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Cord Cutting: Cable TV Slides, Cable Broadband Grows

21 May 2013 2,444 views No Comment

Fresh pay TV subscriber data is generating headlines — cord cutting can no longer be denied. A turning point seems to have been reached…

Fresh pay TV subscriber data is generating headlines — cord cutting can no longer be denied. Nevertheless, although fewer people overall are paying for TV, the real story lies in a shifting market dynamic, away from cable to other providers.

Quoting fresh Leichtman Research Group (LRG), LA Biz reports that cord cutting is a real and growing trend.

“First-time ever annual industry-wide losses reflect a combination of a saturated market, an increased focus from providers on acquiring higher-value subscribers, and some consumers opting for a lower-cost mixture of over-the-air TV, Netflix and other over-the-top viewing options,” said LRG president and principal analyst Bruce Leichtman in a statement.

• Multichannel video providers have lost 80,000 subscribers over the past year

• Top nine cable providers lost 1.6 million subs
— TWC lost more than 553,000 subs
— Comcast and Charter lost 359,000 and 217,000 subs, respectively

• Satellite providers (i.e. DirecTV, Dish) gained 160,000 subs

• Telco providers (i.e. AT&T, Verizon) gained 1.3 million subs

• The top cable/satellite/telco providers together claim 94.9 million subs

Although a net 80,000 subscriber loss over the coarse of a year seems small, that’s an absolute loss for pay TV providers. It would be more than interesting to learn how many downgraded their cable/satellite/telco pay TV packages.

Cord Cutting: Broadband, Streaming Winning

Further, I would love to know what percentage of new adults have skipped cable/satellite/telco pay TV packages and gone straight for streamed video.

That said, Netflix now claims just shy of 30 million subscribers, adding more than 2 million new users in the first quarter alone. For its part, Hulu subs now number more than 4 million while only Amazon knows how many Prime Instant Video subs it has.

In a separate press release, LRG reports that more than 1.1 million people added broadband internet over the last year with cable providers accounting for about 800,000 of those adds — very interesting data points…

What’s your take?

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