US multi-channel service providers lost more than 600,000 video subscribers in the three months ended June 30, according to SNL Kagan.The research firm said that combined residential and commercial subscribers for US cable, satellite and telco platforms fell to 100.4 million at the end of the second quarter, following an “uncharacteristically weak first quarter.”According to the report, there is likely to be a “much larger decline for full-year 2015 than the industry produced between 2010 and 2014, during what could essentially be seen as a period of general malaise.”“Cable’s basic-subscriber losses, at 350,000, came in at their lowest level since 2008, when the segment shed 211,000 basic video customers in the seasonally weak period,” according to SNL.The satellite segment lost an estimated 304,000 subscribers in Q2, as DirecTV and DISH Network both reported record declines.“The inconclusive movement in US multichannel subscriptions took a more decisive direction in the second quarter, producing the largest loss to date amid growing fears of cord cutting,” said SNL.
Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, MTG president and CEO.MTG reported record sales and a 15% growth in operating income – despite making investments into content digital expansion – in its Q1 earnings report.In its interim report for the period January to March, MTG reported an 11% year-on-year increase in net sales to SEK4.228 billion. This represented organic growth of 8% and a 2% positive currency effect due to the appreciation of the Euro and the Danish and Norwegian Krona.Operating income was up 15% year-on-year to SEK183 million. However, net income was down slightly at SEK118 million, compared to SEK119 million a year earlier.“This was the third consecutive quarter with organic sales growth of more than 5%, which demonstrates that we have more relevant products available to more customers than ever before,” said MTG president and CEO, Jørgen Madsen Lindemann.“Our operating profit was up 15% in Q1 due to a combination of organic growth and cost transformation. These are exciting times at MTG with many opportunities, which is why we are more focused than ever on capital allocation.”During the first quarter, MTG signed an agreement to sell its 50% Czech TV holding in FTV Prima Holding to Denemo Media. It also agreed to sell its free TV, pay TV, digital and radio businesses in the Baltic region to Providence Equity Partners.The company said it will use the proceeds of these sales to invest in its Nordic entertainment products, its digital arm MTGx, and to increase its ownership in online games developer InnoGames to 51%.“The steps that we have taken to capitalise on the consumer trends in digital entertainment and become a relevant player for the future present a number of opportunities, which is why we are more focused than ever on capital allocation,” said Lindemann.
T-Mobile in the US has completed its acquisition of TV technology company Layer3 TV as it starts work on its aim to disrupt the US$100+ billion pay TV market.T-Mobile plans to use Layer3 to drive its plans to launch a disruptive new TV service in 2018, having first announced the deal last month.The mobile operator said it will work with Layer3 TV’s technology and team to create a new TV service aimed at people who are “tired of all the BS that comes bundled with big cable and satellite TV”.“We know people love their TV, but hate their TV providers. But, the reaction to our announcement last month took even me by surprise,” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile.He said that “people are ready for change,” adding: “I can’t wait to take the fight to big cable and satellite TV on behalf of consumers everywhere”.T-Mobile’s new TV team will be led by Jeff Binder, CEO of Layer3 TV, who has joined T-Mobile as an executive vice president, reporting to T-Mobile’s chief operating officer, Mike Sievert.The incoming 200 person-strong Layer3 team also includes: Lindsay Gardner, former president of distribution at Fox; Dave Fellows, former CTO of Comcast and AT&T Broadband; Amos Smith, former SVP and CFO of Time Warner Cable Residential Services; and Gregg Grigaitis, former SVP of products at Suddenlink.