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  • Disney and Google Gain Importance in Pay-TV

    The U.S. pay-TV business performed better than expected in Q3 ’20, with top providers “only” losing around 120K subscribers, according to data compiled by Leichtman Research Group. The results would have been even stronger if a portion of YouTube TV’s one million subscriber additions in 2020 are attributed to Q3 specifically.

    Google didn’t break out how many of YouTube TV’s additions came in Q3, but given the return of major sports during the quarter, it’s probably fair to assume at least 500K-600K. Add those to Hulu + Live TV’s 700K additions in Q3 and just these two virtual pay-TV providers may have accounted for 1.2 to 1.3 million additions.  That would be enough to more than offset the approximately 1.15 million subscriber losses that the largest cable, satellite and telco pay-TV providers incurred.

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  • U.S. Broadband Households With Multiple SVOD Subscriptions Soar in Q3

    U.S. broadband households with multiple SVOD subscriptions soared in Q3 ’20 according to new research from Parks Associates. In its new “The Next Big 3 in OTT” report, Parks found that 61% of U.S. broadband households have two or more SVOD services, compared to 48% a year ago. In Q3 ’20, 45% of these households had three or more SVOD services, up from 27% a year earlier. And 31% subscribed to four or more SVOD services in Q3 ’20, over double the 14% rate a year ago. (Which of these describes your household? Send me a note and let me know).

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #539: Strong Third Quarter for Pay-TV

    I’m pleased to present the 539th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.  

    Despite gloomy predictions, the pay-TV industry in the U.S. turned in a relatively healthy third quarter in 2020, likely gaining subscribers. This was due to robust additions by virtual pay-TV providers (led by Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV) and moderating losses by traditional providers (especially AT&T which had a huge loss in Q3 ’19).

    Colin and I discuss how a big reason for Q3’s gains was the return of all major sports. Except for the NFL, major sports aren’t available in Q4. That means churn is likely to be up in Q4, though it could be offset by the pandemic keeping people indoors more.

    Listen in to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 12 seconds)

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  • Cord-Cutting Slows in Q3 as Virtual TV Providers Jump

    Cord-cutting slowed down in Q3 ’20, with top pay-TV providers in the U.S. losing around 120K subscribers, according to Leichtman Research Group. These pay-TV providers account for about 95% of total pay-TV subscribers in the U.S. In Q3 ’19, on a pro forma basis, this group of providers lost approximately 945K subscribers.

    While top traditional pay-TV providers all improved their performance in this year’s third quarter, a key driver of overall industry performance was virtual pay-TV providers, which recorded their best quarter ever. According to LRG, four of the virtuals (Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, AT&T TV Now and fuboTV) collectively added 1.035 million subscribers in Q3 '20. Hulu + Live TV was by far the biggest contributor, with 700K additions, making it now the fifth largest pay-TV provider with 4.1 million subscribers.

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