Cord cutting had a great year in 2018, with over 2.5 million new American households joining
the movement. Even more interesting is that as the year went on cord cutting picked up speed as
1.1 million people canceled their Pay TV subscriptions in just the last 3 months of 2018.
Record Pay TV Subscriber Losses
According to reports, the big five—AT&T, Charter, Comcast, DISH, and Verizon Fios—lost 2.4
million subscribers in 2018 with the other smaller cable networks making up the remaining
Earnings reports show that DISH lost 334,000 subscribers, DIRECTV lost 658,000, Spectrum lost
36,000, Comcast lost 19,000, and Fios lost 46,000. These numbers do not even include the losses
from smaller cable TV companies like Cox. It also does not include all the smaller cable TV
networks out there many of who do not report subscriber numbers.
The news may even be worse for small cable TV companies. The cable TV company RTC
recently announced they will be ending their TV service on July 1st, 2019. And they are just one
of many small cable TV companies considering this option.
RTC has issued the following statement:
Based on what we see for the future and what’s best for our customers, RTC
Communications will no longer provide video service as part of our entertainment
package effective July 1, 2019. For years, our customers have had access to a wide range
of channels of information, entertainment and sports. As you probably know, more than
half of all usage on the internet is video of all forms and formats to suit all tastes and
styles. We have been monitoring and evaluating the trends in video and are making
significant changes and restructuring in light of what we see in the market today, and in
the future. This business decision was purely in the interest of our customers and
stemmed from long-term planning by RTC’s senior leadership team as part of a plan to
ensure the health of the company.
Although this was a hard decision to make, we feel that it is in the best interest of our co-
op owners, employees and community as a whole. We regret any inconvenience this
announcement may cause, and we will offer our assistance in helping you decide upon an
alternate video product that best fit your needs.
A New Wave of Cord Cutters
Have you been thinking about cutting the cord and breaking free from the high cost of cable and
satellite TV? You’re not alone. It is reported 39 million Americans are actively planning on
cutting the cord.
According to UBS, 20% of Americans plan to cut the cord in the next 12 months (from the time
the survey was taken). This works out to over 39 million Americans actively planning on cutting
the cord. According to Variety, there were over 196,300,000 Pay TV subscribers at the end of
With over 39 million new streamers getting ready to hit the market you can understand why a
flood of new streaming services are trying to take advantage of the growing number of cord
Even if just half of this number cancel traditional pay TV, it would be a devastating year for
cable TV. With the current number of live TV streaming subscribers being under 10 million, this
mass exodus could also easily double the number of Americans currently subscribing to a live
TV streaming service like Sling TV, DIRECTV NOW, and Hulu.