US Pay TV Subscribers Decline by 479,000 in 2Q15, but Average Revenue per User is up, says Strategy Analytics

by Jason Blackwell | Aug 20, 2015

Service Providers Post Largest Subscriber Loss to Date

Boston, MA - August 19, 2015 – The reversal of fortune for the digital television operators in North America continued into the second quarter of 2015, as service providers in the US and Canada posted significant subscriber losses.  Total subscribers among the tracked operators declined at the highest rate we have seen so far. 

The Strategy Analytics Service Provider Strategies (SPS) service report, “Digital Television Operator Performance Benchmarking: North America,” indicates that the top twenty tracked operators in the US (accounting for more than 95% of the total market) saw subscriber losses of 479,000 while the operators in Canada lost 53,000 customers.  Digital platforms were not immune from the decline, as digital TV subscriptions in the US fell by 62,000.  In Canada, digital TV subscriptions declined for the second straight quarter, falling by 9,000.

Click here for the report:

While subscriber numbers have been on a roller coaster ride for many years, the average revenue per user (ARPU) has almost consistently been on an upward trajectory.  In the second quarter results, Dish Network lost 81,000 subscribers, even after accounting for growth in the company’s new OTT service, Sling TV.  At the same time, Dish Network’s Video ARPU increased by 2.5% quarter-over-quarter and 4.5% year-over-year.  Similar increases were reported by DirecTV, Charter, and Time Warner Cable.

Video ARPU for Selected US Pay TV Operators – 2Q14 to 2Q15






Y-o-Y %















Dish Network







Time Warner Cable







Source: Strategy Analytics Digital Television Operator Performance Benchmarking: North America 2Q15

“The subscriber losses in the second quarter were across all of the Pay TV platforms, including cable, satellite, and IPTV.  However, going forward, we believe there are clear opportunities for the Pay TV providers as they begin to roll out over-the-top (OTT) video services similar to Dish Network’s Sling TV offering,” said Jason Blackwell, Director of the Service Provider Strategies service (SPS) at Strategy Analytics.  He added, “Verizon will debut its OTT service this year, along with Comcast and CenturyLink.  Although nothing has been announced, AT&T (with its DirecTV acquisition) is predicted to roll out an OTT video service, and the company is uniquely positioned to tie that into a variety of nationwide bundles that could also include fixed or mobile broadband, satellite TV, and wireless phone service.”

About Strategy Analytics

Strategy Analytics, Inc. provides the competitive edge with advisory services, consulting and actionable market intelligence for emerging technology, mobile and wireless, digital consumer and automotive electronics companies. With offices in North America, Europe and Asia, Strategy Analytics delivers insights for enterprise success. 


US Contact: Jason Blackwell, +1 617 614 0747,

European Contact: David Mercer, +44(0) 1908 423 600,

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