Cable Company's losing 1 million customers a year

CptlA

DTVUSA Member
#1
Is this a result of Internet TV, poor service by cable providers, or circumstances from the economy?

Cable TV losing 1 million customers a year
May 22nd, 2009, 9:29 am · Post a Comment · posted by Tamara Chuang, a.k.a. The Gadgetress
Losing 1 million customers a year can’t be good for business. But when you’re so on top of the industry like the cable TV companies, it’ll take more staggering losses to lose your big lead.

The U.S. cable TV business serves 66 million customers and will remain the dominant paid-TV service for the next decade, predicts Mike Paxton, an analyst who watches the TV industry for market researcher InStat.

While newbies like telecom-based Verizon FiOS TV and AT&T U-verse have a lot more momentum and growth, those won’t be taking over in our lifetime, Paxton said. “Unless you’re 15,” he added.

TV services
Cable TV
66 million
Satellite TV
30 million
Telecom (FiOS/U-verse)
3 million
Broadcast
14 million
Total
113 million
Source: In-Stat
“Our U.S. forecast for the total households (ordering cable) is going down about 1 million a year,” he said.

You can’t blame the Internet for the declines, even as more people tune into free video sites online, like the TV-show heavy Hulu.com. Paxton has seen no evidence of this, “and we’ve been watching it very closely for six months.” Those niches, by the way, appear to be people who also subscribe to cable or satellite TV. “It’s an additive thing,” he said.
Cable TV losing 1 million customers a year - Alt+Save with the Gadgetress - OCRegister.com
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#3
Is this a result of Internet TV, poor service by cable providers, or circumstances from the economy?
It is mostly a reflection of increased competition. There are at least three subscription television suppliers serving practically every municipality in the country now, and in some places there are five or six competitors vying for business. When you order a pizza for dinner for yourself, you've got enough for the meal and for leftovers; when you order a pizza for a family of five or six, everyone's going to have to eat a little less and still will go a bit hungry.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#4
After the DTV transition they'll be getting plenty. More then they can chew.
Despite the problems with OTA DTV, the numbers are growing again for the percentage of people watching it.

I saw a Nielsen book from April 2009. OTA had gone up from 7% to 11% over the last couple of years. These stats say it's pushing over 12% now. I would not call that running away. That is a 76% increase. If there were 113 viewers two year ago, that would mean there were about 8 million households watching OTA. Now it's 14 million.

In the same time the article says cable lost about 2 million. So they had 68 now 66, or about a 3% decline.

I am making some assumptions on my number on what was going on two years ago, but still they are probably within a percentage point.

So cable lost 3% and OTA gained 5%. I am sure part of cable's losses were to satellite, but some were to OTA as I see it too often stated in forums people turned off cable.

Maybe in a good economy we might see people say the heck with the antenna, after all that is how cable got their start 25 years ago. But I don't think the climate is right for that at the present.
 

Orrymain

, Blogger: Orry's Orations
#5
I think it's dissatisfaction. My sister is seriously considering satellite and trying to talk me into it. Comcast hasn't added a decent channel to our line up in ages. In fact, they keep taking things away. Then they raise prices. People can't afford cable, and they're frustrated by the channel lineup.
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#6
Yet a lot of folks are shocked to find out how much more satellite charges, if you have more than two televisions that need service. Both services have their advantages and disadvantages. Indeed, there are good reasons (but different reasons) why each is better than the other.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#7
Yet a lot of folks are shocked to find out how much more satellite charges, if you have more than two televisions that need service. Both services have their advantages and disadvantages. Indeed, there are good reasons (but different reasons) why each is better than the other.
Depends on the town and DMA. In Gainesville FL Dish offers locals in HD, more channels than Cox Cable and cheaper.
 

Boo-Ray

DTVUSA Member
#9
Depends on the town and DMA. In Gainesville FL Dish offers locals in HD, more channels than Cox Cable and cheaper.
are you sure you're comparing similar packages? I priced a year ago, and Dish was 20% higher than cable in my area with "like" digital programming packages and DVR rental.
 
#10
I think it's dissatisfaction. My sister is seriously considering satellite and trying to talk me into it. Comcast hasn't added a decent channel to our line up in ages. In fact, they keep taking things away. Then they raise prices. People can't afford cable, and they're frustrated by the channel lineup.


