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More Bad News for Traditional Pay TV

Just when you thought things could not get worse for pay TV…

This week Parks Associates published a new survey that showed the number of dissatisfied cable TV subscribers has doubled in just a few years. Even worse, only one-third of pay-TV subscribers are satisfied with their service.

“The pay-TV industry continues to experience worldwide growth, but the North American market is experiencing a decline in penetration,” Sappington said. “A combination of factors, including high monthly fees and a wide selection of OTT services, are pushing consumers away from traditional pay TV. Operators are now adjusting their strategies to address this new environment, including partnering with OTT video services or launching their own independent OTT services. Our research also shows that promotional options, including free or subsidized CPE, could entice potential Cord Cutters or Cord Shavers to keep their services.”

With feedback like this it is no surprise that the number of cord cutters is skyrocketing, especially as more and more Americans become unhappy with their current pay-TV service and streaming becomes easier.

This growing unhappiness is a market more services want to jump in on. Currently Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and DIRECTV NOW are offering a competing service. Other companies such as Hulu and YouTube are also working on new live TV streaming services expected to be released this year.

For the first time the traditional pay-TV model is facing competition and it seems to be struggling in the newly crowded market.

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  • Chris K.

    Is “cord shavers” the actual term for people who dump cable/satellite for a service like PSVue or Sling? Or is that just the invention of this article?

    • “Cord shavers” seems to be a term used to refer to people who downgrade their cable TV subscription to the lowest tier package available (e.g. to not lose their bundle deal or because antennas don’t work well from the location of their home).

    • PRMan

      Some people use it to mean people going to the lowest cable package. Others use it to refer to people using cable over internet packages. But yes, it’s an actual term.

  • Scott Knipfing

    I dropped my cable TV triple play now use Playstation Vue and FIOS internet. My bill dropped by $90 per month. The cable company assured me that it would be more expensive. haha jokes on them.

    I won’t say it was easy. I 1st tried DirecTV Now, it almost caused a divorce. PSV seems to work pretty well.

    • Jordan Musser

      Scott – have you tried Sling tv?

      • PRMan

        And risk his marriage again?

        • Scott Knipfing

          Exactly 🙂

      • Bruce Wayne

        Sling is trash. PS Vue is better.

        • Don K

          To each his own I guess. Yes PS Vue has more channels but they are all channels that I never watch and it’s 75% more expensive than Sling. Besides that, PS Vue doesn’t have my RSN’s and Sling does. And now that Sling has cloud-based DVR it’s a no-brainer for me.

          • Bobby Carroll Howard Jr

            That’s not entirely true. I have Playstation Vue and I only signed up because it does have RSN. Maybe not in your area but it does in mine. It’s worth it for me

          • Don K

            It’s entirely true for me. I realize that in some areas Vue has the RSN’s and Sling does not, but for me it’s the other way around. That’s why I said, “To each his own.” My RSN’s are the most important channels to me so it makes my decision easy.

          • Bobby Carroll Howard Jr

            It’s entirely true after you edited your original comment to say they don’t have “my” RSN. Originally it stated they had no RSN

        • Jordan Musser

          do you have any reason to this logic?

      • Scott Knipfing

        I have not. Once PSV worked, I stopped. The one thing my wife wanted were channels 2,4,5,7 (CBS, NBC, FOX, and ABC). PSV does these perfectly. With DTV, i needed to also pay for CBS All Access which I still have but will likely drop as we are not watching it.

        • Jordan Musser

          Scott I assume you mean you are getting those local channels live broadcast correct? I live in Providence, RI area and it doesn’t appear I can get local channels on any of the 3 so far Sling, DTVnow and PSVue

    • donkey_kong

      Same here. It was ridiculous how much frontier charged for all the cable box rental and DVR services. And the technology was garbage!

  • JeffO

    “The pay-TV industry continues to experience worldwide growth, but the North American market is experiencing a decline in penetration,” Penetration……what an interesting choice of words? The pay-tv industry no longer penetrates me : )

    • Bruce Wayne

      It means “market penetration”…..

      • Ben M

        He knows what it really means. He was making a play on the word “penetration” indicating that pay tv providers gave/give it to customers hard & fast without a kiss first.

        • Bruce Wayne

          Ohhh….you mean like this

          (•_•) ..
          ∫ ___( •_•)
          _∫∫ _∫∫ɯ

          • Ben M


  • Gregory Blajian

    “For the first time the traditional pay-TV model is facing competition and it seems to be struggling in the newly crowded market.”

    Ha ha ha ha ha … 🙂

  • Philip DiPatrizio

    What? Who didn’t think things couldn’t get any worse for pay TV? I think the entire cord cutter demographic is 100% sure things will *only* get worse.