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US multichannel has best quarter in two years

The US multichannel video industry had its “best quarter in two years” with cable providers experiencing the fewest video losses in any quarter in the past five years, according to new research.

The Leichtman Research Group found that the 13 largestmultichannel video providers in the US – including Comcast, DirecTV, Dish and Time Warner Cable – added roughly 260,000 net video subscribers in total in the first quarter of this year.

The study said that that the gains compared to 230,000 video subscriber additions in Q1 2013, with the top multi-channel video providersaccount for nearly 95.8 million subscribers.

This breaks down to: the top nine cable companies had 50.4 million video subscribers; the top two satellite TV companies had 34.4 million subscribers; and the two biggest telephone companies had about 11 million subscribers.

The research said that the top nine cable companies lost around 50,000 video subscribers in 1Q 2014 – the fewest quarterly losses since 1Q 2009. Satellite TV providers added 52,000 subscribers in 1Q 2014, while telephone providers added 258,000 video subscribers in the quarter.

“Cumulative net additions for the top multi-channel video providers in 1Q 2014 were the most in any quarter since 1Q 2012. Over the past year, multichannel video providers lost about 37,000 subscribers, similar to a loss of about 43,000 over the prior year,” said the research.

Separately, Leichtman Research found that the seventeen largest cable and telephone providers in the US – representing roughly 93% of the market – acquired nearly 1.2 million net additional high-speed Internet subscribers in the first quarter of 2014.