Why TV Subscribers Change

A new report from Centris indicates that more than one out of five pay-TV subscribers intend to change providers, change their level of service, or cancel entirely in the next three months. About half of these will change the program package that they have, which means that the other half will switch to a new service entirely or get rid of pay-TV altogether.

For those in this second group who are not moving, the main reason for making the change is simple: money. More than a third of them indicate that the price of the subscription is the reason for their decision. And I can’t say that I’m surprised.

Satellite and cable fees continue to rise (driven at least in part by more expensive retransmission licensing fees), and consumers feel that they are paying more for nothing. The pundits forecast continued subscriber losses; in an Associated Press story, Citigroup analyst Jason Bazinet predicts that Comcast will announce a net loss of another 125,000 basic cable subscribers for the fourth quarter of last year.

As I’ve said before, the pay-TV services are getting squeezed and I expect that we’ll see some significant changes in the business before this year is over.