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An analysis by the website VideoNuze has shown that in the last quarter, the US pay-TV industry regained some of the territory it lost in Q2,  when for the first time it experienced a net loss in subscriber acquisitions.

The statistics reveal that eight of the nine largest pay-TV operators gained an aggregate 66,700 subs in Q3 2010, against a loss of 47,600 in the three months to June 30th.

Last quarter’s dip, points out VideoNuze, led to speculation that the loss was due to so-called ‘cord-cutting’ – the phenomenon according to which cable subscribers (who represent the vast majority of pay-TV customers in the USA) choose to get rid of their pay-TV subscriptions because they are able to satisfy their requirements for premium content through ‘over-the-top’ video services.

Now that speculation has been revived because although the pay-TV industry as a whole has staged a minor rebound, the data  suggests that cable is losing share to satellite and telco-managed IPTV offers.

VideoNuze believes there is not enough evidence available yet to point to ‘cord-cutting’ as the cause of this trend, noting that other factors could be at play – for instance, telcos launching keenly priced triple-play bundles in competition with cable incumbents in their major markets.

For the time being, pay-TV operators in Europe probably have less reason to fear ‘cord-cutting’ than their US counterparts given the availability of independent online services across the Atlantic such as Netflix, which promote ‘mini-pay’ online subscription packages featuring premium movies for as little $9/month.

But it is surely only a matter of time before similarly competitive online pay-TV offers emerge on this side of the Pond.

This entry was posted on Monday, November 8th, 2010 at 6:24 pm and is filed under Industry News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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