A new analysis of cable subscription rates shows an acceleration of the erosion that cable nets have been experiencing, with Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser describing what’s happening as “cord shaving,” rather than the traditional phenomenon of cord cutting.
MediaPost reports: “Wieser alluded to various ‘headwinds or tailwinds’ contributing to the trend, but overall he said it represents a pattern of ‘cord-shaving’ vs. ‘cord-cutting,’ as U.S. TV households reduce the size of their overall cable packages.”
The latest universe estimates from Nielsen for April show an overall decline of 1.7% in pay TV households, with larger losses among some of the largest network groups.
B&C reports: “It appears to be a particularly serious issue for The Walt Disney Co., whose networks were down 3.6% in April after being down 3.6% in March, and for Viacom, which was down 3.1% for the second straight month.”
Declines for Time Warner, Scripps Networks Interactive, NBCUniversal, Discovery and A+E Networks were all in the 2% range, while AMC was off 1.9% and 21st Century Fox dipped 0.9%, B&C reports. Crown Media Networks was up 10.8%.
Of the 122 cable nets measured by Nielsen, 30 reportedly showed some subscriber growth.