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TV Cord-Cutting Trend Continues

T he trend of cord-cutting continues, as U.S. pay- TV companies lost 658,450 subscribers in the second quarter of 2015, according to IHS.

IHS also claimed that it is the first time since satellite operators entered the pay-TV market in the early 90s that non-cable pay-TV operators lost subscribers.

A major influence in the overall drop of subscribers was the nearly non-existent growth of IPTV in Q2, posting a subscriber growth of less than 1 percent.

“Until the fourth quarter of 2014, IPTV had been the only pay-TV category to experience growth,” said Erik Brannon, principal analyst of television media for IHS Technology. “However, by Q2 this year, IPTV’s significant forward momentum had been lost.”

Satellite operators Dish and DirecTV also lost a large number of subscribers in Q2. Despite including Sling TV subscribers, Dish lost an estimated 285,000 subscribers. DirecTV, meanwhile, lost 133,000 subscribers without the availability of NFL Sunday Ticket promotions, according to IHS.

AT&T U-Verse TV also experienced a quarterly loss; it now claims to be focusing on high-value subscribers.

“AT&T competes with the larger cable operators that are becoming more savvy,” said Brannon. “However, the company is less effective against both Comcast and Time-Warner Cable, because UVerse cannot match the broadband speeds offered by those companies, its service is no longer new in the pay-TV market and its prices are very similar to incumbent cable subscriptions.”

One of the few positive areas of growth was cable operators, who saw a slight growth compared to its Q2 2014 numbers.