updated 08:50 pm EST, Wed November 17, 2010
Report confirms "cord cutting" trend
A report released by research firm SNL Kagan appears to confirm the "cord cutting" trend, as pay-TV businesses lost 119,000 subscribers in the recent quarter. The effect is even more significant for cable providers, such as Warner and Comcast, which lost 741,000 customers as the satellite providers and other companies gained 621,000 customers.
The quarterly performance reportedly represents only the second time the pay-TV business has lost customers. The recent quarter was topped by the previous quarter, when 216,000 subscribers terminated their service.
"It is becoming increasingly difficult to dismiss the impact of over-the-top substitution on video subscriber performance, particularly after seeing declines during the period of the year that tends to produce the largest subscriber gains due to seasonal shifts back to television viewing and subscription packages," Kagan noted.
Most cable providers have denied the existence of "cord cutting," arguing that the concept has yet to have any noticeable impact on subscriber numbers. Others claim that pay-TV providers will be the last to admit such a situation, which may scare investors or lead more customers to consider ending their service. Verizon has been one of the few providers to acknowledge the likelihood of long-term declines in subscriber numbers, although the company does not rely solely on its TV content for revenue. [via Wall Street Journal]