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18MN US pay-TV subs lost since 2014

The Modern Broadband: Shifting Landscape study found that In 2020, over seven million households dropped their traditional — television services delivered over an operator-controlled network to an operator-controlled device — pay-TV services. This saw the traditional players customer base decline by an estimated 10 million subscriptions. By stark contrast over the same time, the US broadband market has accelerated, with 40% of US broadband households receiving a standalone service.

Online pay-TV service from virtual multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), players that target the general population instead of offering services to a specific geographic footprint, grew by an estimated three million. In the US market, vMVPDs represented the only segment of the pay-TV space to experience growth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Parks Associates estimates that by the year 2024, the traditional pay-TV subscriber base will decline to just 53 million US households — while vMVPDs will increase to over 23 million.

Internet service providers and others operating in the pay-TV space are thus seeking alternatives to traditional pay TV in their consumer services arsenal. Parks noted that cablecos in the US have had some success in encouraging new bundling by launching Wi-Fi-first MVNO services, primarily running on Verizon’s network. In Parks Associates’ Q1 2021 survey, 4% of US broadband households reported subscribing to Comcast Xfinity Mobile, Spectrum Mobile, or Altice Mobile — making them some of the largest players in the MVNO space.

Commenting on the Modern Broadband: Shifting Landscape report, Kristen Hanich, senior analyst at Parks Associates said :“vMVPDs overall have grown to represent an increasingly large percentage of the pay-TV market — accounting for 16% of US pay-TV subscriptions in 2020. US ISPs collectively have over 110 million residential and small business internet subscriptions as of Q1 2021. The standalone broadband market will continue to grow, increasing pressure on these service providers to find the next combination of services that best leverages this massive subscriber base.” Rapid TV News

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