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US Pay TV Operators Are Losing Subscribers

The days of cable and satellite broadcasting companies controlling the television market are slowly coming to a close. The cord-cutting trend continues to grow as an increasing number of Americans are finding other ways to get their digital media fix. A recent Parks Research study reports numbers that show the cord-cutting flame continuing to grow.

According to the Parks study, 20% of Americans are dissatisfied with their pay-TV service. To put that in perspective, that is a 100% increase in dissatisfaction since 2013.

Not only has dissatisfaction been on the rise for pay TV, but satisfaction has been steadily declining. The latest numbers hover around a third of Americans claiming to be very satisfied with their pay TV service; a marked drop from the 57% in 2013.

“High satisfaction with pay TV has dropped across all providers,” Brett Sappington, senior director of research at Parks Associates, said in a statement. “Telco services have seen the highest drop in highly satisfied customers compared to cable and satellite providers. The plummeting satisfaction levels ultimately affect service/channel package upgrades, cord cutting, engagement, and perception of operator-driven service changes (e.g., dropped or added channels).”

According to the informitv Multiscreen Index, the top ten US pay-TV operators lost roughly a million subscribers during 2016, between all of them. Out of a total of 88.69 million subscribers, that comes out to about a 1.05% subscriber loss.

While this does indicate that the cord-cutting trend is proving a viable alternative to traditional pay-TV services, one still has to remember just how large these top 10 pay-TV companies are. William Cooper, the editor of the informitv Multiscreen Index commented that “Although they lost 1% of their subscriber base in 2016, these ten service providers still account for 75% of television homes in the United States.”

There have never been more alternatives to cable and satellite companies than there are in 2017. From OTT services like Netflix, to Sling TV and more, consumers can be picky about which service they choose. The high costs of bundled subscription packages are continuing to drag down the cable and satellite businesses. While mergers and acquisitions may keep their stakeholders happy for now, the issue of growing subscriber losses must be addressed in the near future.



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