Summary Box: Pay TV industry loses subscribers

THE TREND: Americans are canceling or forgoing cable and satellite TV subscriptions in record numbers. Although phone companies added video customers in the second quarter, the gains aren’t enough to offset declines elsewhere.

THE REASON: The chief cause appears to be persistently high unemployment and a housing market that has many people living with their parents, reducing the need for a separate cable bill. It’s also possible that people are forgoing cable in favor of cheap Internet video.

LARGER DROP: The subscription-TV industry first showed a small net loss of subscribers a year ago. It got bigger in this year’s second quarter.