New study provides an alarming glimpse into the current state of pay-TV

By Shawn Knight · 29 replies
Mar 12, 2015
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  1. tivo study million cable subscribers plan cancel cable million cable subscribe tivo cable cable tv cable subscribers cord cutters cord cutting satellite tv over-the-top

    A recent TiVo-sponsored study conducted by Digitalsmiths provides an alarming glimpse into the current state of pay-TV that should have providers more than a bit worried.

    The study found that 23 percent of pay-TV subscribers said they were unsatisfied with the level of value received from their service provider. Of those, 68.1 percent cited increasing fees as one of the reasons they aren’t happy.

    But just how much are people shelling out each month for pay-TV, Internet and home phone services offered by typical providers?

    A full 24 percent said their bill is higher than $151 per month while 36.9 percent of bills fall in the $101 to $150 range. Only 8.3 percent pay less than $50 for services each month.

    What’s particularly telling is the fact that 85.1 percent of those polled said they feel like they watch the same channels over and over again. Interestingly enough, 19.1 percent only watch 10 of the channels currently offered to them and 14.3 percent only watch about five.

    Making the case for over-the-top services, Digitalsmiths found that the use of subscription services increased by eight percent compared to a year ago. Convenience (57 percent) and lower pricing (47.3 percent) were among the top reasons why consumers choose OOT services.

    All things considered, 14.7 percent of people said they are planning to either switch providers, ditch cable in favor of an online app / rental service or cut services altogether within the next six months. Another 30.9 percent replied with an answer of “maybe.” Nearly half said they would consider keeping existing service if their provider made it easier to find shows to watch.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Noobs
  3. they're getting there..just takes some a bit of time ;)
  4. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    I can relate to that. I spend a fortune every month for a ton of worthless movie, reality, lifestyle, music, etc channels. Unfortunately I have to pay for the complete bouquet just to watch some sports and a few documentaries. It's a ripoff, I know it (so does the provider) but there's little other choice.
  5. Xabi Granja

    Xabi Granja TS Member

    Yup. We used to pay $120 monthly until 3 years ago I said NO MORE. Now we have Hulu Plus and Netflix for a combined $20 a month and guess what, we get to watch about 80% of the shows we used to on cable. Anything beside that, we can wait a year until the following season to watch the previous one on Hulu/Netflix/web.
    Evernessince likes this.
  6. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    Too many commercials, poor programming, and obese channel packages.

    It really isn't hard to figure out why people are ditching the dish and the cable.
  7. A UK version of similar events: My gf is paying £80 per month for stuff she doesn't need, and yes it is her fault and I think many people or lazy and forget til each bill comes in, that they are throwing money away. More so when the same package, for a new customer, would be £30 less. And they claim, well that it is to entice new customers. But complain, and they will give you the same price. Because they know deep down, what you pay, is more often than not, too much, for what you get given. But they are crooks.

    Why is it when they change price plans, or make huge upgrades, or a new tier comes out making your package contents worth much less, do they continue to charge you the same extortionate price? Why do these companies continue to fleece their customers? Frankly I think part of customer care, is to look after the customer, and make sure they are not wasting money or paying too much for their services, this is why people are more than happy to jump ship to other providers. If there was some actual active care, the customer would stay, and would possibly, try an upgrade package. I mean sometimes they do trial things, for a month, but you have to cancel, or you get billed again. Maybe you just miss the cancel date, because, well life is hectic, or maybe you tried, but their customer service sucks, and their phone lines constantly have you on hold, but they don't care, they got another month out of you...
  8. SteveC47

    SteveC47 TS Rookie

    I hardly watch any T.V. at all. Of all the channels I get, I only watch 3 or 4 of them. I only watch those 3 or 4 channels for particular shows. The only shows I watch is The Walking Dead, NCIS, Criminal Minds, Burn Notice, and Star Trek. The reality shows are dumb and a waste of time. On top of that, you are watching more commercials and less of the show.

