North America Pay TV Sees Positive Growth in 3Q11 – thanks to DIRECTV, AT&T and VZ
Despite the continuing threat of cord-cutting, demand for pay TV services from North American operators rebounded during 3Q11 to see positive net additions of over 250,000. Cable MSOs continued to take the big hits, losing over 400K, while Telco IPTV and Satellite picked up the slack during the quarter. Cable represents 59% of the market, followed by Satellite at 33% and Telco at 8%.
Net additions by video type are shown below. As shown, Telco IPTV accounted for the largest portion at 444k, followed by Satellite at 220k, while Cable remains in negative territory.
Comcast remains the largest Pay TV operator in North America with 22.36M subscribers, followed by DIRECTV with 19.76M. During 3Q11, DIRECTV experienced the largest net additions at 327,000 due largely to a free promotion of its NFL Sunday Ticket package. Besides DIRECTV, most of the positive growth was associated with Telcos, but there were a handful of Cable MSOs with positive growth -including Videotron at 34k, and Rogers at 9k.
From a year-over-year perspective, AT&T leads with 843,000 net adds, followed by DIRECTV at 826,000 and Verizon at 689,000. Comcast leads the decline at -577,000, followed by TWC (-442,000) and DISH at -344,000.
At this stage, cord-cutting is having minimal impact on Pay-TV subscriptions, but it is important to note that some operators reported a decline in video ARPU this quarter – this is a key indicator to watch going forward and an area that broadbandtrends will be following closely in the coming quarters.