of evolution-inevitability department
Unsurprisingly, the traditional cable TV industry lost an additional 1.2 million paying subscribers in the last quarter as users fled to other alternatives. These alternatives largely consist of video streaming services that are cheaper, more flexible, and offer better customer service. Many more are rediscovering free live broadcasts. Others have simply moved away from television altogether, choosing to embrace YouTube or TikTok.
According to Leichtman Research, major cable companies lost 587,649 customers in the last quarter alone, compared to 698,000 for telecommunications and satellite operators. Over the past year, traditional pay-TV providers have seen a net loss of around 4,520,000 subscribers, up from a loss of around 5,460,000 in the previous year (impressive for a trend that the industry has spent years pretending this was not happening). Fortunately for the industry, the cord cutting revolution seems to be slowing down somewhat:
“Pay TV net losses of 1,230,000 in 2Q 2021 were about 275,000 lower than in 2Q 2020 on a pro forma basis,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and senior analyst at Leichtman Research Group, Inc. . Television providers recorded a net loss of about 4,520,000 subscribers, compared to a loss of about 5,460,000 in the previous year. ”
As the rate of decline slows, there is still a lot of room to come down. The major traditional pay-TV providers still serve an estimated 77.6 million subscribers in the United States, many of whom remain through sports programming. As the sport moves further away from traditional cable companies and turns to streaming alternatives, you can expect the number of subscribers to follow suit.
Users continue to shy away from traditional cable for the usual reasons: high prices, appalling customer service, and bloated and inflexible cable channel packages. There continues to be some advancement in these arenas by established cable TV providers, but there is a contingent of executives who simply refuse to seriously compete on price. In large part because many of these companies (Comcast) enjoy regional monopolies on broadband access, which allows them to squeeze those subscribers tighter than ever with bizarre fees and usage caps and surcharges. in a large band.
Meanwhile, increased competition in the streaming TV space has also made things a bit more difficult for industry leader Netflix, which has bled subscribers in the United States and Canada thanks to the growth of new ones. entrants like Disney Plus. Overall, the shift from dominant cable TV providers to more flexible and cheaper alternatives and real competition (instead of the “wink, nod,” priceless competition we’ve seen between satellite TV and traditional cable TV for years) continues to be a good thing.
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Filed Under: Cable, Cable TV, Cord Cut, Internet, Pay TV, Streaming