    The cable companies say that we would pay more if we only paid for the channels we watch. Sounds like they are raking in the money for channels we don't watch.
  9. TrueBooleanFals

    TrueBooleanFals TS Member Posts: 76   +12

    If I didn't work for a satellite company, I wouldn't have TV service either. I started with the service before I got hired, so I got the introductory offer. A week before I got hired, my bill went up $45/mo just on programming fees alone. I was about to toss the bill because I calculated it would cost less to cancel at $20/mo for 11 months than to pay for crap I wouldn't watch for another year at $110/mo.

    Like I said, if I weren't working for the company now, paying 25.22/mo for the top tier package along with premium movies, I would not keep them. With this said, EVERY company does this, even my company. I make sure I let my customers that I install know what the contract is before I lock them in, because, you never know what 'so-and-so' said over the phone to get the sale.
  10. curmud

    curmud TS Rookie

    If you and most people would drop until they provided decent service at decent prices then the rest of us who have done so might be able to get a decent deal.
    Stop the insanity!!! Drop until they get real.
    P.S. Guess what those sports crap costs you? Well it is forced on the rest of us at those same *****ic prices. The politicians allowed them to steal cable nationally from local control. They should make "MAKE" the cable companies allow subscriptions total choice. If I don't want sports great. I would choose 5 to 8 channels. Quit making us take the crap!!!
  11. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    Ahem. I'm not from the US, I can't comment on or criticize what your providers throw in your faces, I was alluding to mine.
    Incidentally I don't fully understand what you're on about here, what do you mean "drop"?
  12. Khanonate

    Khanonate TS Booster Posts: 134   +21

    But how much do you pay for internet?
  13. Khanonate

    Khanonate TS Booster Posts: 134   +21

    He meant cut off your subscription. Stop giving them Rand. Join the minority which will become the majority sooner or later. People of the world, unite!!
  14. SirGCal

    SirGCal TS Maniac Posts: 365   +136

    A lot less then I used to pay for TV. And since they're trying to compete for some reason, the cheap internet here went up to 35M/sec so it's plenty high for streaming HD content... Over-The-Air TV has far better HD signals then cable ever had anyhow, dunno why I didn't do this before. All I miss really is ESPN. There are ways to get that online still.
  15. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,372   +69

    Wkhy don't we talk about ways of getting free tv. My mother just lost half her income from general motors.
  16. Seriously, if it wasnt for other people in the house, we wouldnt have pay tv, other that Amazon prime which I hardly use myself. We are paying over 150/month and I dont even watch it. At all. Could care less that I even have a tv in the house. Watched things move over to pay tv, I fed into the thought for a while, then found that most days I didnt have time to watch it enough to make it a value. I dropped it for years and used off air tv. Only used news and public tv, but most days didnt care. Now I could care less about 100 channels of drivel on the tube. maybe it has to do with the fact I used to fix tvs, did it for 20 odd years. When I got home I didnt want to see a tv, so maybe I am not the standard audience. But, most people I talk to think it's way over priced as well. cost keeps going up. I'll stick with my Amazon for now, but really... I've had it for 5 years, watched maybe 5 movies and one series (episodes back to back within one month watched 8 seasons). I keep prime for the free shipping. Highly doubt industry will listen to anything the public has to say. They want every user to pay on an individual basis if they can get it to happen. Let em, see how far they can push the public before they get a backlash.
  17. Honestly, we disconnected the ariel when we moved in as we cant stand adverts, waste most your life watching the things, seriously. We just downloaded recorded programmes instead, but we got a smart TV and the amount of apps for watching TV is unreal, and all pay for ofcourse, we would have got cable or virgin media which is basically the alternative here now, but its crap and seriously not worth it, TV is a waste these days, about 5 shows we watch and we dont need to be paying a think for it.
  18. my dad used to be the same spent a fortune monthly and barely watched it, just download torrents seriously, its not as illegal as you think unless you are downloading stuff you shouldnt be like the latest movies etc, but even then nothings gona happen to you haha, I should know, going on about 12 years now.... not so much as a letter or word
  19. Emexrulsier

