notes that more than 400,000 pay TV subscribers have dropped their television subscriptions since the beginning of this year. Following on the heels of Comcast losing 176,000 cable users
and Time Warner Cable losing 169,000
, DirecTV this week announced their first ever net subscriber decline
. While cable operators continue to blame everything from the weather to antelope, the industry's stubborn refusal to compete on price means that users continue to slowly drift toward less expensive alternatives.
Annoying retransmission feuds certainly aren't helping, with paying customers given bickering executive children and service blackouts for their hard-earned money. Even Craig Moffett, the cable industry's resident Wall Street cheerleader
, has been warning that the check will be coming due for refusing to compete on price
. Even Moffett concedes that the industry is screwing up:
"Basic video subscriber losses aren't getting better," said Bernstein Research analyst Craig Moffett of Time Warner Cable. He said in a client note that the company had done alright overall but "it is hard to shake the perception of an opportunity lost."
The reality is that while the cable industry pays lip service
to customers eager for a lower bill, they continue to pour most of their energy into very high-end and costly service bundles, in addition to their punitive metered broadband ambitions. As more and more cable alternative options continue to surface, the problem will only get worse for stubborn legacy executives.