. .


Something's Afoot in Cable-Land

November 5, 2010 15:43:31.000

Spotted in Engadget

Last quarter was the first time ever that US pay TV subscription rates were down. Now, according to GigaOM's calculations, big cable suffered another set back in Q3, waving goodbye to over 500,000 subscribers in total. Comcast was saddled with over half of the carnage and lost 275,000 customers, while Time Warner took a 155,000 subscriber hit. Charter Communications and Cablevision fared slightly better, but still added 63,800 and 24,500 respectively to the industry pit of despair.

The easiest thought is that with a weak economy (and high unemployment), one of the simplest cost savings measures available is the cable bill. We returned one of the cable boxes that had built up around here when I got laid off, for instance, and would have done more had I not gotten offers immediately.

Here's my question though: when things pick up, will those subscribers come back, or will streaming TV (such as Hulu and Netflix) be enough? Gaming consoles like the XBox and Wii are inexpensive, hook right up to the TV, and give you all of that. Then there are the newer settop box entries, like the AppleTV. This could be the sort of disruptive event that ends up kick starting a transition...

Technorati Tags: ,

posted by James Robertson

 Share Tweet This