The rate of consumers dropping their cable and satellite TV packages hit the highest level ever in the fourth quarter, while Internet TV subscribership grew strongly.

After companies from cable giant Comcast to satellite TV titan AT&T, which owns DirecTV, reported their fourth quarter results, the total number of pay TV subscribers dropped 3.4% from a year earlier, the highest rate of decline since the trend of cord cutting emerged in 2010, analysts at MoffettNathanson Research reported on Thursday. With almost 500,000 customers leaving in the fourth quarter alone, that left the industry with about 83 million households still subscribing.

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