Cable and Satellite TV’s Year From Hell in a Single Graph

Cord cutters caused largest second-quarter drop in subscriptions, with about 5 million customers ditching their cable and satellite companies

For years, cord-cutting has threatened traditional cable and satellite providers like a slow approaching storm. Now, the floodgates appear to have burst open.

Cable and satellite providers just suffered their worst single-quarter subscriber drop in history, with about 1.5 million customers ditching their service during the second quarter. The ugly period wasn’t an aberration, but rather an acceleration of the pay-TV industry’s continued decline in the last year.

U.S. cable and satellite companies hit an industry-wide peak in early 2012 with 95.5 million subscribers. Since then, nearly 9 million customers have ditched their service — and more than 55% of those losses have piled up since Q2 2018, according to data shared by Leichtman Research Group.

The graph below shows the rapid increase in cord-cutting since this time last year.

U.S. cable and satellite subscribers have declined from a record-high of 95.5 million in early 2012 to…

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Sean Burch

Tech reporter • sean.burch@thewrap.com • @seanb44