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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.

โ€œAs programming costs continue to rise, cable, satellite and telco operators are finding it difficult to turn a profit on some TV subscriptions,โ€ eMarketer forecasting analyst Eric Haggstrom said. โ€œTheir 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.โ€

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.