Survey: Pay-TV losses could accelerate to more than 5 million U.S. households per year

“There’s more evidence of a growing subscriber exodus threatening to hit the traditional pay-TV ecosystem,” Todd Spangler reports for Variety. “In 2016, the industry dropped about a net 2 million subscribers — and an acceleration of pay-TV losses to more than 5 million annually ‘does not seem impossible,’ RBC Capital Markets analyst Steven Cahall wrote in a report Thursday.”

“The RBC survey found that 21% of current cable, satellite or telco TV customers were considering switching to a lower-cost virtual pay-TV service,” Spangler reports. “While ‘virtual multichannel video programming distributors’ like Hulu, YouTube TV and Sling TV are poised to grow, they’ll significantly cannibalize the existing base of traditional pay-TV customers, according to RBC’s analysis. About 15% of the addressable market for ‘vMVPDs’ will come from legacy cable and satellite subs, with 10% from ‘cord-never’ broadband-only households.”

“The RBC study comes after research firm eMarketer this month significantly upped its estimates for cord-cutting in 2017, projecting a 33% increase in U.S. adults cancelling traditional pay TV to reach a total of 22.2 million by the end of the year. (Note that eMarketer’s figures represent individuals, not households),” Spangler reports. “The biggest problem for traditional pay television remains consumer perception that cable and satellite TV is too pricey — and a bad value overall. Of existing pay-TV subs looking to switch to an internet-TV skinny bundle, 78% cited cost as the biggest factor.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’re already there, thanks to Apple TV and the Playstation Vue, Netflix, and other content apps. With our new Apple TV 4K units arriving tomorrow and the promised Amazon Prime Video app on the way, it’ll only get better. Depending on your location and desires, throw in an over-the-air antenna and an HDHomeRun or other DVR and you’re good to go for cutting the cord.

FOAD, cable and satellite extortionists!

As this paradigm erodes and collapses, hopefully it’ll bring the content owners back to the table with Apple for some serious deals to remake “TV” in true Apple fashion!

Record live TV without a cable subscription – March 23, 2017
Making sense of myriad cord-cutting options – March 17, 2017
The ultimate cable television cord cutting solution for Apple TV owners – February 17, 201


    1. I may pay the same for all the channels I subscribe to but the volume and frequency of commercials interrupting my shows is near none. When shows do have commercials, the interruption is only 1-2 minuets then 15-20 of show time.

  1. We still do not have a la carte because all of the channels belong to a handful of companies that operate quite a bit like a cartel. They do not want you cherry picking channels and not subsidizing their endless stream of bullshit.

    Because of this, when you price Cable versus Streaming and the cost of Internet, it comes out to a push. They know that the bulk of the audience watches a handful of channels and the business model for most of their empire goes away without the subsidy of lock in.

    What I want to see is a free market within streaming services where you get to pick number of channels for X number of dollars instead of bundles of channels you do not watch. Price each Premium (non commercial) channel like Showtime, Cinemax and HBO at $10/month and then let subscribers choose any 10 other channels for let’s say $20 a month (since they barrage you with commercials, $2 a channel is fair). ESPN will cost you $7 for the whole thing (all their channels, about what they currently get from Cable or Satellite services per sub).

    This way, conservatives do not have to subsidize CNN or MSNBC and everyone else does not have to subsidize Fox News or The Blaze. Movie junkies can load up on TCM, Fox Movie Channel, MGM and such. People who do not like sports do not have to subsidize ESPN or Fox Sports and Sports junkies do not have to subsidize Lifetime Movie Channel, etc.

    It would cause a shake out of channels which is bound to happen sooner or later. Truth be told, the bulk of the cable audience goes to news channels, ESPN, HBO & Showtime and a very small handful of others. The rest have audiences about the size of a mid sized city’s local newscast in a country of 330 million.

  2. Tv subscription might go down, but the cost of alternative is not low, it is only viable if you want to watch say Netflix only , adding other subscriptions cost $30-50 so in the end, choice is not to watch any content to save money which not the savings.
    What this will do is make the cost of subscription in check it, what cable and dish operator are doing is what airline industry is doing charging for baggage. My directv cost of programming and equipped cost is almost same in the end it above $100 per month for low tier programs, I called and told them to disconnect as I am not paying to keep these boxes and have handful of channels.

  3. One of the most satisfying days of my recent life was when I took the Comcast TV equipment in last Saturday and went to internet-only. After a free trial of YouTube TV I’m all-in. 40 live channels, local channels, on-demand and unlimited DVR for $35/month. There’s a 2 week trial then they send a $35 Chromecast once you pay the first month, so the first 6 weeks are effectively free.

    75 mbps internet plus YouTube TV costs less than $100/month. Having cable these days is like having a phone land line.

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