dslreports logo
site
spacer

spacer
 
   
spc
story category
Cable Providers Lost 1,734,521 Viewers Last Year
by Karl Bode 10:34AM Monday Mar 17 2014
The thirteen largest multi-channel video providers in the US -- representing about 94% of the market -- lost about 105,000 net video subscribers in 2013 according to the latest data from Leichtman Research Group. According to the latest data from the firm, annual net multi-channel video additions in 2013 were about 280,000 fewer than in 2012, when the industry added about 175,000 subscribers.

Click for full size
While a small portion of this can be attributed to cord cutting, the majority of the movement in TV viewers is from cable to telco TV.

The top nine cable companies lost about 1,735,000 video subscribers in 2013 -- compared to a loss of about 1,410,000 subscribers in 2012. That's compared to the top telephone providers, who added 1,460,000 video subscribers in 2013 -- compared to 1,298,000 net additions in 2012. Satellite TV providers added 170,000 video subscribers in 2013 -- compared to 288,000 net additions in 2012.

"2013 was the first year for multi-channel video industry losses, but the modest losses represent only about 0.1% of all subscribers," said Bruce Leichtman. "While the overall market remains fairly flat, further share-shifting has taken place. Cable providers now have a 52% share of the top multi-channel video subscribers in the US, compared to a 58% share three years ago."

view:
topics flat nest 
juicem2

join:2006-03-05
Mastic Beach, NY

2 recommendations

VZ fios

Proof is in the putting. If you build it they will come!!

workablob

join:2004-06-09
Houston, TX
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: VZ fios

said by juicem2:

Proof is in the putting

I like what you did there.

Blob
--
Don't try to follow me, I have a cab waiting. EEEEEEEEradicator!
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY

Re: VZ fios

Headline is misleading, there were really only 100,000 lost video subs, they just found alternate providers...

And all this news about cord cutting. It's really cord shifting, or cord never. Bottom line people really aren't cutting the cord they are just moving to different providers or sat. What is probably more worrisome is cord-nevers, those 20 somethings that never get cable ever. That won't really start impacting them for 5-7 years, but it is coming...

And my area cable costs 30-40% more than FiOS for inferior service, so I can understand why people want to drop them. Once CMCSA takes over TWC, that will probably spurn AT&T and VZ to double down on expansion because no doubt CMCSA will raise prices and these guys can continue to take advantage.
tabernak

join:2013-08-10
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·AT&T DSL Service

Re: VZ fios

I agree, it's about the cord cutters plus the cord nevers. They're already feeling both though since the population continues to grow yet net subscribers are declining.

I hope ESPN someday somehow breaks away and offers a subscription, streaming based service. That's the only service I miss from cutting the cord and most frequent reason I hear people haven't yet cut the cord. The day that happens is the day the floodgates open in my opinion. Most everything else is available in one form or another within a day of airing.

For me it was more about the principle, I was paying ~$1200/year to watch about 30 games I cared about. Now I pay ~$500/year through my various services to watch everything except probably about 20 of those games (others are still on OTA) at my convenience.
neftv

join:2000-10-01
Broomall, PA

2 recommendations

Comcast story

I work for a major retailer near the Philadelphia PA area and I can't count the many customers weekly that come to buy rabbit ears or other antenna a say to me they are "sick of the increases of Comcast and are discontinuing Comcast yada yada yada" . We practically can't keep a stock of amplified panel antennae in store some weeks.

dnoyeB
Ferrous Phallus

join:2000-10-09
Southfield, MI
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Comcast story

I don't need an antenna but I do need a signal splitter and an A/B switch.

I am cutting off cable TV but keeping the internet. This means I still get the basic channels. To get channels like ESPN and some others they give with basic cable, I need their digital box. But the digital box won't convert the HD OTA signals. So I need to go direct cable to get the HD OTA channels, then through the box to get the bonus basic cable channels. Headache but so much cheaper...
--
dnoyeB
"Then said I, Wisdom [is] better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom [is] despised, and his words are not heard. " Ecclesiastes 9:16

gdfuego

@aitechnologies.com

Re: Comcast story

Don't count on the basic channels remaining. More and more providers have been encrypting the basic channels in order to close down this loophole.
Chubbysumo

join:2009-12-01
Superior, WI

Re: Comcast story

and not just that, but providers have been putting in high pass filters so that only internet works. Charter has used hi-pass TV filters for some time on internet only households, even if they have SDV and fully encrypted channels now.

anonypus

@fuse.net
said by dnoyeB:

So I need to go direct cable to get the HD OTA channels,

Unfortunately, the FCC has okayed encrypting OTA on cable - Clear QAM is going away...
itguy05

join:2005-06-17
Carlisle, PA

Yup.

