TV watchers are cutting the cord in droves in 2019 — and that is causing unexpected misery for anyone still married to their cable or satellite TV provider.
The percentage of households ditching traditional pay TV has plunged 19.2% this year alone, according a recent report from eMarketer. Overall, an estimated 21.9 million households had dropped traditional pay-TV service as of July.
In fact, a stunning landmark is now on the horizon, according eMarketer: “The number of households without a traditional pay-TV subscription is quickly approaching those that have one,” the company says.
All those defections are causing cable TV providers to hold on tightly to every penny of revenue. And that has meant jacking up rates for subscribers.
According to eMarketer forecasting analyst Eric Haggstrom:
“As programming costs continue to rise, cable, satellite and telco operators are finding it difficult to turn a profit on some TV subscriptions. Their answer has been to raise prices across the board, and it seems that they are willing to lose customers rather than retain them with unprofitable deals.”
Lucrative broadband internet services offered by telecommunications providers also are helping these companies compensate for their dwindling pay-TV customer base, Bloomberg reported in June.
According to the publication:
“Executives at big cable companies say they have no plans to stop selling TV altogether, because offering more services along with internet access gives customers more reasons to stay. … But cable executives are now focused on what they call ‘profitable’ or ‘high-quality’ video subscribers and less interested in cutting deals.”
How to cut the cord successfully
If you are fed up with soaring cable and satellite TV rates, consider joining the growing ranks of households who get their TV programming in alternate ways. The savings can be substantial.
For example, we highlight ways to dramatically slash your costs in “4 Streaming TV Services That Cost $25 a Month — or Less.”
What will you do with all those savings? Aaron Freeman, video and podcast manager for Money Talks News, used his cord-cutting savings to fund a trip to Europe. As he writes:
“With the money I saved, my wife and I went to Greece instead of watching it on the Travel Channel.”
Find out more — including a blow-by-blow account of his divorce with his cable provider — in “How I Converted a $5 Cable Fee into a Trip to Europe.”
Finally, if you are still reluctant to take the plunge, read more about the pros and cons of cord cutting in “Streaming Versus Cable: the Confusing Costs of Cutting the Cord.”
Have you cut the cord? Share your experience in comments below or on our Facebook page.