You know the old saying that “truth is stranger than fiction”? Well sometimes, they just so happen to intersect.
Not that long ago, there was a great Onion headline that read, “Nation’s Cable Companies Announce They’re Just Going To Take $100 From Everyone.” As anyone who has paid for cable in recent years can attest, cable bills, no matter the provider, have a seemingly miraculous way of inching towards $100/month regardless of whatever package you may have chosen.
And now comes word via the Liechtman Research Group that the average cable bill is up 39% since 2010 and now stands at $99.10. Also interesting is that the report found that cord-cutting, while certainly a growing phenomenon, may not currently be as widespread as previously believed.
The report specifically notes that the percentage of households who pay for cable checks in at 81%. While this is lower than 2010’s figure of 87%, it’s still a bit higher than it was back in 2005 when 81% of households subscribed to some sort of pay-TV service.
“Changes in the dynamics of the pay-TV industry are not driven just by those exiting the category, but also those coming into the category,” Leichtman Research Group analyst Bruce Leichtman said.
Speaking to this point, the report suggests that the real risk to cable companies may not be consumers opting to cancel their cable subscriptions, but rather new homeowners and apartment dwellers opting not to even get cable in the first place.
“Historically, consumers have gone in and out of the pay-TV category, primarily for economic reasons,” Leichtman adds. “While the rate of those leaving is actually similar to a decade ago, those who are entering or reentering the market has decreased over time, and the industry is not keeping pace with rental housing growth.”