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Documentary Business

Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

Revenues Drain from the Cab/Sat Programming Ecosystem. Part 4: Cord-cutting Accelerates

Is the U.S. Cable /Satellite Channels business facing its Napster moment?

  • That’s when a disruptive online solution (Napster) sucks the revenues out of an established business model (the CD-based retail music industry.)

Cord-cutting accelerated to record levels in the 3rd Quarter, surprising industry analysts.


  • The mainly Millennial non-cabled home is a growing segment.
  • Cord-nevers and cord-cutters grew from around 4 million to 11 million U.S. households since 2015.

Skinny Bundles Rising

  • Consumers accelerated their take-up of packages of fewer channels.
  • The rise of the Skinny Bundle partly offset the loss of subscribers to the 400+ channel /  $100+ packages.

Commissions Cut

  • But budget-priced skinny bundles are at a lower price point than the full package.
  • Like the cord-cutters and cord-nevers, they drain revenues from the programming eco-system.
  • The dozens of Cab/Sat channels that powered the 30-year production boom are cutting the volume of their unscripted and documentary commissions.
  • Netflix, Prime and other online video subscription services are not substituting for the lost volume from Cab/Sat channels.

Read more: “Bad to Worse”

  • Wall Street Journal: “Outlook for Traditional TV Goes From Bad to Worse. Cord-cutters continue to chip away at cable and satellite providers’ dominance of the living room.” 11/19/18
  • Will Richmond explores ‘record cable subscriber losses’ in his brilliant VideoNuze.

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Revenues Drain from the U.S. Cable / Satellite Programming Ecosystem: