man cutting a cable cord with a pair of scissors

Both Cable Customer Subscriptions and Satisfaction Are Down

In this week’s unshocking news, cable operators reported their largest decline in subscribers ever. That makes the first quarter of 2018 the worst on record for cable TV. And to top off the bad news for Big Cable, the American Customer Satisfaction Index released a new report showing that subscribers of streaming video services (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) are far happier than traditional cable and satellite customers — causing the Pay TV sector to fall to an 11-year low on the index.

Comcast and Charter Hit Hard

According to the research company Kagan, the top five cable companies lost over 235,000 subscribers during the 2018 first quarter. This is a substantial loss compared to 2017 Q1, when nearly 100,000 cable subscribers ditched their pay TV bills. And the two cable companies with the biggest drop were Comcast and Charter, who together accounted for 59% of the Q1 loss.

In ACSI’s report on telecommunications companies, Comcast and Charter both had some of the lowest scores compared to other subscription television services. Comcast’s score dropped 2% while Charter’s score went down 8%, the largest drop of the subscription-TV list.

The Streaming Service Effect

Overall, combined Pay TV subscription losses fell by 0.8% to 93.2 million customers (which is still way too many if you ask us…) but the report goes on to note that those losses were cut in half when DirecTV NOW and Sling TV were factored in. According to the Kagan report, those video streaming services now make up 3.8 million residential accounts.

The ACSI included video streaming services for the first time in their research report. The industry’s score? A solid 75 out of 100. The U.S. Pay TV average score was a lousy 62 — a 3% drop year over year and the lowest score for the sector in 11 years. In fact, Pay TV had the lowest customer satisfaction rating of all industries measured by the ACSI, tied only with internet service providers. Check out the full report here.

The bad news just keeps on coming for traditional subscription TV services. And that means there’s never been a better time to ditch your Pay TV bill. Want to learn more? Head over to Untangle.TV  to see what you need to cut the cord!