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One of the most popular refrains recently has been doom-saying over the “impending collapse of TV”—or something to that effect. The numbers, however, tell a different story. According to Bernstein Research, subscribers to Pay TV actually increased over the past three years—to the tune of 1.8 million in 2009, 168k in 2010, and 224k last year.
So where does the narrative of the “cord cutters” come from? It’s true that “cable” has been shedding subscribers over the past year. However, this does not include bundled internet, telephone, and television packages from AT&T and Verizon, which have more than made up the balance.
Call it what you want, but this is ultimately semantics. Consumers consider AT&T’s U-Verse and Verizon’s FiOS packages to be “cable”—Comcast and Time Warner offer similar bundled packages. When it comes down to it, there is no meaningful evidence to bolster the much-heralded “decline of TV.”
Photo: Bernstein Research
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