One would imagine, with tens of millions of Americans quarantined at home during the second quarter, that years of cord-cutting would not just subside but reverse. However, according to the website Kill The Cable Bill, people canceling their pay-TV subscriptions during the lockdown period accelerated.
Kill The Cable Bill cited a report from Leichtman Research, revealing major cable companies lost 501,400 subscribers in the three months ending on June 30.
Here’s a breakdown of the exodus:
Kill The Cable Bill estimates the 501,400 subscriber decline equates to approximately $55 million loss for cable companies over the period.
The most recent estimates put the average cable bill at $109.60 per month. So when you crunch the numbers, that means Big Cable lost about $54,953,440 from subscribers in the second quarter. We also know that the average cable bill includes $37.11 in “hidden fees,” which are the fees tacked onto your bill after the advertised price. With the amount of subscriber losses this past quarter, Big Cable lost $18,606,954 in hidden fees alone! – Kill The Cable Bill
Cord-cutting was not limited to cable. Satellite TV services DIRECTV ((846,000)) and Dish ((40,000)) collectively lost nearly 886,000 subscribers in the second quarter, equating to a loss of approximately $97,105,600.
In total, big cable and satellite operators lost $152,059,040 over the period. Those who cut their pay-TV subscriptions gravitated towards streaming TV services, such as Netflix.
Netflix, during the second quarter, added about 10.2 million subscribers but warned subscriber growth is expected to wane. In the first quarter, the streaming TV service added 15.8 million subscribers.
“If Big Cable couldn’t stop the bleeding with more people than ever stuck at home watching TV, then there is truly no hope for the traditional pay-TV model,” Helen Back, Editor-in-Chief of Kill The Cable Bill said.
Back said, “Netflix was able to capitalize, adding 10 million subs in Q2, underscoring the unstoppable shift to inexpensive streaming services.”
Not even a pandemic (see: “”Perfect Storm” – Cord-Cutting Erupts In Pandemic As Pay-TV Crumbles”), with millions stuck at home, for various reasons, if that is under a public health order, or now remote working or just people stuck on their couches as depressionary unemployment crushes the economy – big cable is seriously doomed.