AT&T: TV’s Biggest Loser In 2019


AT&T’s TV services — DIRECTV, U-verse and AT&T TV Now — accounted for 84 percent of pay TV losses in 2019, according to a new study from Leichtman Research.

The firm found that the largest pay TV operators in the United States (representing 95 percent of the market) last year lost roughly 4.9 million subscribers, but AT&T’s losses came to about 4,1 million subscribers.

By comparison, AT&T’s net losses in 2018 represented about 48 percent of the overall subscriber defections from the industry’s top providers. The three AT&T TV services lost about 750,000 customers in 2018.

Minus AT&T, the top pay TV providers lost about 795,000 subscribers in 2019, compared to 835,000 in 2018.

(The top seven cable companies lost about 1.5 million video subscribers in 2019 compared to a net loss of about 920,000 subscribers in 2018. But the overall pay TV subscriber numbers were improved in 2019 over 2018 by a one million net addition from live streaming services, led by Hulu’s gain of 1.5 million.)

While all pay TV operators clearly still have a cord-cutting problem, AT&T’s staggering losses suggests the telco’s issues are greater than any single cause.

AT&T yesterday went national with its new streaming service, AT&T TV, and the company hopes it will begin to turn the tide.

Need to buy something today? Please buy it using this link. This site receives a small portion of each purchase, which helps us continue to provide these articles.

Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at Please include your first name and hometown in your message.

— Phillip Swann

7 comments on “AT&T: TV’s Biggest Loser In 2019”

  1. The losses are the result of 3 things.

    Customers can NOT Communicate with AT&T anymore

    Until they OPEN Call Centers in the USA and
    “CLOSE” ALL Off Shore Centers, AT&T will Continue to FAIL

    AT&T can start a ZILLION new services,
    But will NEVER Succeed with Off Shore Centers

  2. You Kidding.
    This sounds Worse than the Existing DirecTV

    Where ARE the Call Centers ?
    Does NOT say anything about bringing them BACK to the USA.
    If NOT, will be just a BAD as DirecTV is Now.

    Earlier article says the BOXES are $ 120.00 each,
    AFTER the 1st is Free
    How MUCH per Mo. Per BOX Rental ?
    Why ONLY 3 TV’S ?

    Where is the NON SPORTS “SELECT” Package ?

    Where are the LOCAL Channels ?
    It Doesn’t appear that AT&T TV offers Local Channels yet;
    but when they do, no doubt AT&T will also
    Tack on a Local Broadcast TV fee like the cable providers do.

    Why STILL a 2 Year Contract, with an Astronomical RAISE the 2nd Year ?
    A 2 yr contract with to be determined price increase after year one seems unacceptable – the whole point is not to be locked in.
    This Feels like a throwback to cable with extra fees equipment and contracts. Ugh!

    This is confusing. The article is about going nationwide but then in the legal details it says only available in about 13 areas. What Gives ?

  3. DTV under AT&T is an attitude and greed problem along with piss pour customer service! Jacking prices up over and over but looking back at their history that is what they do with everything they do! Very very happy now as a YouTube TV subscriber! I actually get channels I am interested in and nothing I don’t need and for 50% less!

  4. “AT&T’s losses came to about 4,1 million subscribers”
    4.1 million and 1!
    I agree with John. Youtube TV is great!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.