In looking at Nielsen data for its December 2016 estimates, Pivotal Research Group says pay TV subscribers sank 1.6%; there was overall 1.7% growth rate of TV households. “The worst gap in more than two years," says Pivotal.
Brian Wieser, senior research analyst for Pivotal, also says there was a 1.6% decline in median pay TV homes and a 1.9% fall in median cable network household penetration.
He writes that: “The spread between median cable network household penetration and pay TV homes implicitly indicates a rise in cord-shaving.”
There may be a silver lining broadcast networks, whose growth penetration -- 1.7% -- effectively matches the rise in TV households.
“This growth in penetration provides support to viewing levels at those networks, at least to the extent that viewing arrives at there by default when broadcast-only homes choose to watch linear TV.”
Some big cable gainers when it comes to pay TV distribution in December: Hallmark Channel, up 3.3%; CBS cable networks, 2.1% higher; and AMC Networks, 1.7%.
Big losers: A+E Networks, down 3%; American Heroes Channel, 2.3%; and Disney Channel, 2.2%.