With more than 100 million subscribers dutifully paying their bills each month, the big cable, satellite and telco TV carriers still have plenty of viewers to call their own. Last quarter, however, the total number of pay-TV subscribers saw an overall drop — the first time that’s ever happened, according to a recent report.
The numbers from the research firm of SNL Kagan show that about 216,000 pay-TV subscribers bailed during the second quarter of 2010, compared with 378,000 couch potatoes gained over the same period last year.
While satellite providers like Dish and DirecTV and telecommunications-based TV carriers like AT&T’s U-verse and Verizon FiOS garnered 81,000 and 414,000 new subscribers, respectively, cable TV operators lost about 711,000 customers, for a net loss of 216,000 subscribers.
The SNL Kagan researchers say most of the loss is attributable to the lousy economy, as well as the fact that the second quarter of the year is “seasonally slow” due to factors like college students switching off their accounts for the summer.