×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Pay cable’s cooking

Premium nets see subscriber counts grow

While a steep recession continues to wrack the broader ad-supported TV business, operators of premium cable networks including HBO, Showtime and Starz are holding up just fine.

According to data released by research company SNL Kagan, pay TV subscriptions actually grew by 836,000 in the fourth quarter last year.

In fact, Kagan reported that Showtime alone added 330,000 subscribers during the period, bringing its total to nearly 16.5 million.

“People are going out to dinner less, entertaining less and staying at home more, and we’re beneficiaries,” said Showtime prexy-CEO Matt Blank.

HBO, which has by far the biggest subscriber base of any premium net, saw its sub count remain essentially flat during the fourth quarter at around 29 million.

Starz, meanwhile, posted an increase of about 315,000 during the period to 17.7 million.

Kagan attributed the gains to the growth of telco-based TV services, which have added 3.4 million premium TV subscribers over the last year as satellite and MSOs have experienced slow growth.

HBO co-prexy Eric Kessler expressed confidence that his network will continue to hold its subscriber base.

“Obviously, no business is recession-proof, but we’re cautiously optimistic,” he said.

More TV

  • Charmed -- "Let This Mother Out"

    'Charmed' Showrunner Exits, Craig Shapiro & Elizabeth Kruger Board Series

    The CW’s reboot of “Charmed” is changing showrunners. Variety has learned that Carter Covington has stepped down as showrunner on the series, which has already been renewed for a second season. Husband and wife team Craig Shapiro and Elizabeth Kruger have been brought on to helm the series going forward. Shapiro and Kruger are currently [...]

  • Apple TV Plus Reese Witherspoon Jennifer

    What We Know About 'Amazing Stories' And Other Shows Coming to Apple TV+

    Viewers got a sneak peek of upcoming shows coming to Apple TV+, Apple’s newly unveiled streaming service, during the company’s live-streamed event in Cupertino, Calif., on Monday. The stars and creators of the most highly anticipated projects like Steven Spielberg’s “Amazing Stories” and “The Morning Show” from Reese Witherspoon appeared on stage to reveal more [...]

  • WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01

    Richard Gere Series 'MotherFatherSon' Sold to Multiple Territories

    BBC Studios, the British public broadcaster’s commercial arm, has announced a raft of territory sales for Richard Gere starrer “MotherFatherSon,” a drama series written by Tom Rob Smith, Emmy-nominated for “The Assassination of Gianni Versace.” The show will screen Tuesday at Series Mania, France, in the International Panorama section. Buyers for the eight-part thriller include [...]

  • TV News Roundup: Netflix Releases Trailer

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Releases Trailer for 'Special'

    In today’s roundup, Netflix releases a trailer for “Special,” and Wrestlemania’s main event will be a women’s match, a first in WWE history. FIRST LOOKS Netflix has released the trailer for its upcoming 15-minute comedy show “Special.” Ryan O’Connell stars in the semi-autobiographical series about life as a gay man with cerebral palsy. The series is [...]

  • Apple Event: Everything We Learned From

    Everything We Learned From Today's Apple Event

    After revealing new services in news, finance, and gaming, Apple CEO Tim Cook kept the biggest, most anticipated announcement until last. Cook, along with heads of worldwide video programming Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, and a whole group of Apple’s creative talents, presented the company’s new Apple TV+ streaming service, which is slated to [...]

  • Lauren Whitney

    Miramax President of TV Lauren Whitney Exits to Join Spyglass Media Group

    Lauren Whitney, the president of television for Miramax, is leaving the company, Variety has learned. She will now become the president of television for Spyglass Media Group effective April 1. The news comes less than two years after Whitney first joined Miramax. There, she oversaw the studio’s television development, in addition to “Spy City,” produced by [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content