Variety, TVWeek

Nielsen Confirms Accuracy of Report Showing Big Losses in Cable Subscriptions

Nov 4, 2016  •  Post A Comment

Nielsen has reissued a report showing substantial subscriber losses at Viacom, Disney and Time Warner cable channels, among others, even after some networks questioned the data, Variety reports.

As we reported earlier this week, Nielsen initially retracted the report after ESPN and others challenged its findings of large subscriber losses in the month of October.

But Variety reports: “The measurement company reissued the November Cable Network Coverage Areas Universe Estimate on Friday after recalling the report, which showed losses at 82 out of 119 networks.”

Nielsen combed through the data before releasing a statement today that says in part: “Nielsen has now completed an extensive review and has verified that November estimates were accurate as originally released and that all the processes that go into the creation of these estimates were done correctly.”

Nielsen attributes the losses to cord cutting, with the statement noting: “The month-over-month decline in coverage that most cable networks saw was driven primarily by an overall decline of approximately half a percentage point (.55) in the Cable Plus universe, meaning fewer households are subscribing to cable through the provider types listed above.”

Click here to read the full statement from Nielsen.



  1. But are they still claiming that the ESPN networks have lost a total of 2,000,000 subscribers? Asking because according to your earlier post the report stated that ESPN roughly lost 600,000 subscribers, ESPN2 lost a different set of 600,000 subscribers, and ESPNU lost yet another completely separate group of 600,000 subscribers, which Neilsen then added together to come up with the 2,000,000 figure.

    Just to be clear I have no problem believing that ESPN has lost 600,000 (or more) subscribers but Neilsen counting the 600,000 as three separate groups and adding them together to reach the 2,000,000 figure really does not seem to hold up.. It seems to me they are counting the same subscribers three times over.

  2. ESPN is losing subscribers because their programming sucks, pure and simple. NFL fans don’t want to hear ESPN reporters and anchors constantly harping about the off-field incidences of NFL players. That belongs on news channels, maybe. Rather, NFL fans want to see HIGHLIGHTS and analysis of the games, period! That is why the NFL Network is doing so well. And ESPN tortures viewers with meaningless coverage on Sportscenter of things like tennis matches, rugby, soccer game coverage and other “sports” that 95% of the viewers could care less about… so they tune out, and go to the MLB Networt, the NFL Network, etc. THAT is why ESPN subscriptions are down… because their programming is so out of touch now, with what the vast majority of sports fans want.

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