Cord-Cutting, or The Reason Why Cable TV Operators Are Doomed

Like any market, the market of television services tends to saturate. In our case, saturation occurs when every person is already someone’s subscriber. In this situation the inflow of subscribers for one is definitely an outflow for another (see Fig. 1).

Fig. 1

Watch my hands:
Let’s move all service providers that have interactive services (IPTV / OTT with the ability to watch TV from different devices (multiscreen), timeshift, catch up and advanced functionality) to the right, and those who provide only linear television (traditional cable operators), let’s move to the left (see Fig. 2).

Fig. 2

Assuming players in both groups (A and B) are with approximately the same competitiveness, i.e., non-competitive, do not live in a saturated market for a long time. We will get approximately the following picture of subscriber inflow and outflow separately for each group (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3

The complete picture of the inflow and outflow of services between groups A and B is more interesting: the outflow of subscribers from group A is constantly growing - this is the so-called cord-cutting (especially manifested during the pandemic). At the same time, in group B, due to the demanded modern functionality and the ability to watch TV on different devices (multiscreen) the inflow is growing (Fig. 4).

Fig. 4

In some time all subscribers from group A will flow into group B. The only question is - how quickly?