By Chris Morran
April 28, 2017
Millions of Americans have canceled their cable TV subscriptions in the last decade, choosing instead to get their video entertainment over the internet. A growing number of services have popped up in recent years that offer cable-like live-TV streaming for this audience: Sling TV, DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, with Hulu planning to launch a competitor soon, and Comcast reportedly looking to get into the fray. Yet, despite the multiple options and the large potential market of cord-cutters and cord-nevers, these platforms have yet to win over the masses.
While most companies have been cagey about their subscriber numbers to these relatively new streaming platforms, analyst Dan Rayburn estimated this week that Sling TV — the oldest of the existing live-TV services — has around 1.3 million subscribers after more than two years of availability.
In all, predicts Rayburn, this entire market will have a total of fewer than 3 million subscribers by year’s end. While that’s not horrible, it’s only a fraction of the potential audience for these services. Even the estimate of 1.3 million Sling subscribers is about one-tenth the size of parent company’s Dish’s subscriber base.