×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cord-Cutting No Longer an ‘Urban Myth’: Pay TV Operators Drop 316,000 Subs in Past Year

Industry faces steeper losses even as housing market shows signs of recovery, according to Wall Street analyst Craig Moffett

The number of Americans jettisoning pay TV is still fairly small — but data clearly shows that cord-cutting is picking up the pace as the cost of cable and satellite TV service continues to climb skyward.

The U.S. pay TV sector as a whole lost 316,000 subscribers for the 12-month period ending in June, even as the housing market shows signs of recovering, Moffett Research analyst Craig Moffett wrote in a research report Tuesday.

“Cord cutting used to be an urban myth.  It isn’t anymore,” Moffett Research analyst Craig Moffett wrote in a research report Tuesday. “No, the numbers aren’t huge, but they are statistically significant.”

The latest figures showing the industry decline — which has hit cable operators including Comcast and Time Warner Cable the hardest — comes after pay-TV providers shrank subscriber rolls 80,000 on a year-to-year basis in the first quarter of 2013, according to an analysis by Leichtman Research Group.

SEE ALSO: Cord-Cutting: At Last, Hard Evidence It’s Really Happening

The second quarter is seasonally weak for pay TV, given that colleges shut down and “snow birds head north,” Moffett noted. But for the 12 months ending June 30, pay TV subscribership fell about 0.3% whereas subscribership rose 330,000 (up 0.3%) for the 12-month period ending Q2 2012, according to Moffett, a longtime industry analyst who for years has warned about the affordability problem of pay TV services.

In the face of customer losses, cable and satellite TV operators say they’re focusing on higher-value subscribers, willing to sacrifice bargain-hunting consumers who at satisfied with over-the-top video options like Netflix and free broadcast TV.

In the second quarter, cable operators lost a cumulative 591,000 video subscribers in the second quarter, which actually was better than the 606,000 sequential decline in Q2 2012. Telephone companies AT&T and Verizon grew in the most recent period — adding 231,000 and 140,000 video subs, respectively — while both satcasters lost ground (DirecTV dropped 84,000 U.S. video customers in the period, and Dish Network lost 78,000).

More Biz

  • Juice WRLD - Jarad HigginsWireless Festival,

    Juice Wrld Streams Climb Nearly 500% After His Death

    As often happens after an unexpected death, Juice Wrld’s music soared in popularity after his passing on Sunday, with streams climbing nearly 500% on that day alone. On-demand audio streams for the rapper, who died at the age of 21 after suffering a seizure at Chicago’s Midway Airport, climbed 487% on Sunday to more than [...]

  • Netflix headquarters in Los Gatos, California,

    Netflix Ordered to Stop Poaching Fox Employees

    A court on Tuesday issued an injunction barring Netflix from poaching employees from Fox and confirming the validity of fixed-term employment agreements. The ruling marks a hard-fought victory for Fox — now owned by Disney — which set out three years ago to stop Netflix from raiding its employees. Netflix had sought to invalidate Fox’s [...]

  • Harry Styles performs at the Greek

    First Look at Harry Styles' Ticket-Giveaway Bus (EXCLUSIVE)

    Harry Styles announced Tuesday he is partnering with American Express to give away tickets to his concert at the Forum in Los Angeles on Friday — on a special custom bus. At the show, “Harry Styles Fine Line Live: One Night Only!,” the singer is expected to perform his entire new album, which is also [...]

  • Weeknd

    The Weeknd Takes Top Two Spots on Rolling Stone Singles Chart

    Fighting off a seasonal surge from Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” The Weeknd’s two new singles topped the Rolling Stone Top 100 songs chart this week. “Heartless” and “Blinding Lights,” both of which dropped last week, rocketed to No. 1 and 2 respectively with more than 40 million streams between them. [...]

  • The Olympic Rings adorn an event

    NBCUniversal Expects More Than $1.2 Billion in Ads for Tokyo Olympics

    Madison Avenue is rushing to get money down in NBCUniversal’s broadcast of the 2020 Olympics from Tokyo, the latest big TV-sports event to spark heavier demand from advertisers at a time when finding truly big media audiences has grown more difficult. NBCUniversal said it is on track to take in more than the $1.2 billion [...]

  • CAA Promotes Seven to Agent

    CAA Promotes Seven to Agent

    In its annual end of the year promotions, CAA has announced it has upped seven trainees to agent. Julie Greenberg has been promoted to in the company’s touring division, which books many of the top global musical and comedic talent. Based in Nashville, Greenberg will focus on music touring. Los Angeles-based Natalie Moran has been [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein cane

    Harvey Weinstein to Have Back Surgery This Week

    Harvey Weinstein will have back surgery this week, after he was injured in a car crash in August. Weinstein looked frail and gaunt when he appeared at a bail hearing on Friday, as he walked into the court with a cane and sometimes leaned on an assistant. Weinstein is due back in court on Wednesday. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content