This week, we learned that Spectrum will be switching its focus from traditional cable TV to streaming only. Current Spectrum customers can keep their TV service, but new customers will be pushed to the company’s new streaming platform using the Xumo streaming boxes.
Spectrum is not alone in this move, as several other cable TV companies announced they would shut down TV altogether this year or switch over to a streaming service.
One of the first cable TV companies to shut down is Mid-Rivers Communications. They announced that they will be ending cable TV operations on December 31st, 2023. This comes as they say only 10% of their customers still pay for TV and that it is just not sustainable.
“As we shared with all cable TV subscribers last December, this notice serves as a reminder that Mid-Rivers plans to discontinue cable television service as of December 31, 2023. The ways customers watch video have changed greatly in the last few years. We have been forced to drop programming from the cable TV lineup, and continually raise subscriber rates to keep up with ballooning programming costs, which is likely to continue next year.” Mid-Rivers Communications said in a statement.
Mid-Rivers went on to say that: “Cable TV subscriber counts are on a steep decline as customers move to streaming video. Cable TV is a courtesy we have provided only to certain customers in select areas, while customers in all parts of our service area rely heavily on us for Internet and telephone services. Cable TV makes up only about 10 percent of the Cooperative’s active customer connections today. Traditional cable television services are no longer a sustainable option for small communities.”
Now, instead of offering their own TV service, they have partnered with DIRECTV to offer DIRECTV Satellite or DIRECTV via the internet or even DIRECTV STREAM to their customers.
Here is how Wilkes Communications and RiverStreet Networks describe their company:
Over the past five years, we have successfully expanded our service footprint to provide broadband access to roughly 30,000 customers throughout rural North Carolina and Virginia – holding true to our goal of making broadband services accessible to those who live in unserved and underserved communities.
This news comes as multiple cable TV companies, including Frontier, have stopped offering traditional cable TV and gone streaming online. Frontier has, for some time now, offered YouTube TV instead of its traditional TV service.
Sparklight Cable (also known as Cable One) will be shutting down its traditional cable TV service. Instead, customers will need to use the new Sparklight TV service, a streaming-only service that needs a device like an Apple TV or Fire Stick to work. (Sadly no Roku support at this time.)
This summer WOW! announced a deal with YouTube TV to replace its cable TV service with YouTube TV and stopped accepting new TV customers in the summer of 2023. WOW! says it will also start moving its remaining TV customers to YouTube TV. WOW! will also start selling YouTube TV to new customers now.
“We are thrilled to begin offering YouTube TV and give our customers access to this best-in-class pay TV service. We are very pleased to deliver a seamless TV experience to our customers with this new partnership while continuing to execute on our broadband-first strategy,” said Teresa Elder, CEO at WOW!. “This furthers our commitment to provide our customers with the highest quality services at the best value.”
These five companies include some of the largest cable TV companies in the United Sates. Cable TV may not be dead but it is defiantly facing a very difficult time as it fights cord cutting.