Pay TV is looking at the loss of as many as one million subscribers in the second quarter of 2017. And in even worse news for the industry, the streaming services which have popped up over the past few years aren’t picking up the slack. This is not good news for either the pay TV providers or the streaming services. notes that the second quarter is historically weak for media companies. One Wells Fargo media analyst is predicting that pay TV could lose almost 1.3 million subscribers, while another analyst from Evercore says the total will be about 1.09 million.

In the previous quarter, pay TV lost 800,000 subscribers, and it lost 760,000 in the second quarter of last year.

So where did the subscribers go? The conventional wisdom is that they’re going to the emerging streaming services, but apparently not. Bloomberg reports that online streaming like DirecTV, FuboTV, Hulu TV, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, and YouTube TV have signed up almost three million subscribers, but that’s not enough to make up for the cord-cutters who have left cable and satellite.

Since 2010, it’s estimated that 6 million people have dropped their $80 (ish) per month cable or satellite service. New subscribers aren’t replacing the cord cutters fast enough, and those new subscribers are spending less money overall on the services.

That means that the pay TV providers are earning less revenue in subscriber fees, which is very bad news for them. Will streaming services eventually pick up the slack of the lost pay TV subscribers?

One analyst thinks the benefits of the live streaming won’t be fully seen until the third quarter of this year. It’s a bold prediction considering that the estimates don’t look good for the second quarter. Right now, the pay TV model is struggling and consumers are looking for alternatives. It appears that the streaming services are picking up subscribers, but not at the same pace as the pay TV providers are losing them.


About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.