American Viewers Cord Cutting Cable TV en Masse - 3/4 of Million in 3 Months

written by: Richard Kastelein

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Can you say, "Cutting the Cord?" or "Cord Cutting?" - talk about being in denial...

The proof is in the pudding and research firm SNL Kagan reported Wednesday that US cable TV operators lost 741,000 customers in the third quarter... the single largest quarterly drop for cable since the research firm began compiling data for the segment in 1980.

And Big Cable’s share of the multichannel pay television market is continuing to tank, dipping to 60.3% from 62.9% in Q3 2009.

New customers in telecom and satellite TV services were not enough to offset the loss of cable subscribers, and the overall multichannel pay-TV market trimmed 119,000 customers, marking the second straight quarter of video subscriber losses for the traditional pay-TV business - the first two months there has ever been decline in the industry - as we reported last month here. Pay-TV pundits are still pointing fingers at the weak economy and high unemployment as the reason for the decline - and it appears that The cable industry is also not willing to pull its own head out of the sand.

SNL Kagan says over-the-top TV services such as Netflix and Hulu — video delivered over broadband Internet, some free and some fee — are having an impact. Not to mention Connected TVs, Blurays, Smart TVs etc.

“It is becoming increasingly difficult to dismiss the impact of over-the-top substitution on video subscriber performance, particularly after seeing declines during the period of the year that tends to produce the largest subscriber gains due to seasonal shifts back to television viewing and subscription packages,” Ian Olgeirson, an SNL Kagan analyst, said in a statement.

The decline will be likely to continue with competition from the likes of Hulu Plus as we reported on today, which just cut its online subscription price by 20 per cent to $7.99 per month, and Netflix which is testing a $7.99 per month streaming-only service and is growing in leaps and bounds.

About the Author

Richard Kastelein
Founder of The Hackfest, publisher of TV App Market and global expert on Media & TV innovation, Kastelein is an award winning publisher and futurist. He has guest lectured at MIT Media Lab, University of Cologne, sat on media convergence panel at 2nd EU Digital Assembly in Brussels, and worked with broadcasters such as the BBC, NPO, RTL (DE and NL), Eurosport, NBCU, C4, ITV, Seven Network and others on media convergence strategy - Social TV, OTT, DLNA and 2nd Screen etc.

He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and UK Royal Television Society (RTS) member.

Kastelein has spoken (& speaking) on the future of media & TV in Amsterdam, Belfast, Berlin, Brussels, Brighton, Copenhagen, Cannes, Cologne, Curacao, Frankfurt, Hollywood, Hilversum, Geneva, Groningen (TEDx), Kuala Lumpur, London, Las Vegas, Leipzig, Madrid, Melbourne, NYC, Rio, Sheffield, San Francisco, San Jose, Sydney, Tallinn, Vienna, Zurich...

He's been on advisory boards of TEDx Istanbul, SMWF UK, Apps World, and judged & AIB awards, Social TV Awards Hollywood, TV Connect & IPTV Awards.

A versatilist & autodidact, his leadership ability, divergent and synthetic thinking skills evolved from sailing the world 24000 miles+ offshore in his 20′s on sailboats under 12m.

He spent 10 years in the Caribbean media & boating industry as a professional sailor before returning to Europe, to Holland.

A Creative Technologist and Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Metis) his career began in the Canadian Native Press and is now a columnist for The Association for International Broadcasting and writes for Wired, The Guardian & Virgin. His writings have been translated into Polish, German and French. 

One of Kastelein's TV formats was optioned by Sony Pictures Television in 2012. 

Currently involved in a number of startups including publishing TV App Market online, The Hackfest and Tripsearch TV. As CSO for Worldticketshop he helped build a $100m company.

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