Winners and losers in the cord shaving movement
August 1, 2016
The number of pay TV homes declined by 2.3 percent in August, according to new numbers from Nielsen, similar to what’s been seen over the past year.
Clearly cord shaving is happening, but the interesting thing is it’s not impacting all cable owners or networks equally.
In fact, some have continued to gain subscribers amidst this major shift, while others are taking a big hit, according to numbers crunched by Pivotal Research Group’s Brian Wieser.
Here’s a look at the winners and losers in these latest numbers.
Fox Cable Networks
Unlike other cable owners, it saw a very slight rise (0.3 percent) in distribution. That was in part due to gains for networks such as Fox Sports 2, up 11 percent, and FX Movie Channel (up 7.3 percent).
Of course, being bundled with the in-demand Fox News Channel on many systems doesn’t hurt.
Spanish-language cable networks
Fox Deportes and NBC Universo both saw gains of at least 4.4 percent, reflecting the continued strength of Spanish-language media.
Its ESPN2 and ESPN both saw drops of at least 4 percent, continuing a trend that dates back to last year.
Spike and CMT had the steepest declines of any of the major networks, with subscriber losses of 6.1 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively.
ESPN exacts a high per-subscriber fee from cable companies, and they’re no longer willing to pay. “Cord shaving disproportionately impacts networks that are either particularly expensive or which distributors are willing to go without,” notes Wieser in the report.
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