Could this be the start of the Great Cable Channel Recession? Maybe. Esquire Network, the joint venture between NBCUniversal and Hearst that began in 2013, today announced that it’s going to the promised land – OTT – later this year.
The channel was the victim of the continued erosion of the pay-TV audience, especially male Millennials, the Esquire Network’s primary audience.
Viewing time of live TV continued to decline in Q3, albeit by only a minute in from a year ago, as viewers increasingly tune in to time-shifted TV and online video.
Nielsen said live TV viewing per day slipped to four hours and six minutes in the third quarter, a minute less than in Q3 2015, and a much smaller decrease than the six-minute drop between Q3 2014 and Q3 2015.
The extra minute went to DVR viewing, which increased to 29 minutes from 28 minutes.
New research says worldwide set-top box shipments will increase slightly this year to 273 million from 269 million in 2015.
In addition to the growth of satellite units, cable shipments are also expected to increase modestly. DTT and IP STB demand remains relatively flat, according to researcher SNL Kagan in its annual look at the STB market.
Pay-TV service penetration in Latin America and the Caribbean has reached 57%, according to a new report, with Argentina having more than 87% or its TV homes subscribed to a service, the most in the region.
The report, from the Organización de Telecomunicaciones de Iberoamérica (OTI), found that Puerto Rico has the next highest pay-TV penetration in the region (68%), followed by Uruguay (61%), Mexico (57%) and Costa Rica (54%).
Brazil’s pay-TV subscriber numbers grew Q/Q during the third quarter by 47,000, the first gains the sector has shown in at least seven quarter. And, although those numbers represent a decrease of 558,000 (almost 3%) from a year ago, the slight upward tick is, hopefully, a sign of things to come.
Brazil’s 18.96 million pay-TV subscribers makes it the second-largest in Latin America, behind only Mexico.
Revenues for the Mexican pay-TV industry were up nearly 23% year-over-year in Q3, increasing to $953 million. Much of that growth is attributable to continued subscriber growth in the country as operators bundle services to decrease churn and increase customer loyalty.
But pay-TV operators are also rolling out inexpensive content packages and, perhaps more importantly, making it easy to access video-on-demand services and OTT.
Pay-TV subscription declines continued at a record pace, with the industry losing an estimated 430,000 subscribers in the third quarter, bring the loss for the first 9 months of the year to 1.3 million, the most ever for the first nine months of the year.
Research firm SNL Kagan said the Q3 loss was higher than a year ago, with the telco segment hit the hardest, fueled by AT&T’s continued move to satellite delivery via DirecTV from its legacy U-verse IPTV product.
A new report says that more than four-in-10 pay-TV subscribers say they’ll either cut the cord or shave their pay-TV bill by reducing services in the next year, a number that would be downright apocalyptic for the industry.
Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch isn’t one for convention. He is, after all, the boss of one of the more disruptive OTT services on the market… it’s even disrupted the pay-TV business of its parent, Dish Network, reportedly adding subscribers each quarter as Dish – and the rest of the pay-TV industry loses them.
Satellite pay-TV provider Dish Network is offering NBA Team Pass to its subscribers, the first pay-TV provider in the U.S. to make the $119 single-team package available. The deal delivers any out-of-market game for any of the leagues’s 30 teams live to subs. (Dish also will continue to offer NBA League Pass, which includes up to 40 live and on-demand out-of-market games for $199.)
Another blockbuster deal in the media landscape means another battle with regulators after AT&T this weekend agreed to acquire Time Warner for $85.4 billion.
Talks between senior executives of AT&T and Time Warner are spurring takeover talks that bumped Time Warner stock nearly 5% Thursday and nearly 10% Friday after a report that a merger could come as soon as this weekend.