Pay TV Market Faces Extinction As Cord-Cutting Gathers Pace

Mike Wheatley

Cord-cutting is reportedly picking up steam in the U.S., with more than 20,000 households per day canceling a cable television subscription in favor of alternative, web-based video streaming services.


A report in FierceWireless notes that the pace of cord-cutting has accelerated in each quarter in 2019, with America’s biggest traditional cable TV companies losing millions of subscribers this year. AT&T has it worst, having lost a staggering 1.36 million customers in the third quarter alone, while companies including Altice, Comcast and Dish also lost hundreds of thousands of subscribers in the last three months.

The losses are happening across both traditional cable and satellite TV services as Americans increasingly abandon traditional bundles in favour of video streaming services such as Netflix, which offer more content and the ability to access it on-demand from any location.

FierceWireless said the cord-cutting trend has accelerated beyond the point of no return, and that providers have been forced to launch their own streaming services in order to replace their traditional content bundles. Companies including Apple and Disney are both due to launch streaming services later this month, while Warner Bros., which is owned by AT&T and NBCUniversal, owned by Comcast, will both launch similar services next year.

The report notes that there’s a similar trend towards cord-cutting in Europe, but that it’s less pronounced as the video streaming industry isn't as developed as it is in the U.S.

In any case, it’s looking more and more likely that the traditional pay TV market will disappear, with most providers expected to stop offering cable and satellite TV subscriptions completely within the next ten years.