Pay TV Feeling the Pinch

According to AP, the number of customers canceling cable or satellite TV subscriptions is reaching record levels. After a small loss last year, the floodgates opened up, caused mainly by the poor performance of the economy (with many people losing their homes or living with parents). But a secondary cause could be the rise of Internet video, even as the content industry tries to rein in widespread access in order to fully monetize their product. The total subscriber loss for eight of the nine largest subscription-TV providers in the April-June ’11 quarter was 195,700, or 0.2 percent of their 83.2 million video subscribers. The only possible silver lining is that this particular quarter is traditionally the worst for cable and satellite companies, and a bounce back usually occurs by fourth quarter. However, year-over-year data shows a loss, which is the first time that has happened.

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