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For the First Time, Significant Decline Observed in American Pay-Television Sector

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Published on : Mar 21, 2014

Americans paying for television viewing through fiber services, cable networks, or satellite have declined in numbers. In 2013, the number of connections reportedly declined by over a quarter of a million, according to figures stated by SNL Kagan, a research firm. This marks the first every full-year slide in numbers in this industry. Market experts opine that if this trend of declining TV connections continues, 2012 could well be considered as being the high point in the industry. 

However, the decline doesn’t really indicate that Americans are engaging in less video watching. It only means that the viewing platforms are changing. This is proven by the fact that online video streaming companies have recorded a spike in the number of users. There are several shows on these channels that charge a meager fee that is considered affordable by several consumers. As compared to shelling out approximately USD 40 a month for cable channels, consumers now have access to more affordable viewing channels. 

However, experts are quick to point out that the decline has not been major, and can be described as being small thus far. 

According to a statement issued by Kagan, companies such as Verizon Communication Inc, Comcast Corp, and DirecTV collectively reported a decline in subscribers to the tune of 251,000 in 2013. The total number of subscribers now remains around 100 million. 

Experts admit that the industry has expected this decline for some time now. In August 2013, a report by IHS, a research firm, had said that the number of TV subscriptions would drop to 100.8 million in 2014 from the existing 100.9 million a year earlier. With phone carriers and satellite service providers eating into the market shares of cable companies, this decline is evident.

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