Cable television is “failing” as a business, according to a cable industry lobbyist, as more and more people switch to streaming services and watching videos on their phones.
“As a business, it is failing,” said CEO of the American Cable Association (ACA), Matthew Polka, during an episode of C-SPAN Communicators this week. “It is very, very difficult for a cable operator in many cases to even break even on the cable side of the business, which is why broadband is so important, giving consumers more of a choice that we can’t give them on cable.”
“The cable business isn’t what it used to be because of the high costs,” he continued, adding that “it’s the video issue of our time as consumers learn they have choice,” citing services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.
“It gives consumers more choice, something that they’ve wanted for a long time, more control from the bundle of cable linear programming,” Polka claimed. “Our members, however, I think are very aggressive in how they are trying to provide consumers that they serve with more choice through on-demand, through availability of over-the-top services, making sure that their broadband plan is fast enough to support a consumer’s video habits. So, yes, it’s a thing that’s happening today, cord cutting, cord shaving. But as an industry, our members are well primed to be able to serve their customers with their broadband service that allows them to consume the video they want.”
Polka’s claims mirror those revealed in a new study, which shows that televisions are no longer the primary screen for many people.
“The live ratings for the shows — across all networks tumbled 30 and 40 percent from a year ago as viewers more and more turned to their mobile devices for entertainment,” explained The New York Post. “Only six of 61 returning network show finale episodes saw an uptick in ratings versus the prior year, according to Nielsen numbers for live plus same-day TV viewing in the 18-to-49-year-old category.”
“Everywhere else, it can only be described as a bloodbath,” they continued.