Weekly Newsletter, 8/15/16

GraphCable Subscriptions Fall by 705,000 Over the Past Year, 12 times faster

The following is a story done by Media Life Magazine, a magazine for media planners, buyers, and the advertisers they serve. 

Cord-cutting is becoming more common, that much is clear.

It started as a trickle. Right now it’s a steady stream. The question is whether it will become a deluge, and if so, how long until that happens.

No one knows for sure, and so every quarter they look for new clues.

The latest quarterly pay TV subscriber numbers show people shed subscriptions 12 times faster over the past year than they had the prior year.

That’s according to an analysis by BTIG Research. It reports that 705,000 people dropped their subscriptions to the top eight providers, including Comcast, DirecTV and Charter, in the 12 months ended in June.

That’s compared to 59,000 during the 12-month period that ended in June 2015.

The annual rate of subscription decline has hit 2 percent.

BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield blames the declines on several factors: inflexible packages, surcharges that drive subscribers nuts, and high overall pricing for cable compared to the low monthly prices of streaming video on demand.

“Increased cord-cutting and cord-shaving ties directly to our view that antenna households utilizing streaming devices are increasing rapidly, albeit off a low base,” he writes.

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FCC Votes To Retain Restrictions On Cross-ownership censorship-610101_640

The FCC voted to keep the rules restricting the cross-ownership of newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations in the same market on Wednesday, Aug. 10, according to an article posted on Reuters.

This is an old and very contested rule, especially by struggling newspapers. In the digital age, convergence in media is important to survival.

The Newspaper Association of America had comments about the ruling. They called it a “40-year-old rule that is more obsolete than the eight-track tape or the mainframe computer.”

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed keeping the restrictions as well as other individual market limits with “slight modifications” in June. He wished to relax the regulations by allowing failed or failing newspapers or stations to be owned by others in the same market.

“The result [of keeping the current regulations] will be less resources for the local news on which our democracy depends,” the Newspaper Association of America also said.

The proposed regulations by Wheeler also keep regulations barring mergers among the top four national television broadcast networks.

Weekday circulation feel 7 percent in 2015, according to a report done by the Pew Research Center in June, which is the greatest decline since 2010. Sunday circulation and advertising revenue also fell. Media Life Magazine reported that subscribers to pay TV fell 12 times faster this year than the previous year.

Every four years, the FCC has been ordered by a Congressional commission in 1996 to review the regulations on cross-ownership rules. However, the review last completed before Aug. 10, was back in 2006.

What are restrictions like the cross-ownership rule doing to the media and communications field? Are the regulations and the FCC in the right? Or does the FCC need to back off?

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