Cable TV

US cable TV reduces subscriber losses in 2014

MUMBAI: For fans of delivery of video services via cable TV, there’s some news to cheer about rom the US. Apparently, the top nine cable TV operators in the US shed 1.195 million net video subscribers in 2014. While that may seem like a high number, it is actually a drastic reduction over the loss of 1.695 million subscribers in 2013. 

It seems as if cable TV has managed to hold its ground in 2014 as compared to 2013 as it still accounts for 49.3 million subscribers in 2014. In fact according to the Leichtman Research Group which put out these numbers, this has been the best year for cable TV since 2008.

The net additions by other providers seem to be slowing down too. Telco TV service providers such as AT&T and Verizon added 1.05 million net video subscribers in 2014. As compared to that the gains in 2013 were 1.43 million in 2013.

The Telcos account for 11.6 million video subscribers in 2014.  The satellite TV providers such as Direct TV and Dish added only 20,000 net video subscribers as compared to 170,000 net adds in 2013.

Overall the pay TV sector saw more than 125,000 net video subscribers opting to cut the cord in 2014 as compared to 95,000 in 2013, the Leichtman Research Group said. Its study covered the top 13 pay TV operators which account for 95.2 million subscribers. 

The fact that the existing video service providers have managed to stem their losses goes against the predictions of cable TV and pay TV service naysayers who have been stating that OTT services such as Netflix and Hulu will eat away at traditional modes of video delivery. The pay TV industry apparently will continue to be dominant provider of video to subscribers, says Leichtman.

The study comes at a time when fears are running rife amongst Indian cable TV operators about how Reliance Jio’s launch will impact their business in the next few years.

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