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Another Million Subscribers Cut the Pay TV Cord Last Quarter (dslreports.com) 105

A report from FierceCable says that a million more U.S. pay TV subscribers cut the TV cord last quarter. "Only five of the seven biggest pay TV providers have released their third quarter subscriber data, but collectively these companies saw a net loss of 632,000 pay TV subscribers during the period (385,000 for AT&T and DirecTV, 125,000 for Comcast, 104,000 for Charter, 18.000 for Verizon FiOS TV)," reports DSLReports. "Dish has yet to report its own cord cutting tallies, but the company is again expected to be among the hardest hit due to a high level of retransmission fee feuds and a lack of broadband bundles."
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Another Million Subscribers Cut the Pay TV Cord Last Quarter

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  • by registrations_suck ( 1075251 ) on Thursday November 02, 2017 @07:12PM (#55479925)
    They could avoid it if TV didn't suck.
    • by registrations_suck ( 1075251 ) on Thursday November 02, 2017 @07:31PM (#55480015)
      I ditched cable in 2009 - do not miss it at all. Don't even have Netflix, Hulu, or any other subscriptions. If I want to watch a movie, I'll rent it on Vudu, or Apple Store, or even Amazon. No need to "subscribe" to any kind of movie or TV service.
    • by ark1 ( 873448 )
      They could avoid it if only they can kill net neutrality and turn Internet into another "package" based service like cable.
    • Don't worry, these are cable companies we are talking about. They are hard at work dreaming up ways to punish their users into submission.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If a channel needs a paid subscription to view, a sane person expects to not get any commercials on it. And perhaps even some quality content. But eg. Discovery and History channel have commercials and the content is just generic reality-tv crap that can be obtained from any other channel. At what scale is storage-treasure-hunting, alternative history drama or truck driving in Alaska a scientific or educating show?

      Cheaply made crappy content plus big bill for it equals no customers. It should not take too m

    • by thomst ( 1640045 )

      registrations_suck opined:

      They could avoid it if TV didn't suck.

      Nice troll, registrations_suck. It's more than a little undermined by your admission that:

      I ditched cable in 2009 - do not miss it at all. Don't even have Netflix, Hulu, or any other subscriptions. If I want to watch a movie, I'll rent it on Vudu, or Apple Store, or even Amazon.

      in a post below [slashdot.org].

      What that post reveals is that you have no fucking clue what you're talking about, when you say that TV "sucks".

      In fact, for the past six or seven years, TV has gotten better and better. Sitcoms aside, TV shows - and I'm including here programs on all those streaming services you don't watch, as well as broadcast and cable programming - have enormously stepped up thei

      • Cartoons have gotten much worse. News reporting has gotten worse, dishonest and biased. In sports, the technology has improved, but the commentary has been politicized.
        • Yup. The decline of ESPN alone was enough to get me to cancel TV. Got the call from "retention" a week later -- told them I wasn't interested even if it was free. Liberating. [Truth is I only was using TV to help me take a nap...not a great use case.]

      • in a post below [slashdot.org].

        What that post reveals is that you have no fucking clue what you're talking about, when you say that TV "sucks".

        Sure I do. It's simply unable to compete for my time because it is uninteresting enough to do so. Besides the basic cost - they tack on all kinds of "fees" and "taxes" that contribute to the suck. Then there is the "weekly model" that sucks. I don't want to watch one show a week. If I am interested in the show, put it all up at once. You just don't get that from TV. S

        • by thomst ( 1640045 )

          I noted:

          What that post reveals is that you have no fucking clue what you're talking about, when you say that TV "sucks".

          Prompting registrations_suck to respond:

          Sure I do. It's simply unable to compete for my time because it is uninteresting enough to do so. Besides the basic cost - they tack on all kinds of "fees" and "taxes" that contribute to the suck. Then there is the "weekly model" that sucks. I don't want to watch one show a week. If I am interested in the show, put it all up at once. You just don't get that from TV. So fuck them. Combine that with changing the time on shows, cancelling shows that I AM interested in and I just have no incentive to get sucked into watching.

          None of those things speak to my point. You are complaining about delivery models, not about content - and your complaints amount to "I'm locked into the 20th century TV consumer mindset, and I don't want to change."

          The fees you complain about are for cable/satellite "tiered packages", while the streaming services you sneer at are each one, relatively modest price per month. As far as watching shows on your preferred schedule goes, that's w

          • If my post was unclear, I apologize.

            My complaint is chiefly with the content. The content, by and large, sucks. The delivery models just make it suck more - and the cost doesn't help.

