While cord cutting remains a constant challenge for service providers, cord shaving (the act of cutting back on bundle options and channels), is proving to be a much more immediate threat, according to a DSLReports article. Recent studies show that the most-viewed channels (including ESPN, USA, and CNN) have lost an average of 3.2 million subscribers, or around 3% of their audience. These losses are not because customers are canceling their subscriptions en masse; instead, it’s due to users purchasing smaller, less expensive bundles.

The next few years will be interesting for broadcasters, cable companies, and consumers. As the traditional business model implodes, broadcasters are going to increasingly embrace online options. As cable operators themselves lose money from declining TV subscriptions and the elimination of cable voice lines to cut costs, they’ll likely turn to just one thing to keep those quarterly returns coming: usage caps.

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