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IHS: Cable Operators Trim Loss in Q3

11 Dec, 2012 By: Chris Tribbey

American cable operators lost a net total of 460,000 subscribers in the third quarter, fewer than the 512,000 they lost during the third quarter of 2011, and fewer still than the 739,000 they lost during Q3 2010.

The loss was also down from the nearly 600,000 cable operators lost during the second quarter.

“U.S. cable operators in the third quarter trimmed their video subscriber losses by using heavy promotional bundles as well as service initiatives such as TV Everywhere,” said Erik Brannon, analyst for television research at IHS. “However, subscriber numbers still decreased in the third quarter because the attractiveness of over-the-top services delivered over the open Internet, and an ailing economy also dissuaded a portion of new households from even considering taking a pay-TV subscription.”

Competition from Internet Protocol TV services like Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse are taking away a large chunk of potential cable subscribers, Brannon said, and despite the smaller drop in subscribers, U.S. cable operators, are expected to see net subscriber losses for 2012 exceed those in 2011.

2012 will be the ninth straight year the cable industry will see an overall decline in subscribers.

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