Time for us shareholders to vote the Lowell the Dolt out. We need another true visionary who will get FIOS out to everywhere they serve. Long term it will cut costs and drive revenue.

The fact that Cable lost subs while FIOS and AT&T grew is proof enough.

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5

Re: Yup.

NM
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

Re: Yup.

Not sure what NM means, but based on your history I am sure you disagree strongly with his statement because companies shouldn't waste stockholder returns on future proofing their networks with a petty thing like fiber. Right?
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

Re: Yup.

At&t's investment in U-Verse is more like history proofing. Just saying.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

Re: Yup.

You are right, it proves as history as that monopolies/duopolies are bad for consumers and causes the companies participating in them to become very stale in delivering services or innovating.

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

said by Skippy25:

Not sure what NM means, but based on your history I am...blah blah blah

Incorrect again, as always.
The NM (common for Never Mind) was because I thought it double posted, but apparently did not.

My comment was basically that by percentage Comcast has a fairly low loss rate compared to TWC and "other" major cable companies.

Is that better, Skippy25 See Profile
norm

join:2012-10-18
Pittsburgh, PA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Re: Yup.

Click for full size
I am curious what plans such as Comcast's Internet + HBO plan did to mitigate drop rates. Also, what about customers that kept the lowest possible plan in order to obtain a lower cost per mbit internet?

In regards to Comcast, a 305k sub drop (-1.41%) is still huge.

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

Add me to the list

Except I fled Comcast for DirecTV.

Better hardware and noticeable increase in picture quality.

Any property manager that tells me I can't have a dish will be hearing from the FCC about the OTARD rules if they apply in my situation. And I'll make sure the FCC ban on exclusive agreements is enforced.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.
Skippy25

join:2000-09-13
Hazelwood, MO

Re: Add me to the list

The only rules are if it is historical and you arent allowed to permanently mount it on their property if it will deface it (cause damage). Beyond that you can put it up as you see fit and even have the dish up to 15' (maybe it was 10') above the roof line.

Otherwise, you don't have to do anything and the property owners are the ones that have to appeal to the FCC to show why they are exempt from the rules.

I would certainly have the rules printed out and ready to hand to them if the come knocking or if you have to file a police report because they removed it themselves.
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

2 edits

TV Subscribers

So the top 13 lost ~105,000 customers. What about 14-100? 14-200?

A lot of the smaller companies seem to be adding customers because many are still expanding their networks or upgrading their existing networks. This allows them to deliver video service to regions where they only offered internet/phone previously. It wouldn't be at all unrealistic for the industry to post a net gain in 2013 if the smaller companies are included. Centurylink added ~68,600 over 2013 alone.

Seems cord cutting isn't as bad as they say.
itguy05

join:2005-06-17
Carlisle, PA

Re: TV Subscribers

quote:
Seems cord cutting isn't as bad as they say.
Yup, cause the solutions are a PITA and result in a confusing mess of services to get what you watch now. And with commercials vs the DVR that eliminates them.
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

Re: TV Subscribers

That is true. And it will probably only grow more so, as companies require more and more pay-tv subscriptions to use online services.
Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
·Embarq Now Centu..
·Comcast
·CenturyLink

Cable industry unregulated parasites.

Cable companies do not care that overall purchasing power of its customers are declining, so customers cannot afford unlimited price increases. Customers have a choice, either pay more to retain the same service level or reduce services to maintain the same monthly fee. As more and more customers drop services to control costs, the cable companies will have to to raise prices to maintain the same cash flow.

One must consider that if a national cable company has 40 million subscribers and adds a $1.50 per month broadcast retransmission fee, the company gets to pocket an additional $60,000,000.00 dollars per month or $900,000,000.00 per year. Regulatory capture allows the cable industry to minuplate state and federal lawmakers on the cheap through campaign contributions. Invest $1,000,000.00 in lobbyists and net $60,000,000.00 per month in unregulated fees.
Papageno

join:2011-01-26
Portland, OR

Not terribly surprising...

