Analyst Sounds Warning On Death Of TV: 'Cord Cutting Used To Be An Urban Myth. It Isn't Any More.'

Pay TV cable subscribersOne Touch IntelligenceIn general, fewer subscribers are paying for TV.

Moffett Research founder and analyst
Craig Moffett said in a report on declining pay TV subscriptionsthat cord-cutters — consumers who don’t want to subscribe to pay TV services because they can get all the programming they need on tablets and desktops — are doing “statistically significant” damage to the television industry:

“Cord cutting used to be an urban myth,” Moffett said. “It isn’t anymore. No, the numbers aren’t huge, but they are statistically significant.”

We asked One Touch Intelligence — which also examines cable industry trends — if their analysts were seeing the same thing. They are. (See the chart; click to enlarge.)

In Q2 2013, there was a net decline of 319,518 paid video cable and satellite subscriptions, according to One Touch. Q2 is always a lousy quarter for the TV business. Subscriptions tend to follow housing trends, and so the numbers have a seasonal cycle, and Q2 is always in the “down” part of the cycle.

But this Q2 was worse than the one before. All cable TV operators lost subscribers — including Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, and Time Warner. Only AT&T and Verizon gained users, adding 373,000 subs, the numbers show.

The chart shows that the lows of TV’s subscriber losses are lower than the highs of its gains — the overall trend is down, in other words.

Note that AT&T and Verizon are primarily broadband internet suppliers, not TV companies.

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