Over the last month, four cable TV companies announced they will shut down TV service. Later this month, a fifth will complete the shutdown of their TV service.
According to reports, many smaller cable TV companies are struggling to stay profitable, with expensive TV costs affecting the bottom line. It is not just the small cable TV companies that are struggling. The city of Baltimore last month announced that just 24% of their residents still pay for cable TV.
According to the city of Baltimore’s budget director, Laura Larsen, the city has fewer than 60,000 cable TV subscribers. That is a 44% drop from the 106,000 subscribers it had in 2020. The 2022 United States Census showed there were about 247,000 households in Baltimore, which means just over 24% of households are paying for cable TV.
Mid-Rivers Communications, meanwhile, shut down its TV service on Sunday, saying that only 10% of its customers still pay for TV services. Now, industry insiders tell Cord Cutters News that most small cable TV companies will shut down their TV services in 2024 and beyond as TV becomes unprofitable in the face of streaming.
“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,” Mid-Rivers said in a statement on their site back when we first reported this news in June 2023.
Other cable TV companies have recently also announced plans to shut down TV service in 2024, including KPU, which said offering TV “just doesn’t make sense anymore.” Duo Broadband announced it will shut down TV services, including its streaming TV service, which it had hoped would attract cord cutters.
Lastly, Bailey Cable TV at the end of November, without warning, shut down not only its TV service but also its phone and Internet services.
In the past, it was thought larger cable TV companies would buy up smaller ones. Now, industry insiders are saying larger cable TV companies are struggling to justify the costs of buying up mostly rural markets with few TV customers.
Without a buyer and with high content costs, most smaller cable TV companies are deciding it’s best to focus on the Internet and phone. This will reportedly, according to multiple sources we have talked to, force most cable TV companies to shut down TV service in 2024 or at least start the process in 2024.