            While the streaming services may have “modest” price per month – I just don’t find them worth it. To cut to the chase – if I could get whatever the maximum possible cable TV package there is, with all the premium channels, and all of the porn channels, and all of the music channels, along with ALL

  • EXCELLENT! I love it! I'll be doing it shortly too.
  • by speedlaw ( 878924 ) on Thursday November 02, 2017 @07:22PM (#55479969) Homepage
    Cable bill..hey, cable TV...no commercials.... OK.. Broadband better than DSL ? OK. TV too, OK. Feed the whole house. CableCo scrambles all signals "for piracy". You need to rent a box for $8 per month per TV and suffer an egregious Guide. Three TV sets. Commercial load making any non DVR watching impossible. Send another new bill. Now, $7 per month "Sports Fee". Don't watch or subscribe to any sports. ESPN needs my money ? They are not even a government....so $8x3x12 + $7x12. = $374 You just boosted me a car payment for absolutely nothing ?
    • You need to rent a box for $8 per month per TV and suffer an egregious Guide.

      While you would need to purchase the units, TiVo has "mini" devices that work off your main unit via TCP/IP, either streaming recorded shows from the main unit or temporarily borrowing a free tuner in the main unit to stream something live. Main TiVo units come with 4 or 6 tuners and multi TB hard drives. You only need to rent a CableCard from your provider for the main unit(s). The UI and Guide service are pretty good - though you have to Tivo for the Guide service (either yearly or lifetime). You can als

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        A TiVo box that can record cable also costs $750: roughly $200 for the hardware plus $550 for the All-In Plan.

      • I've a Premier, which will stream, but very, very slowly. I use an older Mac Mini for streaming, no problem and no buffering wtih 1080p out. I had cable card in some Sony HDD 250 and when they died/were abandoned by Sony and Rovi I got the Premier. It's long paid for lifetime. I used cablecard when I had cable.
      • You only need to rent a CableCard from your provider for the main unit(s).

        Easier said than done. Who hasn't managed to get themselves an exemption when they moved to SDV? You'll get to rent a tuning adapter for each tuner in that TiVo.

        • You only need to rent a CableCard from your provider for the main unit(s).

          Easier said than done. Who hasn't managed to get themselves an exemption when they moved to SDV? You'll get to rent a tuning adapter for each tuner in that TiVo.

          I have a TiVo Bolt with 4 tuners. It uses one multi-channel CableCard and *one* tuning adapter (connected via USB).

  • And One (Score:4, Interesting)

    by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Thursday November 02, 2017 @07:22PM (#55479973)
    we cut last month. our TWC bill was doubled by Spectrum for the same service. watched the World Series online.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      its not a "World Series" if its only played in America.....

      • Re:And One (Score:5, Funny)

        by datavirtue ( 1104259 ) on Thursday November 02, 2017 @09:10PM (#55480369)

        [Laughs heartily] You are SOOO cute! The World Series happens in America bitch. Greatest country in the United States.

        • If America is so great, how come you have never won the Copa América?

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by ChrisMaple ( 607946 )
            America's premier athletes play gridiron football, baseball, or basketball. The ones who play soccer aren't tough enough for gridiron football, tall enough for basketball, or athletic enough for baseball. People in the U.S.A. prefer these more organized sports, so that's where the money goes, and athletes follow the money.
          • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

            > If America is so great, how come you have never won the Copa América?

            You mean like the World Cup where our women have won twice?

            Apparently soccer is a "just a girls game here".

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        its not a "World Series" if its only played in America

        Then perhaps the Toronto Blue Jays need to start winning more American League championships.

      • Soccer's World Cup only allows land based countries to compete. That's not even one third of the world. And if you throw out Antarctica as well for having no countries, look how provincial the supposed World Cup is.

      • its not a "World Series" if its only played in America.....

        It is if you're american who is too stupid to realise that other countries exist too.

      • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

        > its not a "World Series" if its only played in America.....

        You are deeply confused regarding how the World Series got it's name.

      • The World(tm) Series was sponsored by the World newspaper, thus the name.

      • by Rolgar ( 556636 )

        How many other countries had significant baseball leagues in 1903 when the first World Series was played? Or even really the 50? The MLB established a major brand around the name long before any other countries were close to developing leagues. You think they are going to change the name over a little matter such as accuracy?

  • by Rick Zeman ( 15628 ) on Thursday November 02, 2017 @07:23PM (#55479977)

    ....says that if you lose market share you cut prices to try and regain it. They will no doubt raise prices to try and keep revenue the same...thus driving off even more customers.

    • by bobbied ( 2522392 ) on Thursday November 02, 2017 @07:36PM (#55480033)

      Ah, the simple logic of the cable company... Such refreshing stupidity..

