Just because 662,000 folks have left Comcast since the beginning of the year, doesn’t mean they have switched to DISH Network, DirecTV, Netflix , or another competitor. According to Comcast these folks are using over the air services. Comcast also explains that the subscribers who have left did so because of economic reasons. The economy sucks and people don’t have the money to spend on cable TV services. At least this is what Comcast says is the reason that its earnings have dropped.
A recent article also states:
A “small number” of former Comcast subscribers did appear to be swapping out cable for a free, over-the-air signal, said Comcast Cable president Neil Smit. But based on exit interviews, he said, they don’t seem to be planning on using the Web or services like Netflix, Apple TV, Hulu, et al as a cable substitute.
On the one hand, that distinction seems to be pointless, since someone who isn’t getting cable anymore isn’t getting cable anymore. Which makes them a “cord cutter,” technically speaking.
But those customers aren’t the ones that worry cable companies and Wall Street–or excite potential disruptors and their investors: When those guys are talking about cord cutting, they’re thinking about customers using the Internet and “over the top” services to get what they want.
So we’re still stuck where we’ve been for a while: Lots of people–many of whom are the kind of people who read sites like this one–say that cord cutting is either here or inevitable. And the incumbent cable companies say they see no sign of it.
The average video customer now pays Comcast an average of $130 per month, a 10 percent bump.
I see it this way. If 662,000 subscribers quit, and your earnings are down, then a 10% bump to $130 a month didn’t cover the loss in subscriptions. Of course, I didn’t attend the Bernie Madoff school of accounting. There are so many downright lies and deceit in corporate America that only a loon would believe any of this tripe.