Last night, Disney-owned channels went dark on Spectrum, the second-largest cable TV provider in the United States. Now Spectrum says that the current system is broken and is proposing a new model that creates better choices for its customers.
Here is the full statement Spectrum sent Cord Cutters News:
We are disappointed with The Walt Disney Company’s decision to remove their networks from our lineup and deny our customers the opportunity to watch.
We would agree to The Walt Disney Company’s significant rate increase despite their declining ratings. But they are trying to force our customers to pay for their very expensive programming, even those customers who don’t want it or worse, can’t afford it.
The current video ecosystem is broken. With The Walt Disney Company, we have proposed a model that creates better alignment for the industry and better choices for our customers. We are hopeful we can find a path forward.
This comes as Spectrum has lost over 440,000 TV customers in the first half of 2023. This comes as Spectrum lost 241,000 subscribers in the 1st quarter of 2023 and 200,000 subscribers in the 2nd quarter of 2023. This works out to be over 2,400 customers canceling Spectrum’s cable TV every single day.
With numbers like that, you can see why Spectrum would want to push back against any effort to raise its prices. Spectrum also seems to want to change how it offers its channels to give better choices for its customers. Now the question is exactly what are these plans, and what will this new model be for Spectrum customers?
Now Spectrum says they want to work with Disney and others to offer discounted bundles of streaming services at affordable prices. In a statement posted to its investors, Spectrum said its new plan is to: “Aggregate the ad-supported streaming apps from cable network brands into packaged linear products at an affordable price point, creating the most compelling consumer proposition in the marketplace.”
Spectrum went on to say most networks will not be able to become profitable in a purely direct-to-consumer model with streaming services. Instead, Spectrum says services like Disney+ should bundle with other similar services.
For years now, cable executives have talked about changing cable TV to become more attractive to subscribers. Recently, cable TV customers dropped to less than 50% of the American population. This sharp drop in subscribers may finally be what it has taken to force major changes in how cable TV works.
As Americans cut the cord increasingly, they are picking on-demand-only services. Many cable executives had hoped 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 first half of 2023.
Clearly, something will have to change if cable TV is hoping to slow down the growth of cord cutting. The question now is will this plan work.