    • I imagine a bunch of neanderthals around a large table in a meeting room who's only reaction to everything is "raise prices!" I can proudly proclaim that I have never paid for cable in my entire 40 years on this planet. I am very well paid ("highly compensated employee") but I would never suffer the indignity of paying to have that shit piped into my home.

    • Yes! I soo enjoy watching this movie!
    • by Agripa ( 139780 )

      ....says that if you lose market share you cut prices to try and regain it. They will no doubt raise prices to try and keep revenue the same...thus driving off even more customers.

      Why would their customers leave? In most cases, they have no choice whether they are buying TV service or Internet service.

  • Raises hand (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Snotnose ( 212196 ) on Thursday November 02, 2017 @07:26PM (#55479991)
    Had Uverse for years, they kept trying to charge me $140/month. Every fricken year I called them and said "Um, yeah, no bang for the buck here" and got my monthly bill down to under $100. This year? They jacked my rate to $160/month, called them a few weeks ago and the best they could offer was $140. Um, how about no. Actually, how about "fuck no, you greedy assholes".

    Lost my cable TV 2 days ago, we'll see how it goes, but I'm looking into Kodi boxes and DVDs from the library. I miss the news, the Chargers went to LA last year so fuck them, this will be interesting.

    What was really irritating? AT&T was sending flyers to my house advertising the same package I had at $160 for $50/month if I got directTV. But I don't have a south facing place to put an antenna, plus I like online multiplayer games where ping matters. Cox was advertising the same package for $80/month. I decided to bite the bullet and cut the cord instead of getting a new DVR/install.
    • Re:Raises hand (Score:5, Insightful)

      by barrywalker ( 1855110 ) on Thursday November 02, 2017 @07:36PM (#55480031)
      Fuck. Television. You don't need it. Cut the cord and don't look back. I don't remember when I last had cable and don't miss that shit a bit. When I want to watch something, I use Apple TV, Netflix or Amazon, but honestly, I don't watch TV much anymore. It's all shit anyway.
    • I had cable for many years too. Was about $160 a month. I thought I'd get value out of it since 5 Yank stations promoted NFL, I tune in to the stations, it was either 5 stations of Buffalo Bills or Deflategate Pats. I also thought hey I got SportsNet & TSN both havnig 5 stations each such as West, East, Central, but I tune in to watch MLB or NHL and it's 5 stations of the regional team. When I inquired why West doesn't show Western teams, they go o it's based on your region. Defeats the point reall
    • by bobbied ( 2522392 ) on Thursday November 02, 2017 @07:44PM (#55480055)

      Yea, Verizon did the same routine with me...

      Send out advertisements advertising a really good rate, confirmed it on their website, called when my "contract" term was up and guess what? The advertised rates are both largely deceptive (because they add all sorts of "necessary fees" that nearly double the actual costs) and because I'm an existing customer (of over 10 full years now), the advertised rate is not available to me. It's only for new customers....

      So, you are going to charge an established paying customer, who's never missed a payment in 10 years and won't require you to buy and/or configure anything MORE than a new customer that's going to cost you money to set up?

      The brilliance of this was breathtaking.... I was happy to take my business elsewhere and lucky that I could...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The first 6 months or so are a bit hard. But after that you can pick up pretty much all the shows you were watching on DVD. You are slightly out of date but not wildly.

      I had a decent amount of DVDs when I cut the cord. I then took the money I spending on cable and bought whole seasons of shows. Dropped them all on a NAS and I am STILL ahead cost wise what TW wanted to charge me. I am just shy of 1500 movies and 200 complete TV shows. All on DVD and ripped to a NAS with a KODI menu front end. No pirat

      • I find the commercials a vapid assault on my dignity.

    • I feel like cable wouldn't even have so many cord cutters if they just charged everyone the advertised prices - even the loyal customers. Or even just consistently advertised the actual prices (without bundles).

      • Heh! I was looking at a Time-Spectrum ad, and they were claiming $29.99 each for TV phone and internet. My bill is twice that, and I don't know anyone with a $90 bill.

    • I guess there's local news, but most of the stations around here got bought out by Fox and aren't really local anymore. It's actually creepy to see their fox news style politics seeping into it...
    • $140/month

      As a matter of interest what kind of dollar are you talking there? I dropped my cable package when they tried to charge me more than $40 AU dollars per month. The idea that someone even pays $40 greenbacks for cable astounds me, let alone $140.

  • Cut the cord a year ago. Tablo streaming and DVR OTA TV to four screens and mobile devices. Playstation Vue for sports and Netflix. Haven't missed cable. Saving $1300/yr.

  • (Posting for the official record.)

