It has been the worst recorded year of subscriber attrition for Pay TV operators in the USA due to Cord-Cutters, which have ironically have slowed in pace last quarter, Cord-Never’s, a still sluggish housing market, and a lack of new household formations. According to the LA Times:
Michael Nathanson calculated that the pay-TV industry — which includes cable, satellite and phone companies offering video service — lost 113,000 subscribers during the third quarter.
Cable operators lost 687,000 subscribers in the period, according to their estimates. That was a far steeper decline than the year-ago period. And though the satellite TV and telephone companies picked up about 574,000 subscribers, it wasn’t enough to erase the net loss for the industry.
“The pay-TV industry has reported its worst 12-month stretch ever,” Moffett and Nathanson wrote.
Also noteworthy is that Time Warner Cable lost more than 300,000 Subscribers just in Q3. The Cable wireless industry is below 3%, while the pay-TV industry’s revenue growth is 5.1%. But if Pay-Tv growth is still strong at over 5%, how can this be the worst year on record? According to Yahoo Finance:
“Of course, the fact that pay-TV revenue is still rising smartly is part of the problem,” Moffett and Nathanson wrote. “We have always argued that cord-cutting is an economic phenomenon, not a technological one. … Pay-TV revenue growth reflects rapid pay-TV pricing growth and that is precisely the problem. Rapidly rising prices are squeezing lower-income consumers out of the ecosystem.”