This week, Gallup released its new survey looking at Amerians’s trust in media. According to that report, only 34% of Americans trust mass media to report the news “fully, accurately, and fairly.
Only 7% of Americans say they have “a great deal” of trust and confidence in the media, and 27% say they have “a fair amount” of trust in the media.
These numbers are horrible news for cable TV companies that have been counting on news and sports to save cable TV. Now though, increasingly, Americans are turning away from newspapers, TV, and radio as they go to free online options for news.
“The percentage of Americans with a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media has not been at the majority level since 2003, although before that — in three readings in the 1970s and seven readings between 1997 and 2003 — it was the norm. The public’s confidence rating for the media has averaged 42% since 2004.”
This lack of trust has removed one of the last hopes for cable TV to keep subscribers. Now no longer are people interested in paying for live news from CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC like they did in the past. This leaves cable TV companies hopes to keep customers almost exclusively on live sports.
2023 has not been kind to cable TV companies like Comcast, DIRECTV, and Spectrum. In just the first half of 2023, cable TV companies have lost over 2,748,000 TV subscribers. Not only that but the hope that most cord cutters would switch to live TV streaming services doesn’t seem to be paying out as live TV services like Hulu + Live TV and Fubo also lost 509,000 subscribers during the same time period.
In the 1st quarter of 2023, cable TV companies lost 1,135,143 subscribers. In the 2nd quarter of 2023, cable TV companies lost 1,613,532. In the 1st quarter of 2023, streaming live TV services lost 394,000, and in the 2nd quarter, they lost 115,000 all according to The Leitchman Research Group, which includes estimates on DIRECTV and YouTube TV.
Without live news being one of the main reasons Americans want to pay for live TV services like cable or YouTube TV, it will become increasingly hard for cable TV companies to keep customers. For now, we will have to wait and see what happens with cable TV but it looks like one more leg of the cable TV table just broke off.