    It is now official. Netcraft has confirmed: cable TV is dying

    One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered cable TV community when Nielsen confirmed that cable TV market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all viewers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that cable TV has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. cable TV is collapsing in complete di

    • The Cable TV Industry is one that is totally ripe for disruption. I only miss all of about two shows since cutting the cable cord and I am cheering falling subscriber numbers. IPTV is really the thing that will kill the cable duopolies. Once television becomes completely provider agnostic, we should see prices continue to fall to ones comparable to an individual line of cellular service.
      • I hear you. We haven't had cable in at least 15 years; can't say as that we've missed it.

        We didn't drop it to save money, we dropped it mainly because it was 200 channels of craptastic shit that simply wasn't worth watching. But with that said, at ~$100 a month we've saved almost $20,000.

        If they ever pulled their heads out of their asses and let us do an ala carte deal at a dollar or two per channel we'd probably get 5 or 10 channels, but that'll never happen. Apparently they'd rather have $0 a month than $

  • Wow, no mention of Kodi in the article. It's usually their fault right?
  • 1) Lack of anything meaningful to watch on it. I think every other station on DirecTV is either an infomercial, religious programming, or in a language I don't even speak. ( Spanish ) The culled down list of channels I flip through is maybe a dozen. Maybe.

    2) Monthly cost of said programming far exceeds its value. Far, FAR too expensive for what it is. Cut the cost in half and you might slow the bleeding a bit. For a while anyway. You still need to fix #1 if you plan on having any long term custom

    • I have said it outloud more than once: " There is no way I would ever pay full price for this. "

      Agreed! Every week now, I get flyers hung on my door for Comcast Xfinity and Verizon FiOS. I already have Verizon FiOS for internet and I won't subscribe to their TV service. In fact, just yesterday I caught the Comcast dude hanging the flyer on my door and I told him to remove it. He asked me why and I simply and logically stated, "You might want to save Comcast some money on printed material because there is no way, even in the shady side of hell, that I would ever give Comcast any of my business." He pic

      • I almost feel bad for them, I get these fliers in the mail for a massive savings discount on bundles of services that I don't need or want. Maybe it'd be nice to have a home phone line for the kids to use, but at the prices offered I'd be better off getting them their own cell phones.
        • I almost feel bad for them, I get these fliers in the mail for a massive savings discount on bundles of services that I don't need or want. Maybe it'd be nice to have a home phone line for the kids to use, but at the prices offered I'd be better off getting them their own cell phones.

          I don't feel bad for them. They've been greedy and anti-competitive for way too long.

    • Actually, I do not entirely agree. I think that there are things to watch. The problem is that, in order to be able to watch them, the cable companies force you to pay for tons of stuff that you do not really want to watch. The solution would be TV a la carte, at reasonable prices. However, the cable companies/content owners have forever refused doing this. It will never happen.
    • This is actually the best TV season for me in years. 95% of it is still crap, but the remaining 5% is as much or more than I have time for. The problem is, a lot of that is also on Hulu, and without commercials! Is the remaining stuff worth the $$$ that I'm paying? That seems doubtful, and getting more so with every price rise.

  • by unixcorn ( 120825 ) on Friday November 03, 2017 @09:58AM (#55482765)

    With all the cord cutting, myself included, I don't understand why more content providers aren't breaking with tradition (or contracts) and offering their programming via streaming. For example, I want my national news via my Roku box. I checked with Fox News (don't judge me) and the only way I can stream their content is with an account like DirecTV or one of the cable providers. It's a dying industry and content providers really need to either offer themselves al-a-cart or figure out a way to group together on their own. I won't be paying for 100 channels of infomercials or crap I don't watch anymore just to have news and weather. I am guessing most others commenting here feel the same.

    • Because me and millions just like me. No internet cable or DSL available. Satellite internet is capped so streaming time is limited. Dish and Directv only choice for TV and often no broadcast signal either..
  • "Gee, we only misused and abused our subscribers for decades, forced people to subsidize programming they have no interest whatsoever in, and exploited our illegal monopolies to suck trillions and trillions of dollars out of people who had no choice if they wanted decent and convenient entertainment options, and proved over and over again why situations without competition between service providers produce RECORD bad service and horrible customer value, WHY ARE THEY ALL CUTTING THE CORD NOW THAT THERE ARE A

  • Back in the day when we had 6ish TV channels and no internet, cable tv was nice. If only for the fact we could get those 6ish channels with perfect reception. Those other channels offered was a bonus. Although really they mostly sucked. MTV was good for videos but they don't do that anymore. I don't even think ESPN was born yet.

    I now pay $100 for a fast internet package. The cable company is annoyingly incessant sending me mail asking me to buy TV package. $300 gift card if I sign up for a 2 year deal. W
  • In the six or so years since I cut the cord, Cox has raised my internet rate from a somewhat reasonable $55 to a ridiculous $79 with no significant increase in bandwidth.

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