Cable TV Subscribers at 17 Year Low

March 21, 2007

TVI have to say I was a bit surprised to see that “Cable penetration dropped to a 17-year low of 61.3% in February, as pay TV competition from direct-broadcast satellite and telephone rivals continues to eat into the basic-subscriber counts of cable distributors”, according to analysis from Nielsen Media Research data conducted by the Television Bureau of Advertising by way of MultiChannel News

For as far back as I can remember cable always had a resounding lead over satellite and IPTV providers and while 61% penetration isn’t anything to scoff at (considering the overall base) the nearly 40% market-share held by satellite and IPTV providers is hardly chicken-feed either. I have to wonder what brought about this apparent shift from the more conventional cable TV services to alternative pay-TV subscription methods.

Now for their part the cable industry doesn’t specifically refute that they lost market-share but Ira Sussman from the ‘Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau’ states that “The February 2006 numbers reported by Nielsen didn’t include homes with digital-video recorders, which makes satellite growth in the past year appear greater than it actually was.”

Sussman expects a recalculated report that reflects those DVR households later in the year, this revised report should give us a more accurate representation of the gains made by direct broadcast satellite of late, but by all accounts no one’s arguing that cable has indeed lost market-share to other pay-TV subscription services.



Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under HDTV Programming


Comments

  • Brian

    If they didn’t count DVRs for cable did they count them for satellite? and maybe its because of the lack luster service from at&t and comcast thats driving people away from cable. Just a thought.

  • Brian

    If they didn’t count DVRs for cable did they count them for satellite? and maybe its because of the lack luster service from at&t; and comcast thats driving people away from cable. Just a thought.

  • JP

    As Davis points out, I for one am one of those that dropped cable in favour of OTA. It’s been a real good decision for me so far.

  • JP

    As Davis points out, I for one am one of those that dropped cable in favour of OTA. It’s been a real good decision for me so far.

  • Moe

    I’m one of those who gave up cable for OTA broadcasts. I generally only watched the local affiliates (CBS and FOX) and when I can get those in high-definition for free with a pair of bunny ears, I didn’t see the value in subscribing anymore.

  • Moe

    I’m one of those who gave up cable for OTA broadcasts. I generally only watched the local affiliates (CBS and FOX) and when I can get those in high-definition for free with a pair of bunny ears, I didn’t see the value in subscribing anymore.

  • B.Greenway

    Good point Davis, yeah I’d be interested to see the actual breakdown.

  • B.Greenway

    Good point Davis, yeah I’d be interested to see the actual breakdown.

  • davis freeberg

    It’s not all satellite and IPTV, a lot of it is OTA customers who don’t want to pay anything for their TV. It would be interesting to see the breakdown of the remaining 40%.

  • davis freeberg

    It’s not all satellite and IPTV, a lot of it is OTA customers who don’t want to pay anything for their TV. It would be interesting to see the breakdown of the remaining 40%.