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Pay TV providers post record subscriber losses

The cable, satellite and telecom pay TV industry lost at least 665,000 subscribers in the second quarter of this year, more net losses than any previous quarter.

It looks like more people than ever are cutting the cord.
Josh Miller/CNET

As cord cutters binge, pay TV purges.

Cable, satellite and telecom pay TV providers lost more subscribers last quarter than ever, according to a report on Monday from Leitchman Research.

"The top pay-TV providers lost about 665,000 subscribers in the traditionally weak second quarter, with net losses in 2Q 2016 surpassing the previous quarterly low set in last year's second quarter," said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc, in a statement.

The report breaks down the three groups of companies by net subscriber loss, and AT&T's U-verse came out the biggest loser, shedding 391,000 subscribers. That's more than half of the whole industry's total losses last quarter. The telecom giant has downplayed U-verse in favor of DirectTV since it acquired the satellite TV service last year, offering incentives like wireless bundles. DirecTV added 342,000 subscribers in the second quarter, its largest since 2009.

Cable companies combined for a relatively modest loss of 225,000 video subscribers, mostly on the strength people willing to pay for faster broadband.

The report comes on the heels of a similar top-line number from analyst Craig Moffett, who estimates the total as an even higher 757,000 subscriber loss.

"The gap between cord-cutting, or eliminating one's pay-TV subscription altogether, and cord-shaving, where skinny bundles replace fat ones, is getting wider," Moffett said.

Updated with additional information on AT&T and DirecTV.

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(Via DSLReports)