Comcast Pretends That Cord Cutters Aren't Cord Cutters If They Cut Cord Because Of The Economy

from the denial-is-a-channel-on-the-internet dept

A couple of months back, we noted that the TV companies were in complete denial, insisting that the idea that people would cut the cable cord to go internet-only would never happen. However, we noted with amusement that the same day, that article came out so did a report saying that cable TV had suffered its first ever decline in subscribers. It seems that's continuing. Comcast apparently lost 275,000 video subscribers in the third quarter. However, the company has an ingenious way to make it clear that those people aren't cord cutters. Why not? Because they're saying they canceled their accounts due to the economy:
Comcast lost 275,000 cable subscribers last quarter, and has lost 622,000 in the first 9 months of 2010. More evidence of "cord cutting"? Nope, says the cable giant. It's evidence that the economy sucks. That's the short version of the company's explanation for the drop during its earnings call this morning: It had a variety of reasons to explain the exodus of subscribers, but all of them revolved around money that their previous customers don't have or don't want to part with.
Um. That doesn't change the fact that they were cord cutters. One of the reasons why people will cut the cord is that cable TV is too expensive (something that Mark Cuban is still confused about). One of the things contributing to the "tough economic conditions" for people at home is the fact that their cable bill keeps going up and up to pay for the "billions" in retransmission fees that Cuban and others want to last forever. And that's only going to serve to drive more people to cut the cord.

Filed Under: cord cutters, denial, economy
Companies: comcast

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    vastrightwing, 28 Oct 2010 @ 8:41am

    Incompatible business model

    Cable's business model is incompatible with consumer choice. Current model is: Provider(s) -> Carrier -> Consumer. Where consumer has choice A) Pay and B) not pay. This worked in the past because there was no competition. Now there is lots of competition and consumers have choice. The model now is:
    Provider(s) -> Carrier(s) -> Consumer

    The carriers are RF (over the air), Satellite, Cable, TCP/IP (aka Internet).

    The game is changing. The entertainment industry is resistant to change because it's worked well for a long time and even today still rakes in a ton of dough for them. Basically the carrier was the middle man. The providers had no contact with the end consumer. This allowed the providers to avoid competition and they could charge whatever they wanted since they controlled the content the provider could offer to the consumer.

    Today, consumers have choice and consumers are waking up and realizing they can avoid the problem of a single carrier and opt to drop it altogether and use alternative methods of entertainment. The traditional model is dying. It's only a short matter of time before we hear the industry start crying for taxes to be levied to support the dying industry. Yes, this is a repeat of the music industry woes.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Show Now: Takedown
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.