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Bundled Cable DeathWatch: Ratings Plummet Double Digits

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The end is nigh for the Hollywood affirmative action racket known as bundled cable and satellite television. Customers aren’t yet cancelling their overpriced bundled TV packages by double digits. That reality, though, can’t be far behind. People inevitably figure out they are paying for something they don’t use; and according to the latest ratings, by double digits, people are watching less-and-less bundled television.

Commercial ratings — the viewing “currency” that determines what advertisers pay for TV time — cratered across broadcast and cable networks, marking the fifth straight month of double-digit declines for the industry.

“It’s clear the downward spiral in TV ratings continues with no end in sight,” media analyst Michael Nathanson wrote in a research note on Friday.

Overall prime-time broadcast network ratings were off 12 percent last month compared to a year ago, while cable networks dropped 11 percent, according to his report.

Five months of double-digit decline (when compared to the previous year) in a row is no blip.

Add to that a rough winter. You would think that with all the snow more people would be in front of their television sets.

They probably are.

The problem for the left-wing, Hollywood gajillionaires who have been gouging us for decades, is that their customers are now engaged and growing ever more comfortable with a new behavior known as streaming. Somewhere close to 40% of American households now subscribe to a streaming service like Netflix or Amazon. Both cost less than $10, have zero commercials, and tons of superb content.

The death spiral will only speed up. With HBO, CNN, Showtime, ESPN and others now offering their programming through cheaper streaming bundles or a la carte, the objections to hanging on to that $150 bundle are slowly but surely being overcome.

 

John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC


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