Cable TV subscriptions at major providers set to drop below 40 million

By on November 26, 2013, 12:30 PM
cable, broadband, cable tv, cable subscribers, cord cutting, telecoms

In what probably amounts to little or no surprise at all to many, cable TV subscriptions are on the decline. It started with tech-savvy individuals cutting the cord and moving to streaming video services but now it appears the trend is catching on with the masses.

As Business Insider points out, ratings have been on the decline since September 2011 with the one exception being the Olympics. Roughly five million people have canceled their cable and broadband subscriptions since the beginning of 2010 and for the first time ever, the number of TV subscribers is about to dip below 40 million.

Broken down further, we see that Time Warner lost 306,000 TV subscribers in the third quarter alone in addition to 24,000 homes ditching broadband. Companies that offer broadband and TV subscriptions report that less than half of their subscribers have a cable package.

It may come as little surprise then that fewer households actually have TVs than before. The number of households is still growing but TV growth in those households is on the decline. That’s of course because people are choosing to watch TV on their mobile devices instead. That isn’t to say that TVs are dying as there are still many uses for them but a quick look at some of the upcoming Black Friday deals will show you that manufacturers are eager to let go of some nice sets at rock bottom prices this year.




User Comments: 12

Got something to say? Post a comment
2 people like this | MilwaukeeMike said:

Yeah, shocking, cable prices have gone up for the years and now technology has provided alternatives. Reminds me of another industry where technology came in and threw a giant wrench in the workings of the entire industry. Some of you older readers may remember the compact disc, it's how we used to get music before the mp3 made everyone realize that paying $15 for an album with only a few good songs wasn't something people enjoyed.

Now we pay $.99 for the song we want and CDs are used for coasters and microwave fireworks.

Pay attention, cable companies, people seem to prefer a la carte entertainment at small prices. TV is a little different, as you won't watch an episode of a show over and over like you'll listen to a song many times, but we still need something different.

Cable has to change, or they'll be dragged kicking and screaming into the future like the recording industry was. They'll find themselves spending more money on lawyers trying to protect their old business model instead of making money a new way.

1 person liked this | TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

As soon as a way comes up that I can get live sports broadcasting, I'll drop my cable company in nothing flat.

mctommy said:

As soon as a way comes up that I can get live sports broadcasting, I'll drop my cable company in nothing flat.

And that's the big dilemma right now so live sports are the costliest for the providers. Don't get me wrong but I would love to get just the live sports and a select few channels... will it be cheaper? I would hope so but it's not guarantee.

SantistaUSA said:

I haven't had cable tv in almost 10 years, I mainly use internet (56 Mb connection), have my computer hooked up to my tv and that is all I need

1 person liked this | Guest said:

I watch live Major League Baseball via the MLB internet streaming package, and I have done so for a few years now. For around $120 per year you get all the games (not nationally blacked out) in HD, and you get to pick whether you want to watch the home team feed or the visitor's team feed. (In other words, you always get to listen to your team's announcers.) I use my Roku box for watching MLB, but you can use a computer, the MLB app on your phone or table, along with several Blu-Ray players and smart TV's.

I just wish other sports (like the NFL) would follow suit. I believe there are already similar offerings for the NHL and the NBA, but I am not positive since I don't really watch those on TV.

WithoutAnyMilk WithoutAnyMilk said:

Television is nothing but dreck and propaganda anyway. I do feel sorry for the people still allowing themselves to be bombarded with these condescending "holiday shopping season" commercials that say nothing more than "buy, buy, buy" to the tune of a hymnal.

Good riddance. If I could aid in the decline, I would do it with conviction.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Here's the biggest reason cable subscriptions are dying: Commercials.

I would rather turn my tv off then watch 5,6,7,8,9+ commercials before a single commercial break ends.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Yeah, shocking, cable prices have gone up for the years and now technology has provided alternatives. Reminds me of another industry where technology came in and threw a giant wrench in the workings of the entire industry. Some of you older readers may remember the compact disc, it's how we used to get music before the mp3 made everyone realize that paying $15 for an album with only a few good songs wasn't something people enjoyed.

Compact discs? What's happened to them? Buddy, I haven't been weaned off 33.3 rpm LP's and 45 rpm seven singles yet and I'm still trying to get used to CD's. As for streaming... yeah, whenever I suffer from hay fever I also suffer with streaming eyes and nose.

1 person liked this | Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I haven't had cable tv in almost 10 years, I mainly use internet (56 Mb connection), have my computer hooked up to my tv and that is all I need

We've never had cable TV due to the simple fact it never exited in my country. We do have satellite TV though which is a complete rip off and we're still waiting for the fancy pay per view services you guys are always bragging about and take for granted. This is what happens when you have a government that's busy monopolizing the telecommunication and broadcasting sectors.

tonylukac said:

Do they ever think they're going to LOWER prices? Only govt. intervention would do this as with minimum wage earners.

mojorisin23 mojorisin23 said:

I watch live Major League Baseball via the MLB internet streaming package, and I have done so for a few years now. For around $120 per year you get all the games (not nationally blacked out) in HD, and you get to pick whether you want to watch the home team feed or the visitor's team feed. (In other words, you always get to listen to your team's announcers.) I use my Roku box for watching MLB, but you can use a computer, the MLB app on your phone or table, along with several Blu-Ray players and smart TV's.

I just wish other sports (like the NFL) would follow suit. I believe there are already similar offerings for the NHL and the NBA, but I am not positive since I don't really watch those on TV.

I got around my NFL obsession by finding someone with a directtv Sunday ticket subscription, adding the Ticket Max feature which allows streaming over the internet, hooking it up to my TV, and wallaah! every NFL game every sunday for $75 for the season!

mojorisin23 mojorisin23 said:

Do they ever think they're going to LOWER prices? Only govt. intervention would do this as with minimum wage earners.

no... increased competition would do it. we went from only crappy optimum to a choice between them and fios. prices dropped considerably. add another one or two in the mix and it should become reasonable again.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.