TV, Internet, mobile subscriptions could fall $5 billion

March 17, 2009

Over the next 12 months, consumer spending on pay-TV subscriptions, broadband and mobile services could decline $5 billion as the nation’s consumers continue to make adjustments for the declining economy, according to the latest estimate from research firm In-Stat.

The new In-Stat report, “U.S. TV Viewers Response to Economic Turmoil,” finds that while spending on these services will remain “about the same” for the majority of customers, about 15 percent plan to cut back. The pullback in consumer spending may be of particular interest to broadcasters because so many of their viewers rely on subscription service — not over-the-air TV — to receive their HD signals.

In-Stat’s latest look at how consumers use these various services also revealed a close tie-in between the Internet and the television. More than 66 million consumers across demographic categories use the Internet while watching TV in their living rooms.

For some male age groups, 40 to 50 percent use the computer while watching television. For women under 40, the comparable figure is 30 percent, said In-Stat analyst Gerry Kaufhold. Look for the link between televisions and the Internet to get stronger as new approaches develop to synchronize the use of Web portals with TV continue, he said.

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