, they weren’t as severe for telco TV providers, who reported a loss of 405,000 video subscribers, compared to 630,000 the previous year.
VMVPD services such as Hulu+ Live TV, Sling TV, AT&T Now, and FuboTV collectively saw 640,000 subscribers in 2020, while traditional pay-TV services would have lost about 5.765 million subscribers in 2020. AT&T served as an example on the Leichtman study to reflect the progress of the pay-tv market. The company posted a net loss of about 3.26 million subscribers across its four pay-TV services last year, 835,000 fewer than in 2020. AT&T Premium TV services, not including the vMVPD service AT&T TV NOW, lost 15.3% of subscribers in 2020.