man looking very frustrated at his computer paying cable bill

Pay TV Loses Record Number of Subscribers, Streaming Price Hikes

For years, the Pay TV industry has been losing millions of subscribers. Now new numbers show that 1 million people ditched Pay TV in Q1 2019, compared to 3.2 million subscribers for all of 2018. To make matters worse, streaming services like DirecTV Now, which used to offset parent company losses, are now losing subscribers themselves.

Historic Losses for Traditional Services

Satellite TV giant AT&T had 544,000 people cancel their subscriptions between both their Uverse and DirecTV services. Dish saw a loss of 266,000 subscribers. Cable companies Comcast and Charter had a combined loss of 273,000 traditional subscribers.

In the past, the streaming options offered by traditional TV providers offset the subscriber losses. In Q1 of last year, AT&T lost 187,000 traditional TV subscribers but also added 312,000 subscribers to their DirecTV Now platform. However, as these online services are seeing their own losses, they aren’t helping their operators like they used to.

Online Streaming Service Price Hikes

Recently, several online TV subscription services have raised their monthly fees. The cheapest DirecTV Now bundle price increased to $50 last month. Google also raised YouTube TV’s price to $50 in April, a $10 increase from its price hike last summer. Because of these price increases, DirectTV Now lost 83,000 subscribers in Q1 2019 alone.

One thing cord cutters never have to worry about: a price hike from using an antenna. Having an antenna means no monthly subscription fees so there’s no fear of fee increases. Pay the one-time purchase price for your antenna and you’re able to enjoy access to tons of free over-the-air content!

Price adjustments like the recent ones from DirecTV Now and YouTube TV are unfair to consumers. We believe TV should always be free – so as we see the continued shift in cord cutting options, make sure an antenna is part of your setup!