A TV advertising trade group says cord-cutting is overblown.
The Video Advertising Bureau, which represents broadcast and cable network TV network owners, says subscribers for the pay TV business --- cable, satellite, and telco -- have remained relatively steady for the last five years, now holding at 98 million homes for 2017.
That comes to 83% of Nielsen's total TV universe of 118 million homes -- a 1% decline versus a year ago.
Broadcasting-only homes amount to 13% or 15.2 million homes -- up from 12% in 2016 and 11% in 2015. Broadband-only homes are 4% or 5.4 million homes; it was 4% in 2016 and 3% in 2015.
Still, pay TV declines are not coming from broadband-only and broadcast-only homes, says Sean Cunningham, president/CEO of the VAB.
Streaming video adds to traditional TV, he says. Though streaming options have grown, the VAB says a majority of over-the-top streaming TV homes -- 71% - also have a pay TV service. Says Cunningham: “It’s all about more interest in TV.”
And traditional TV still dominates streaming. “Even the heaviest video streamers watch eight times as much TV as they do streaming video.”
With regard to TV consumers who have abandoned pay TV services, VAB refutes data about millennials and cord-cutting. While 38% of those who cut the cord are millennials, an almost equal amount -- 31% -- are baby boomers. Some 29% are Gen Xers, and 3% are senior TV consumers.