Shares of TV providers drop as AT&T warns of video losses

Cornelia Mascio
Ottobre 14, 2017

With AT&T revealing this week that it lost around 390,000 linear satellite and telco TV customers in the third quarter, UBS analyst John Hodulik is predicting that the entire pay-TV sector hemorrhaged over 1 million customers during the three-month period.

A day after AT&T, the parent company of DirecTV said it continued to loss subscribers due to people cutting off their cable television and satellite services, a phenomenon called cord-cutting, stock of companies heavily invested across the television industry plunged.

Comcast, which had seen renewed vigor in its video business with the proliferation of its X1 platform, stated last month that it expects Q3 losses of around 150,000.

The telecom company blames tough competition, the impact from hurricanes and stricter credit standards for customers. Charter Communications Inc., the second-biggest cable US company, is now fighting with Viacom over a distribution deal that could lead to a blackout of Viacom's channels for millions of its customers.

To compete, AT&T, Dish Network, and others are now offering cheaper, online-only versions of cable to lure customers back.

Dallas-based AT&T is pushing headlong into TV programming by acquiring HBO and CNN owner Time Warner an $85.4 billion deal.

Experts are saying that 2017 is on pace to have biggest pay-TV subscriber losses ever.

A number of analysts also predicted that the USA pay-TV market would lose over 1 million subscribers in the second quarter.

EMarketer the online research company says that at the start of 2017, 16.7 million adults in the USA had cut the cord and at the end of the year that number would grow to over 22 million. Viacom dropped 2.5 percent while AMC Networks Inc. fell 6.8 percent after Guggenheim Securities LLC downgraded the two stocks to neutral from buy.

Just one of the biggest conglomerates 21 Century Fox eked out a gain but just 0.1%.

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