Pay TV is on the ebb as customers cut the cord

Second quarter numbers reportedly show that more than 400,000 pay-TV subscribers in the U.S. have dropped their service from DirecTV, Time Warner, Comcast, and more.

A look at the numbers shows that subscribing to pay-TV services is on the ebb. According to Reuters, more than 400,000 TV watchers have "cut the cord" since January.

First, DirecTV, which is the top satellite TV provider in the U.S., announced today that it lost 52,000 customers in the second quarter. Then the No. 2 cable provider in the U.S., Time Warner, also announced a second quarter loss today with 169,000 people leaving the service.

"Basic video subscriber losses aren't getting better," Bernstein Research analyst Craig Moffett told Reuters about Time Warner. Reuters points out that while Time Warner still has 12.3 million customers, this is the company's 10th quarter in a row with customer losses.

Years past have also shown pay-TV customer losses. In 2010, a total of 167,000 customers had dropped by the second quarter, and in 2011, 195,000 customers were lost in the second quarter.

There are tons of devices and Web sites that let people watch cable TV shows and movies via the Internet without needing to subscribe to a pay-TV service. This may be one of the reasons why subscribers are dropping like flies, but it could also be the general slumping state of the U.S. economy right now.

Time Warner's Chief Executive Glenn Britt told Reuters that the numbers are still considerably small and that, "We actually think a bigger issue in the market is that there is a group of customers that are in really serious financial shape, they have been out of work for a long time."

Other pay TV losses include the country's biggest TV distributor Comcast losing 176,000 video subscribers and one of the top satellite providers Dish Network losing 10,000 customers. According to Reuters, these losses weren't considered as dramatic as DirecTV and Time Warner's because they were less than in quarters past.

 

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