Cable TV Sees Subscriber Numbers Fall to 1984 Levels as They Lose 33 Million Subscribers





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Cable TV continued to see its subscriber numbers fall in 2023, according to a report from MoffettNathanson.

According to the study, only 34 million Americans subscribe to cable TV in the third quarter of 2023. That number has not been that low since 1984.

It is a dramatic fall from the peak subscriber numbers of 67 million in 2002 before satellite, TelCos, and streaming started to chip away at the cable TV subscriber base.

Cable TV is not alone in this drop in subscribers. Satellite services, like DIRECTV and DISH, have seen subscriber numbers drop from a peak of 24 million in 2014 to 15 million at the end of the third quarter 2023.

Cable TV has lost 33 million subscribers since its peak. Satellite TV companies have lost 9 million American subscribers. Since the peak of both services, they have lost a combined 42 million subscribers.

To help offset these losses, cable TV companies have pushed to find ways to diversify into areas like wireless services and Internet. Recently several large cable TV companies have reported losing Internet customers too. One of the few companies to see growth with Internet customers in the third quarter of 2023 was Spectrum, but they also announced they expect to lose subscribers in the fourth quarter of the year.

These cable TV losses will likely continue as multiple small cable TV companies have announced plans to shut down TV service in 2024. Small cable TV companies say it’s not profitable to keep running their TV service.

At what point will larger cable TV companies decide it is no longer worth it to offer their services?

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