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Report: IPTV Defies Pay-TV Cord-Cutting

14 Aug, 2013 By: Chris Tribbey

American satellite TV operators lost approximately 162,000 subscribers during the second quarter of 2013, while cable operators lost about 588,000 subs, according to a new report.

The lone bright spot for the pay-TV industry: IPTV providers — AT&T U-verse, Verizon FiOS and others — added 398,000 subscribers for the quarter, up from 304,000 in the second quarter of 2012, according to data from research firm IHS.

“Of the three segments in the U.S. pay-TV market, the IPTV sector is enjoying growth, especially in urban areas where it is luring subscribers away from satellite,” said Erik Brannon, analyst for U.S. TV at HIS, in a statement. “In particular, satellite’s lack of a true high-speed Internet service or a triple-play bundling option puts it at a disadvantage when competing against IPTV and cable.”

Brannon said cable has its own problems, including public sparring with content providers over rising programming costs.

Cable currently lays claim 55% of the U.S. pay-TV market, satellite 34% and IPTV 11%. AT&T U-verse added 233,000 new subscribers in the quarter and Verizon FiOS added 140,000.

IHS forecasts that 2013 will be the first year that the pay-TV industry sees a net decline in paid subscriptions, estimating a base of 100.8 million subscribers heading into 2014, down from 100.9 million in 2012.

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