    Emexrulsier TS Evangelist Posts: 574   +72

    I pay for Virgin Cable TV + netflix, now tv, amazon subscriptions and still find I have to go to other sources to "acquire" tv shows cause they aren't available in my country or I have to wait 6 months before they are finally aired here where by that time the internet has been covered in spoilers etc.
  20. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    Yup, I agree. The problem here is we only have satellite TV with different bouquets or the national broadcaster, which is hardly an option so it's either satellite or stare at a blank screen. Netflix & Hulu etc. is still illegal here but that'll change next year. What worries me is the cost of FTTH (Fibre To The Home) and high speed data.
    Remember we are a 3rd world country where more than half of the population lives in abject poverty and the more fortunate have to bear the cost of these luxuries.
  21. I just worry it will not be sustainable. as more money is to be made off online streaming and as the tech gets better each network will want to have its own revenue stream. So it will be death by 1000 cuts $5 to this network and $5 to this one. The nice part is we will finally have the ala carte programming that cable has been refusing to do all along. I just believe the $20 steaming access will probably balloon up up closer to $100 again eventually.
  22. "Skidmarks.." Where do you live?
  23. Kevin82485

    Kevin82485 TS Booster Posts: 168   +45

    I just moved, and called Charter, my local cable company, to tell them to transfer services. They asked if I wanted to add phone service to my TV and Internet, and I said no, but then the lady on the phone said it would lower my bill to about $85. Oddly, adding more service got me a better deal, so I said sign me up! I'll never use the phone, but I like paying less money. HD, DVR, and 60 Mbps Internet, for $85, is pretty good to me. I was on the fence about cutting the cord, but now I think I'll keep it. I do like having Netflix though as well!
  24. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,923   +756

    Personally, I do not know what is so alarming about this. Cable has been gouging their customer's wallets for years as well as being blatantly abusive of those same customers all while manipulating local laws to gain a monopoly, and all subscribers have been paying for the abuse whether they like it or not.

    It is about time the "pay tv" industry wakes up to the fact that their customers are sick of being treated like $$$hit and being expected to like it by the industry.

    So, to me, anyway, it is not so much alarming as it is a wake up call to the industry - the big "BUT" here, at least as I see it, is that the industry is trying to get in on streaming by providing a similar subscription model to those of us who have cut the cord. I only hope that those who consider streaming offers from Sling and others look at those offers with a critical eye and come to the same conclusion that I did after comparing Sling's service to the pricing from Dish - only to find out that the Dish service is the better deal and that on a per-channel basis, Sling's service is considerably more expensive while essentially offering absolutely nothing different. I'll get my sports elsewhere, thanks. Anyone, at least as I see it, who buys into Sling's marketing crap is simply telling the industry that there are more ways than one to rip off their customers.

    Me? I dropped Dish which was costing me $85/mo for a considerable amount of material that I considered crap and very few stations I regularly watched. Now, I'm getting Netflix, Hulu+ - which is FREE in the US with Bing points, Amazon, one show my wife watches on subscription from iTunes, and all of that is costing less than $20/mo. Internet was separate before and is now, but I am also paying less for that at $35/mo for 15 Mb service which is more than adequate for my needs. I also built a Media PC running MediaPortal with two HD HomeRun OTA tuners that get me all the network programming I want and allows me to skip commercials. For the few shows that I watched that were on networks like USA and others, I'll wait until they are available on one of the services I now subscribe to.
  25. BadThad

    BadThad TS Booster Posts: 139   +74

    Seriously, most of you blame the providers but it's not their fault. It's the big networks that charge them BILLIONS of dollars to broadcast their channels. The provider is simply trying to make a profit based on what it costs them to sign agreements and cover the infrastructure and cost of doing business....especially rough with a bunch of *****, whining, *****-*** customers. I actually feel bad for them being caught in the middle.

    Ideally, someday the best TV provider is going to come along using the web and an a la carte system to pick and choose which channels what you want to watch and only make you pay for those. Hard to believe nobody has done this yet! It will take some crafty devils to get agreements done with the big networks to work with them on a price based on the number of subscribers.....but it COULD be done.

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