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Number of TV Channels Available to Customers Dropped in 2019, According to New Study

Stephanie Sengwe

A new study conducted by Research Intelligence analyzing Nielsen data found that the average customer tuned into more channels in 2019, than they did in 2018. According to Research Intelligence’s findings, the percentage of TV channels tuned by the average TV household was 6.8 percent in 2019, up from 6.6 percent in 2018, Media Post reports.

However, the company found that this wasn’t because consumers were pivoting from cord cutting back to traditional TV viewing. The hike was due to the fact that the number of TV channels available to the average consumer has simply decreased. According to the study, the average number of channels received in households fell dramatically from 191.8 in 2018, to 179.5 in 2019.

Research Intelligence’s findings corroborate those by Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG) from November. The company found that pay-TV companies lost about 1.74 million customers in the third quarter, the biggest single-quarter loss the industry has ever posted. This is in addition to the combined 2.88 million subscribers the industry lost in the first and second quarters

“The top pay-TV providers had a net loss of about 1,740,000 subscribers in 3Q 2019. This marked the fifth consecutive quarter of record pay-TV industry net losses,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. at the time. “AT&T, the leading pay-TV provider in the U.S., accounted for 79% of the net losses in the quarter compared to 30% of net losses in 3Q 2018. This change is largely the result of AT&T’s strategic decision to increasingly focus on retaining and acquiring more profitable subscribers.”