Cord Cutting Gives First Pay-TV Decline


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The specter of cord-cutting has finally caught up to American pay TV providers, which have suffered their first net loss of subscribers over a 12-month period, according to an analysis by Leichtman Research Group.

The research firm found that the 13 biggest U.S. cable, satellite and telco TV providers lost about 80,000 subscribers for the 12 months ended March 31, 2013. It’s the first tangible proof that the pay television sector is shrinking.

Previous data has shown year-to-year declines for U.S. pay TV subscribers in specific quarters. But cable and satellite TV are subject to seasonal cycles as customers come and go, and over a full-year period the biz hasn’t declined — until now.

“This marks the first time there has been a net industry-wide subscriber loss over a four-quarter period since LRG began tracking the industry over a decade ago,” the firm said.

Pay TV providers have been hurt by multiple factors, including subscribers opting for cheaper Internet video options like Netflix and free over-the-air TV along with the fact that subscription television is a saturated market, said LRG prexy Bruce Leichtman. In addition, many operators are focusing on retaining high-value customers to drive up revenue at the expense of price-sensitive consumers.
Read More: Cable, Satellite and Telco TV Lose 80,000 Net Customers Over 12 Months | Variety

While this may sound like bad news for the cable operators, it really only means a shift in their business model. The top six wireline TV operators added 910,000 new high speed internet customers in the last quarter alone with margins in the internet space being close to 90%. Last year the same six added 4,762,000 high speed internet connections. Much of the reasoning behind Dish Network's bid for Sprint is the ability to pool Dish's and Sprint's spectrum holdings and provide wireless high speed internet, and therefore take advantage of this new emerging market shift.
Good. Maybe they'll offer me a real deal on CATV + internet now. Last month, TWC offered me the basic lineup plus internet for $49.95 a month. Called 'em up and asked if they'd give me the standard lineup + internet for same price -- no deal. I'm paying $46.95 for internet as it is. :hungry:



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It's still going to take a long time for anything to change. I just can't get myself to cut the cord. I'll probably linger to the bitter end! lol
I just can't get myself to cut the cord. I'll probably linger to the bitter end! lol
What you may not realize is how MUCH is available on internet TV. Everything other than local stations is available, and I do mean everything. I admit that it's a huge hassle, cause they keep changing the illegal links, but if you have two or three cable stations you're interested in, you can keep one step ahead. It's been like this for years. I used to think it would go away eventually -- apparantly not!

You don't get the nice guide onscreen, but you can set up TitanTV with your favorite cable stations. Yeah, it's a hassle but it's not a $1,000+ a year hassle!


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