& cplSiteName &

Kissing Cousins: Broadband & Pay TV

Mari Silbey
1/17/2014
50%
50%

Got broadband? Then chances are you pay for TV service too.

According to The Diffusion Group, 88% of American adults with broadband at home also subscribe to cable, telecom, or satellite TV service. The numbers are higher among older cohorts, while younger adults are notably less likely to pay for television. However, even consumers in the group with the lowest uptake numbers -- adults between ages 25 and 34 -- still purchase TV service at a rate of 81.9%.

Cable operators have watched their video subs slide for years, but consumers have largely migrated to competitive services rather than abandon pay TV for over-the-top (OTT) video altogether. The big question is whether the lower rate of subscription in younger audiences is a sign that they're less interested in pay TV or just at a stage of life where TV service is less relevant or too costly.

Whatever the reason for the age-related trends, service providers are actively working to draw in younger audiences. In addition to multi-screen video delivery, cable operators are also experimenting with new service models.

Cox Communications Inc. trialed an innovative IP video service with Fanhattan LLC 's Fan TV in 2013 and reportedly has another virtual cable service under development. Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), meanwhile, have introduced lower-cost services that combine Internet delivery with a smaller lineup of TV channels and added access to premium content from Home Box Office Inc. (HBO) . (See Cox Eyes IPTV Service .)

There is also renewed interest among service providers in pursuing the university market. Philo (formerly Tivli) -- a startup that enjoys backing from high-profile investors such as Mark Cuban -- has successfully signed up several schools for its college-specific IP video platform.

Comcast has also introduced an Xfinity on Campus service. That offering launched first at Boston's Emerson College and will reportedly take off next at Drexel University. (See also Tales of Tivli: Taking TVE to School.)

There's a theory here. Hook consumers while they're young. That may be the best way to keep subscription numbers high across a lifetime.

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

(10)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
1/21/2014 | 6:19:12 PM
Re: Cox
That would make sense, Dan. But cable operators don't necessarily always do the sensible thing. So we shall see. BTW, who's your cable operator? Comcast?
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
1/21/2014 | 6:17:46 PM
Re: Forget Pay TV
Sounds like you've cut the cord already, Sam. So is this the death knell for the traditional pay TV model? 
sam masud
50%
50%
sam masud,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/21/2014 | 9:55:59 AM
Forget Pay TV
I suspect a key reason why a lot of people, particularly younger people, pay for "traditional" TV is because often something they'd like to watch is not available immediately as OTT TV. Other than that I cannot think of a single reason why anyone would want to pay the high rates for traditional TV and, equally important, only be able to watch a program at the time it's broadcast.
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
1/18/2014 | 3:43:06 PM
Re: Cox
If the local sports issue were to really change, I'm almost more interested in first seeing how my cable TV company tries to respond. They aren't just going to let huge numbers of us go without radically changing their approach to pricing, bundles, etc., right? Maybe they shouldn't be waiting, but they must feel they can quickly revamp their whole game if this ever happens.
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
1/17/2014 | 5:59:01 PM
Re: Cox
I agree with both of you, if that's possible. More and more folks are looking for alternatives to the cable-led status quo. But many, if not most, of us have not found it yet, at least partly because we don't want to lose our precious local sportts programming. If the sports TV equation should ever change, and it just might, then the doors will fly wide open for cord cutters and shavers.     
Phil_Britt
50%
50%
Phil_Britt,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/17/2014 | 5:31:36 PM
Re: Cox
Not actively looking, but certainly keeping eyes on Light Reading to see if workable solutions become apparent. Again, the stickler tends to be sports. I don't want to pay an extra fee to watch the Bears (some games, I felt I should have been paid) and other home teams that I get, including some games on Big Ten network that is part of cable package. 

Most other video I can get online or for a lower cost than cable. Now if soomeone comes up with a way to cobble together everything I want for a lower cost, great. I think that will eventually happen as cable keeps boosting triple play costs.

