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Cable TV is dying, and the industry has only itself to blame



The time was, people removed their cable TV packages by cutting the cord so they could save money by going all-in on streaming. It was the price of an expensive cable TV event against something like Netflix̵

7;s low monthly price (which has been ticking steadily in recent years).

So slowly but surely, many of us started subscribing to services like Disney +, Hulu, Apple TV +, Peacock and others, so that in many cases it became more expensive to toss cable in favor of going cordless and getting your entertainment solution from streaming TV options.

In fact, researchers at Versus Reviews found that in more than half of the United States – in 37 states, to be exact – people spend more on streaming than on average (or in many cases used) on cable. It’s usually not much, with streaming costing in many cases just more than cable with a few dollars a month, but here’s the point: How awful has an industry gotten when people want to pay more going forward to get rid of it?

In fact, the figures for the first quarter of 2021 show that the cable TV industry continued to bleed customers at a dizzying pace, with Comcast and AT&T leading the way. Leichtman Research Group estimates that the number of cable cutters in the first quarter was close to 2 million. Also noteworthy: According to eMarketer, the number of US households still subscribing to cable TV is less than 75% of what it was in 2013, a peak year for the industry.

There are so many reasons for this, but at a high level it is difficult not to feel quite confident that the industry did this to itself. Nickel-and-dimming clients, sucking people into unfathomable contracts with gotcha clauses that it takes a lawyer to understand, and terrible client service are just some of the practices that drove and continue to drive clients right into the arms of streaming options.

The sequel to this news is, of course, that the worst offenders in this industry will still get paid, in one way or another. As mentioned in a new comment by The Motley FoolAmericans do not cut the cord and emit TV for good – rather, an increasing number of us are simply looking forward to it in a different way now. That is, even in the same first quarter when almost 2 million Americans ended their relationship with cable TV, as many as 46.4 million new streaming subscriptions were purchased. A few years ago, for example, I paid Dish for the TV I like, and now I pay AT&T in addition to Netflix, Apple TV +, Amazon Prime Video and many more.

In other words, those at the top are constantly being paid. This reminds me of a line from The cord, when D’Angelo Barksdale taught the boys how to play chess. They asked him a very logical question – how do you become the king in this game? That’s not the case, he told them. Everything becomes whatever it is.

“The king becomes the king.”

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See the original version of this article at BGR.com


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