Cable and traditional pay TV providers are losing subscribers at a faster rate as more consumers move to streaming services.

Pay TV dropped 5.8 million net video subscribers in 2022, up from a loss of 4.7 million in 2021, according to a count by Leichtman Research Group. Comcast saw the biggest decline, losing just over two million customers. Charter lost 686,000 subscribers, and Cox probably lost 340,000. A substantial loss of 1.5 million subscribers is anticipated for satellite TV provider DirecTV in 2022.

Traditional media firms like Disney and Comcast are investing heavily in streaming amid the consumer shift to streaming services, but the results are inconsistent. Direct-to-consumer revenues were up 13% from the prior year, according to Disney’s first-quarter financial results for 2022, but the division posted losses of $1.1 billion, down 78% from the prior year.

Related: New Warning Signs Emerge Amid Linear TV’s Slow Decline

We’re in a very interesting transition period, but one I think is unavoidably going towards streaming, says Disney CEO Bob Iger, who expressed the media company’s hope that its streaming initiatives will become profitable in the coming years and offset its losses from linear distribution. In the end, the cord-cutting pressure on linear networks and the slump in advertising have made things difficult for pay TV providers and media businesses during this stage of TV’s evolution.


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