However, triple play providers aren't the only culprits in boosting fees. Programming providers keep boosting the fees they charge as well. So even alternate video providers must find some way to keep increasing their revenues to keep up with rising costs.
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
1/17/2014 | 5:19:53 PM
Re: Cox
Ah, but you are looking, right? And that's my point - I haven't found the perfect solution het, but we're looking and when we found something reasonable, I'm happy to cut or shave the cable cord. 
Phil_Britt
50%
50%
Phil_Britt,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/17/2014 | 5:18:36 PM
Re: Cox
I hate to see the triple play costs increasing as well, but so far have yet to find a better option due to my personal viewing habits. There are some lower cost options available, but not if I don't want to pay extra for the sports programming I get via a basic cable package. I still prefer a VOIP phone over a cell at home, but do see a point where the triple play cost will not be the best option. Just haven't hit it yet.
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
1/17/2014 | 4:44:26 PM
Re: Cox
Those of us in triple play bundles just see our bills go up, up, and up and as much as I dislike the change process, there is tremendous motivation to explore other options arriving in my mailbox (or email) once a month. 
KBode
50%
50%
KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/17/2014 | 2:15:47 PM
Cox
Did anything ever come of that Cox effort? If I remember that was the first attempt at offering an OTA solution without tying it to traditional cable authentication, but the Orange County trial lasted only a month or something. Any chance cable could explore an OTA solution like the rumored one Verizon is working on outside of their FiOS footprint? I understand the fear is cannabalization of existing legacy TV tiers, but you'd think they could avoid that via just offering smaller bundles or something.
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Friday, September 30, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & the Great Migration
Robert Howald, Vice President, Network Architecture, Comcast
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Wednesday, October 5, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & Smart Cities
Joe Kochan, COO & Co-Founder, US Ignite
Friday, October 7, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & DOCSIS 3.1
Ty Pearman, Director, Access Architecture, Comcast
Wednesday, October 19, 1:00PM EDT
Securing a Virtual World
Rita Marty, Executive Director, Mobility and Cloud Security, Chief Security Office, AT&T
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: SDN/NFV Pose New Interconnection Possibilities

9|28|16   |   04:37   |   (0) comments


Network operators should develop new APIs and business processes for reselling virtual assets to each other, says CenturyLink's Bill Walker. That will enable them to build digital business portfolios that help them avoid becoming commodity transport providers.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Overcoming Terror of Being Supplier, Integrator & Developer

9|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Travis Ewert of Level 3 Communications said there is terror in becoming supplier, integrator and developer, but it can be overcome and be cost effective.
LRTV Custom TV
Introducing IoT World News

9|27|16   |   01:43   |   (0) comments


Self-driving cars, medical sensors, smart cities... and refrigerators. In order to address the huge scope of IoT, KNect365 has created a unique online community that will help businesses to understand and monetize the opportunities that live within the IoT market. We look forward to welcoming you to IoT World News -- your gateway to a better connected future.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T: Re-usable Functions Next NFV Key

9|27|16   |   06:03   |   (0) comments


The next generation of NFV has to break functions down into re-usable software chunks, making everything much more cloud-like.
LRTV Interviews
Masergy on Security: Attackers Gaining Upper Hand

9|27|16   |   5:10   |   (2) comments


At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Ray Watson, vice president of Global Technology at Masergy, says that because of the growth in virtualization, the threat landscape is shifting in favor of the attackers. As a result, service providers need to think beyond just defending the perimeter and take a more holistic approach to security.
LRTV Interviews
Verizon Takes Next Step on Biz Virtualization Journey

9|26|16   |   4:38   |   (2) comments


At September's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Light Reading sat down with Victoria Lonker, director of Product and New Business Innovation at Verizon, to chat about where the carrier is with delivering virtualized services to business customers.
LRTV Interviews
Global Services: The $40B Face-Off

9|26|16   |   05:53   |   (1) comment


More service providers than ever before are battling it out to win a slice of what is now a $40 billion global communications services pie, explains Ovum Principal Analyst David Molony.
LRTV Documentaries
MEC Congress: The Key Takeaways

9|22|16   |   03:25   |   (3) comments


Three key takeaways from the Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) Congress in Munich, Germany.
Wagner’s Ring
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'

9|22|16   |     |   (12) comments


Service providers can't compete with OTT players. It just isn't in their DNA. Instead, service providers need to embrace what they're good at -- providing reliable, secure connectivity.
Wagner’s Ring
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50

9|21|16   |     |   (13) comments


How do you keep your career moving forward when you're past the half-century mark?
LRTV Interviews
Peering Into the Digital Future

9|20|16   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


Nick Thomas, practice leader of digital media at Ovum, talks about how digital transformation in the technology, media and telecom sectors will enable the development of a new range of applications and services for enterprises and consumers and how the upcoming Digital Futures event in London will examine ...
LRTV Custom TV
Napatech Tackles NFV's Major Challenge

9|7|16   |   08:42   |   (0) comments


One of the main challenges for network operators introducing NFV is to combine performance and flexibility in a cost-effective way, but there is a solution, explains Napatech's Dan Joe Barry.
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/22/2016
Verizon CFO: Eat Our (Fixed) 5G Dust!
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/22/2016
WiCipedia: The Women Helping Women Edition
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 9/23/2016
Eurobites: Telefónica Taps Juniper for Network Security
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 9/26/2016
Open Source Getting on My Nerves
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/26/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
There's Nothing Like Missing a Full Minute of Pokémon Go Click Here
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.