Pay TV Homes Dip 1.6%, Rise In Cord-Shaving

Pay TV households continue to decline steeply while the overall TV home growth rate inches up.

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%.

1 comment about "Pay TV Homes Dip 1.6%, Rise In Cord-Shaving".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, November 30, 2016 at 3:55 p.m.

    Another point to take note of concerns the partial unbundling effect that may develop as more and more consumers partake of subscription packages of 50, 75 and 100 channels now being offered by various players in competition with traditional cable services. If, say, 25% of all TV homes reduced the number of channels they received from the current norm of around 200 to only 75, and these packages invariably included all of the broadcast TV networks and/or their affiliates, the result would could be a significant increase in broadcast network ratings in such homes due to reduced competition. While overall set usage might decline slighlty, due to less content being available, broadcast network ratings could rise by 20% in these homes, netting out to a 5% increase nationally---in other words we would be seeing reverse rating fragmentation.

Next story loading loading..