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Report: Cord-Cutting Households To Jump Nearly 20% This Year, Leaving 40 Million Without Pay-TV Service

Jason Gurwin

After another quarter of historic losses of pay-TV subscribers, which saw companies like AT&T, Dish Network, Comcast, and Charter shed more 1.25 million subscribers collectively, eMarketer is now estimating that over 40 million households will be without a pay-TV service by the end of 2019. This year the company projects that cord-cutters will jump another 19.2% and that pay-TV households will decline by 4.2% to just 86.5 million.

By the end of 2021, eMarketer projects that there will be fewer than 80 million pay-TV households for the first time, and that by 2023 there will be just under 73 million.

“As programming costs continue to rise, cable, satellite and telco operators are finding it difficult to turn a profit on some TV subscriptions,” eMarketer forecasting analyst Eric Haggstrom said. “Their answer has been to raise prices across the board, and it seems that they are willing to lose customers rather than retain them with unprofitable deals. This has been a boon for TV providers, who also offer broadband internet, as it removes consumers from bundled deals. It forces consumers to pay a higher price for internet, which dramatically improves profit margins.”

With more direct-to-consumer offerings on the horizon like Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, joining existing ones like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video — the rush to cheaper options is on the way. And this doesn’t factor those that have switched to a Live TV Streaming Service which offers a similar cable bundle and DVR, without additional fees and contracts.

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