Commentary

Satellite, Telcos Add Video Subs in 2011; No Evidence of Cord-Cutting

Cord-cutting? What’s that?

The biggest multichannel video providers in the United States added subscribers last year, rather than lost them. A just-released study from Leichtman Research Group  found that the 14 biggest service providers representing about 94% of the market added more than 380,000 new video customers in 2011.

That’s an impressive gain considering it occurred at the same time that Netflix and other streaming services took off in viewing. After all, Netflix now accounts for 30% of all Internet traffic in the evening, whiletablet viewing also peaks  in primetime hours. And yet, even with the focus on alternative forms of watching programming, service providers are still gaining.

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However, the total number of video subs multichannel providers acquired in 2011 dipped from the year before — about 175,000 fewer than in 2010. The top ten cable companies lost about 1.6 million video subs in 2011, less than the nearly 1.8 million lost in 2010, Leichtman said. The overall gains, though, are coming from satellite and telcos. The telephone companies added 1.5 million video subs in 2011, on par with the 1.6 million added in 2010. Satellite providers added nearly 500,000 video customers last year, compared to the nearly 700,000 they added in 2010.

When these numbers are analyzed next to streaming numbers, perhaps the conclusion is that overall TV viewing is rising and that streaming is growing too amongst a core group of people. Nielsen said recently that the time spent watching video via computers has doubled in the last three years  while the number of unique viewers has increased only 26% during that same time period.

TV viewing remains high — Americans watch more than 146 hours of TV each month, up nearly 2% since 2010. Nielsen said.

1 comment about "Satellite, Telcos Add Video Subs in 2011; No Evidence of Cord-Cutting".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, March 22, 2012 at 2:06 p.m.

    Perhaps you need a better analysis of the data, using percentages rather than raw numbers. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the population of the U.S. grows every year. Did subs keep pace with population growth? Apparently not if the rate of growth slowed. So how did the headline get written so misleadingly?

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