Weak Economy Drives 2Q10 Pay-TV Subscriber Decline

SCOTTSDALE,ARIZ.: In-Stat says the weak economy drove the pay-TV exodus during the second quarter of 2010. The research firm came up with a total of 167,000 cord cutters for 2Q10, leaving 101.2 million subscribers.

“There are several reasons behind the quarterly subscriber loss,” said In-Stat’s Mike Paxton. “While growing availability of over-the-top Internet video is spurring talk of mass ‘cord-cutting,’ this decline is not about canceling pay-TV in favor of Internet video. The main driver of this subscriber decline is the struggling U.S. economy and high unemployment.”

In-Stat’s conclusion coincides with one reached by SNL Kagan last month. Kagan’s count was higher, comprising 216,000 subscribers who dropped service. Kagan also cited the economy, unemployment and poor housing starts.

“We are also seeing churn resulting from the broadcast digital transition, which boosted video uptake early last year, as many have abandoned their paid subscriptions once initial promotional contracts expired,” Kagan’s Mariam Rondeli said.

August 23, 2010
: “Kagan: Pay TV Subscribers Dwindle
People abandoned cable TV in record numbers during the second quarter of 2010, according to analysts at SNL Kagan. Cable lost 711,000 subscribers, with six of eight MSOs reporting their worst quarterly video losses as well.