Everything, if you consider that it’s telecoms like Verizon and AT&T that are increasingly cutting into the bottom lines of cable and satellite providers.
“Telecom companies have done better than cable or satellite providers in selling bundles that include high-speed internet connectivity, phone service and TV," eMarketer senior analyst Paul Verna explains in a new report. “These all-in-one packages often save customers money and facilitate viewing on mobile devices."
The result? This year, 4.9 million U.S. households will unsubscribe from traditional pay TV services, eMarketer estimates. If accurate, that will represent a jump of 10.9% over last year.
What’s more, that growth will accelerate in the coming years, jumping another 12.5% in 2016. By next year, in fact, the number of U.S. households subscribing to cable and satellite will drop below 100 million for the first time in a very long time.
"This year, the number of digital video services expanded at a faster pace than ever before," according to Verna. "In addition to standalone offerings from the likes of HBO, there are new digital bundles that include many of the channels consumers could only have received with cable and satellite subscriptions in the past."
In fact, “This widespread availability of digital content makes cord-cutting a viable option for a growing segment of the viewing population,” Verna notes.
Cable and satellite providers will steadily lose customers through 2019, eMarketer is sure. The number of U.S. households subscribing to cable TV will drop 0.4%, this year, while the number of U.S. households subscribing to satellite TV will drop 1.5%.
Conversely, more American households will subscribe to TV packages provided by telecom providers Verizon and AT&T. That segment will jump 1.8%, this year.
Also of note, the share of viewers who have never subscribed to cable or satellite ("cord-nevers") continues to grow. This year, the percentage of U.S. adults who have never subscribed to cable or satellite TV will reach 12.9%, and grow to 13.8% by 2016.