Where Have All the Cord-Cutters Gone? Not to Live TV Streaming Services

vMVPDs are facing “same problems” as traditional TV, according to nScreenMedia CEO Colin Dixon

Americans are cutting the cord more than ever before, but live TV streaming services are failing to attract  customers bailing on cable and satellite. 

In fact, some Virtual Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (vMVPDs) are losing ground. AT&T Now — the recently-rebranded DirecTV Now — has shed nearly 500,000 subscribers in the last year, falling to about 1.3 million customers overall, according to data from Leichtman Research Group. Others, like Sling TV, have barely grown — moving from 2.3 million to almost 2.5 million customers in the last year. 

This comes at the same time the cable and satellite industry is grappling with a record 1.5 million customers cutting the cord during the second quarter. Altogether, nearly 5 million customers have ditched their traditional TV service in the last year. 

“Well, the final numbers [for Q2] are in, and they are indeed ‘freaking ugly,'” MoffettNathanson analysts Craig Moffett and Michael Nathanson wrote in a note to clients earlier this month. “Not just for traditional distributors, where the rate of subscriber decline accelerated to 5.4%… but, perhaps more importantly, ‘freaking ugly’ for the programmers, as well, where the conversion rate…

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Sean Burch


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