I have to agree totally, It is to the point where I wonder why I pay for cable at all. There was a time late at night there were actually shows on. I am a shift worker and it drives me crazy that even on fridays and saturdays it's all paid infomercials, I would rather see godzilla movies seriously.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#11
How is their pricing for service on two additional televisions any different in Gainesville as compared to anywhere else?
are you sure you're comparing similar packages? I priced a year ago, and Dish was 20% higher than cable in my area with "like" digital programming packages and DVR rental.
I live in Orange Springs FL, about 40 miles from Gainesville. I watch their TV channels so I hang out in the Gainesville Local Reception forum at AVS. Cox only feeds the town of Gainesville so I can't get their service. I use DirecTV as a back up to OTA which I mainly watch. I get Orlando locals on DirecTV because I actually live in the Orlando FL DMA, just 2 miles south of the Jacksonville FL DMA and 8 miles east of the Gainesville DMA. I am in the middle, but DirecTV goes by address so I get Orlando locals which pleases me fine as I get Gainesville locals on OTA.

So I am going what the guys and girls in the AVS Gainesville thread tell me. That thread is Cox, OTA, Satellite, since it's a small market we didn't separate the threads per provider, so I read all their posts. In the last several month, there was a lot of conversation about DirecTV vs Dish vs COX. DirecTV is out of the game because they don't carry Gainesville DMA locals. Dish just added locals in HD this month there. Cox has had them HD for about a year. So since now Dish has their locals they are truly in direct competition with Cox for customers. After following their threads, Dish was a little cheaper on their 2nd tier which included HD and HD locals than Cox, with a better picture and more channels. Hence that is my source.
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#12
Okay, but I think you're missing the point. Satellite's base price typically is less expensive. Where satellite gets more expensive is when you add a third or fourth box to your system. So general conversations, such as the one in the AVS thread, would reach one conclusion, where threads that specifically recognize the need for service on more than a couple of televisions will reach another conclusion.

Just for fun, I ran through the DirecTV order entry process: Besides charging $200 extra for the extra DVR I'll need to replace my kitchen DVR (which I cannot use with any other service, should I decide to cancel), there is also this $15 lease fee they add on every month because of the extra outlets, for a total of $96 per month minus $16 discount for the package (but only for 12 months; after that, it goes back up in price). This is for the same level of service I'm currently paying Comcast about $44 per month (going back up to $60 per month in six months), and TiVo $10 per month, for a total of $54 ($70). So if it wasn't for how much extra satellite charges for the extra outlets, satellite could be competitive in price.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#13
Okay, but I think you're missing the point.
I was missing your point.

I am in a position where my local cable is total joke. It's a small local cable company. You name possible cable problems, they have it. Cross talk from too much gain on some analog channels, not enough gain on other channels, leaving light snow on them with herringbone because the adjacent channel is too strong. The only digital they have is clear QAM on the 4 local stations main programming. It's also their only HD and only thing besides mono sound. Yes you heard me right, their analog channels are in mono, including MTV and HBO, etc....

So years ago when I moved here I got DirecTV and am on a very old plan, cheaper than current plans even with their increases on all plans.

I only had SD on satellite which to me if fine as I get 7 digital stations with 14 unique programming choices. I am not counting weather channels or duplicate programing from PBS where it's 24 hours the same like Create or World or analog translators. HD I get 7 channels. So I don't feel like I want to go back to either satellite company and make a new deal, get a 2 year contract, or pay a penality and buy new DVRs. If anything I would just cut off my DirecTV except I really like a few channels and getting Orlando locals.
 

Aries

DTVUSA Member
#14
When we have internet TV, an economy having issues, as well as utterly ridiculous prices, things will get tricky for cable companies. Not to mention that we fork our $60 a month for mediocre service that is loaded with ads and subject to censorship. I'll keep my money and buy DSL and download an adblocker. :p
 
#15
When we have internet TV, an economy having issues, as well as utterly ridiculous prices, things will get tricky for cable companies. Not to mention that we fork our $60 a month for mediocre service that is loaded with ads and subject to censorship. I'll keep my money and buy DSL and download an adblocker. :p
Just like every corporation, I'm sure they'll find away to thrive by adapting with technology. Most cable companies have a monopolyon hard wired internet service too, so they'll probably find a way to offer TV service somehow, at a lower cost.

Just to think of all of the infrastructure that cable companies have laid in the ground that'll be outdated in the next couple of decades. Will all of them go to fiber optic? Who knows. I'd like to see faster wireless products than wasting natural resources on pulling fiber cables everywhere.
 
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