Another Cable Company is Killing its TV Business





Cable TV provider Consolidated Communications began notifying communities that it will cease offering video services this year and will focus solely on broadband.

The company alerted municipal governments across Butler County, Pennsylvania, according to the Cranberry Eagle, noting that the service would end on March 26. The publication said an executive from the company said it wants to focus on being “broadband first.” Consolidated offers services in more than 20 states around the country.

Consolidated is the latest in a string of cable companies to announce they were either shutting down their TV service or going out of business entirely. The industry is facing tremendous pressure not just from cord cutters leaving the service, but the increase cost of paying for programming and carrying ever pricier channels.

A spokeswoman confirmed that it was ending its TV business as it focuses on fiber-based internet service.

“Consolidated’s strategy is based on a fiber-first product offering, which provides consumers and businesses a future-proof technology with unlimited bandwidth potential,” she said. “As we make this transition, it will mean sunsetting some legacy products, such as TV services.”

While service in the Butler County area is shutting down in late March, the spokeswoman said that end dates will vary by region. “We are proactively reaching to our customers to help them identify alternative offerings,” she added.

Looking at the financial figures, it was clear where this company was headed. As of September, the company had 386,221 broadband customers, but only 26,158 video connections. It reported losing $69.2 million in the third quarter, a dramatic swing from the year-earlier profit of $282.3 million.

Exiting the TV business also means the communities that it serves also takes a hit, since they lose out on “franchise fees” they charge that grants companies that right to offer video services. There are no franchise fees to deliver internet services.

Companies like Consolidated would no longer have to pay those franchise fees, but could bundle other streaming services on top of its internet connection.

The cable industry continues to face big disruptions. In addition to companies shutting their video services, larger players like Charter Communications’ Spectrum are scooping up smaller regional companies as well.

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