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How much cord-cutting was there in 2013? Not a lot, apparently. The bottom line for the year was the first industry-wide net loss of video subscribers, though the loss was incredibly modest –only about 105,000 in total.

And in keeping with the ongoing trend, cable companies lost customers to telco competitors.

  • The top nine cable companies lost about 1,735,000 video subscribers in 2013 – compared to a loss of about 1,410,000 subscribers in 2012
  • The top telephone providers added 1,460,000 video subscribers in 2013 – compared to 1,298,000 net additions in 2012
  • Satellite TV providers added 170,000 video subscribers in 2013 – compared to 288,000 net additions in 2012

In 2012, the industry added about 175,000 subscribers, so the total swing from 2012 to 2013 was about 280,000, according to numbers compiled by Leichtman Research Group. LRG includes numbers for the thirteen largest multi-channel video providers in the U.S., representing about 94 percent of the market.

The top multi-channel video providers account for over 94.6 million subscribers – with the top nine cable companies having 49.6 million video subscribers, satellite TV companies having 34.3 million subscribers, and top telephone companies having 10.7 million subscribers.

“2013 was the first year for multi-channel video industry losses, but the modest losses represent only about 0.1 percent of all subscribers,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group.  “While the overall market remains fairly flat, further share-shifting has taken place.  Cable providers now have a 52 percent share of the top multi-channel video subscribers in the U.S., compared to a 58 percent share three years ago.”

 

 

Multi-Channel Video Provider

Subscribers at the end of 2013

Net Adds in 2013

Cable Companies

 

 

Comcast

21,690,000

(305,000)

Time Warner

11,393,000

 (825,000)

Charter

4,342,000

(121,000)

Cablevision

2,813,000

(80,000)

Suddenlink

1,177,400

(33,800)

Mediacom

945,000

(55,000)

Cable ONE

538,894

(54,721)

Other major private companies*

6,675,000

 (260,000)

Total Top Cable

49,574,294

(1,734,521)

Satellite TV Companies (DBS)

  

DirecTV

20,253,000

169,000

DISH

14,057,000

1,000

Total Top DBS

34,310,000

170,000

Telephone Companies

 

 

AT&T U-verse

5,460,000

924,000

Verizon FiOS

5,262,000

536,000

Total Top Phone

10,722,000

1,460,000

Total Multi-Channel Video

94,606,294

 (104,521)

Sources:  The Companies and Leichtman Research Group, Inc.

*   Includes LRG estimates for Cox, and Bright House Networks

Net additions reflect pro forma results from system sales and acquisitions

Top multi-channel video providers represent approximately 94% of all subscribers

Top cable companies do not include WOW

Company subscriber counts may not solely represent residential households

Note that LRG consumer research finds that about 1% of households subscribe to both cable and DBS

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