Cable companies have been losing pay TV subscribers for years but some new data suggests that they’ve at least superficially slowed the bleeding. Via DSLReports, new data from Leichtman Research indicates that cable companies only lost 345,000 pay TV subscribers in 2015. While this is certainly not ideal, we should keep in mind that cable companies lost a whopping 1.2 million pay TV customers in 2014.
There is some reason to question, however, if this really represents a turning point for cable companies when it comes to pay TV subscribers.
One reason for skepticism is that many cable companies now charge subscribers more money for standalone Internet service than they do for Internet service and a very basic TV package that only includes the major networks. This is the kind of package I subscribe to with Comcast and I only watch network TV over the air and not through Comcast’s cable box. Because of this, Comcast would still count me as a pay TV subscriber even though I never use its pay TV service.
As DSLReports notes, “many operators are also all-but giving television away by making the cost of bundling TV and broadband notably less than buying broadband standalone, meaning a lot of customers are signing up for TV service they may not have wanted and may not even be using.”
Despite this, cable companies are likely happy that they aren’t losing more than a million pay TV subscribers per year, which is a victory in its own way.
Check out a table of the full figures below.