What’s the Latest Development?
New figures released by the Leichtman Research Group show that for the first time ever, multi-channel video providers — including cable, satellite, and telephone companies — lost customers over a 12-month period, in this case the period from April 2012 to March 2013. Blame it on cable subscribers: Almost 264,000 jumped ship in the first quarter of this year, contributing to a total 12-month loss of 1.56 million. Satellite and telephone providers gained customers during the same period, but not nearly as many as expected, and not enough to counteract the number of people fleeing from cable.
What’s the Big Idea?
In a 2010 New York Times article, Leichtman president Bruce Leichtman was quoted as saying that the phenomenon of cord cutting — customers choosing Web-based content over cable — was restricted to “a bizarre breed of people…who don’t watch a lot of television in the first place.” Now, he says the record-breaking losses may be due in part to “some consumers opting for a lower-cost mixture of over-the-air TV, Netflix and other over-the-top viewing options.” The drop in subscribers from all sectors of the pay-TV industry leads writer Janko Roettgers to suggest that “people aren’t just looking for a cheaper pay TV option anymore…[they] actually want to get rid of the traditional pay TV bundle altogether.”
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