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Also: Comcast's NBCU unit cuts back; Netflix subs watch less TV; Vecima pockets a small profit; Google Fiber bulks up its TV lineup

Top US Pay-TV Providers Lose 50K Subs in Q3

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
11/13/2012
50%
50%

Welcome to today's broadband and cable news roundup.

  • The top 13 U.S. pay-TV operators, representing about 94 percent of the market, lost about 53,500 net video subscribers in the third quarter, versus a net gain of about 17,000 in the year-ago quarter, Leichtman Research Group Inc. (LRG) reported in its latest market analysis. Cable, as usual, took it the hardest, with the top nine MSOs losing a combined 420,000, though improved from a loss of 505,000 a year earlier. The top telcos added 317,000, versus 307,000 net additions in the third quarter of 2011. Satellite TV growth slowed significantly, as DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) and Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) added a combined 48,000 video subs in the quarter, off from a gain of 216,000 in the year-ago period. "With a fairly saturated market, the multi-channel video industry was essentially flat in the third quarter of 2012," LRG's Bruce Leichtman said in a statement summing up the period.

  • Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s NBCUniversal LLC division is laying off about 450 employees, about 1.5 percent of its base of 30,000 employees, amid an advertising slowdown, reports Bloomberg, noting that most of the cuts are happening in California.

  • Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) subscribers watched 11 percent fewer minutes of TV per day than non-subscribers in the second quarter, reports Multichannel News, citing new data from The Nielsen Co. , which also found that overall TV viewing in the period dropped 1.9 percent, or about five minutes per day.

  • Canadian cable QAM and video network vendor Vecima Networks Inc. (Toronto: VCM) posted a fiscal first-quarter profit of C$5.3 million (US$5.29 million) on revenues of C$24.9 million (US$24.86 million), up from C$20 million (US$19.97 million) in the year-ago period.

  • Google Fiber has added more than two dozen channels, including several Fox-owned networks, to its subscription TV lineup as the Nov. 15 deadline approaches for consumers in the Dub's Dread "fiberhood" in Kansas to pick their service plans. In October, the Hanover Heights section of Kansas City, Kan., was the first fiberhood to get hooked up with services from Google Fiber. (See Google to Light Up Second Fiberhood and KC Gets Google Fiber for Real in October.)

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable



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