...when Cable TV has become such a joke (hot and cold running "reality" shows like Real Housewives, Honey Boo Boo etc... and the History Channel doesn't actually show history documentaries any more), plus the fact that they make you pay for all that crap, including the ESPN channels which I literally NEVER watch but apparently account for a big chunk of my bill.
On top of that, they treat their existing customers like chopped liver--this upcoming free internet speed increase of Comcast's, for instance, is only good if you've got certain Double Play or Triple Play packages already, and while I already have Performance tier internet and Digital Starter TV, I can't get the "Double Play" designation applied to my account without actually paying more than I do now (and the CSR I talked to made it sound like even that was going to be difficult/impossible)! So I'm seriously thinking of cutting the freakin' cord.

Treegravy
Premium
join:2011-04-21
canada
Reviews:
·Rogers Hi-Speed

Re: Not terribly surprising...

We cut the cord about 5(?) years ago. It was so weird the first couple of weeks because it felt like we were jonesing from the addiction to television, the noisy companion, but soon enough that faded and we've never felt more relaxed. It was the constant drilling of loud show intros and hyper speed elecutory exposition that finally drove the ambition to cancel to the forefront of our consciousness.

It's now odd when we go somewhere and they have the 'box' (there's a word with limited relevancy in regards to television anymore) on with the blaring that they hardly notice while we sit there suppressing a strong urge to rip the remote from them and yell at them to, "TURN IT OFF!"

davidc502

join:2002-03-06
Mount Juliet, TN
kudos:1
Reviews:
·TDS
said by Papageno:

On top of that, they treat their existing customers like chopped liver--this upcoming free internet speed increase of Comcast's, for instance, is only good if you've got certain Double Play or Triple Play packages already

Don't think for a moment Comcast is doubling speeds out of the kindness of its heart. Most people don't know it, but they are behind, in speed tiers, compared to phone companies fiber offerings (DSL Excluded).
codydog

join:2001-11-29
Newport, RI

Cord cutting

Cord cutting isn't that bad - I did it - and don't really miss any of the TV I used to watch. OTA antenna, Roku and Netflix all work well.

SmilingBob

join:2013-09-23
League City, TX

Re: Cord cutting

+1 OTA, Roku, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HTPC that streams all of our purchased blurays and dvds throughout our network to our rokus on PLEX (free). People are just uneducated in the possibilities, and pay tv makes it easy to be lazy.
whoyourdaddy

join:2013-02-20
Honey Brook, PA

1 edit

cable company's like concast

cable company's will keep on increasing their prices and blocking channels from satalite co like directv and charging them higher fees

jojo0399

@192.3.25.x

Torrent

I can watch any cable shows I want, no monthly payments needed.

oncfari

@sbcglobal.net

Cable to Telco

We just switched to U-verse from 25+ years of Cox cable. AT&T provides all of the channels (yes, ALL of them, including the premium move channels) plus faster Internet, a full-featured phone line (with ALL of the phone features included) for $150 less per month than cable. Rates are guaranteed for 2 years, plus another 2 years of we renew. No more pixelation or screen freezes AND a dramatically better picture, plus DVRs on every TV (4) in our house with up to 300+ hours of recording time. We were relatively happy with Cox except for their BS channel plans that are designed to extract maximum $$ for minimum programming. We were also highly disappointed that when they went digital -- and forced us to pay more for that transition -- we started having problems we never had with the old analog system. IMHO, Cox is in deep doo-doo if they don't figure out how to compete with U-verse… fast!

DeadSurvivor
Shattered Dreams
Premium
join:2013-09-03
Tampa, FL

The Reality Is ...

As longs as rates increase, people are going to start jumping off their roof when they run out of alternatives and can't live without their MTV.
devolved

join:2012-07-11
Rapid City, SD

Re: The Reality Is ...

I've lived without MTV for 20 years. I don't even miss MTV.

DeadSurvivor
Shattered Dreams
Premium
join:2013-09-03
Tampa, FL

Re: The Reality Is ...

Same here ...