Hard Facts About Pay-TV Cord Cutting From SNL Kagan


smashedTV_smallADOTAS – I’m not always the quickest to pick up on lingo, but it seems kinda awkward to analogize part of the birthing process with detaching from a media source. Despite a recent positive report from Nielsen and the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM), new findings from SNL Kagan suggest cord-cutting — kicking your pay TV service to the curb — is a real trend.

Pay TV services had 119,000 subscriber casualties in the third quarter, down from 216,000 unsubscribes in the second quarter. But digging deeper into SNL Kagan’s data, cable companies (e.g., Time Warner Cable, Comcast, other despicable characters) lost 741,000 subscribers while satellite and telco services (e.g., Verizon FiOS) gained 621,000. Still a net loss, but it’s the cable companies that are really eating dirt.

I haven’t had a pay TV service in three years (I watch TV programs online, on DVD or at bars as many hangouts in Brooklyn have “True Blood” or “Mad Men” nights), but what used to drive me nuts was the overabundance of cheap reality television on cable/satellite networks. Writing about SheKnows’ launch of its TV channel yesterday, I realized that same kind of reality TV is showing up in bite-size droves across the Internet, where content is cheaper to produce and more cost-effective for brands to sponsor.

When you can get your reality TV fix online, why bother paying for a TV service? Unless the “Real Housewives of Wherever” mean that much to you… And if you’re a brand, why not push more advertising dollars toward the burgeoning market of branded video content?


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