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AT&T says cord-cutting increasing among TV subscribers

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    An AT&T logo at a store in Hialeah, Fla., in July. AT&T said this week it has lost 90,000 video subscribers in the U.S. in the third quarter of 2017, a steeper drop than the same period a year earlier. That includes a gain of 300,000 customers in DirecTV Now, an online cable-like service that is cheaper than traditional TV.

NEW YORK >> There are new signs that more people are dropping their traditional TV subscriptions.

AT&T said today it lost 90,000 video subscribers in the U.S. in the third quarter. It’s a steeper drop than the same period last year, even though gains from its newer, cheaper online cable-like service, DirecTV Now, are included. DirecTV Now wasn’t available during the same period in 2016.

DirecTV Now added 300,000 subscribers in the quarter, so AT&T lost about 390,000 satellite TV and cable customers.

AT&T, which is also the No. 2 wireless carrier in the U.S., blames tough competition from both traditional TV providers like Comcast and newer digital-video services like YouTube TV. It also blames the impact from hurricanes and stricter credit standards for customers.

Last month, rival Comcast forecast third-quarter losses of 100,000 to 150,000 video customers. That would be Comcast’s largest quarterly loss since 2014. Comcast also blamed competition and weather.

Rising prices for traditional TV bundles and those growing digital options are increasingly driving customers online and away from traditional TV.

“It should be clear that DirecTV, like all of its cable peers, is suffering from the ravages of cord-cutting,” said MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett in an Oct. 11 letter to investors.

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