Cable companies have shown no signs of concern over cord cutting so far and it's easy to see why: Even customers who ditch their home video services will keep paying cable companies for broadband access. But TechHive notes that the cord cutting trend might finally be showing up on cable companies' radars now that it's growing to a more substantial size. A quick rundown of the numbers: Comcast has added 917,000 broadband subscribers this year but has lost 348,000 pay TV customers; Charter added 86,000 broadband subscribers but lost 27,000 pay TV subscribers; and Time Warner Cable saw its broadband subscriber numbers rise by 1.7% while seeing its pay TV subscriber numbers shrink by 6%.
Time Warner is now offering a new, affordable plan that lets you get HBO and about 20 channels for just $30/month for the first year. Great news for anyone who doesn't want to be saddled with 70 channels they're never watching.
Rumor has it Comcast will start selling downloadable and streaming movies via set-top box and the Xfinity TV website. According to Reuters, the service could start by the end of the year. [Reuters via Mediagazer]
Cord-cutting has become even more of a headache for pay television providers over the past year. The Wall Street Journal points us to a new report from researchers at MoffettNathanson estimating that the pay TV industry lost 113,000 subscribers in the third quarter of 2013, thus capping off what analyst Craig Moffett calls the "worst 12 month stretch ever" in the industry's history. The biggest losers in this scenario were unsurprisingly the cable companies that have been reporting massive subscriber losses over the past year, highlighted by Time Warner Cable announcing that it lost a stunning 300,000 pay TV subscribers last quarter. Telcos such as Verizon and AT&T and satellite companies such as Dish have fared better and have reported upticks in market share even as the cable companies continue to bleed subscribers, MoffettNathanson finds.
Congress is America's least-liked political institution but it could score some points with the public if it takes on one of America'sleast-liked industries. The Washington Post reports that Senator Jay Rockefeller (D., WV) has introduced new legislation aimed at reining in cable companies' ability to dictate what consumers can watch and what channels they're required to buy as part of their bundling packages. Among other things, the bill would bar cable companies from entering into deals with broadcasters to keep their live content from Netflix, Hulu and other digital streaming services; would shore up regulations against ISPs degrading competing video services' traffic in favor of their own; and it would give the Federal Communications Commission the power to monitor broadband billing practices.
When the Xbox One showed up back in May, showing off its slick, boxy body and collection of Kinect tricks, we were treated to a little taste of how it was not only going to play games, but also take charge of your TV. Since then, we haven't heard to much more, but we sat down with Microsoft to find out more about what this will all look like. Turns out it looks like pure future.
Sure, complaining about cable is probably the quintessential first world problem but it's like cable companies get off in screwing you over. South Park captures the cable screw job perfectly: every customer wants changes to be made with cable but every cable company is just enjoying how many different ways they can say no to you.
As cable companies continue to come up with creative ways to sell us TV without hooking us onto traditional cable, Bloomberg is reporting that DirecTV and Time Warner Cable are both thinking about creating an Aereo-type streaming service for customers to use. If it works like Aereo, it means you get to watch TV over the Internet through traditional cable providers.