As Americans Increasingly Go Without Cable TV Service, Providers Find Ways to Profit

With so many people cutting the cord, it might be thought that the nation’s cable television providers would be running scared. Cable television is increasingly viewed as an anachronism by many, with members of the Millennial generation often never signing up for service even once. With so many online streaming options to take advantage of, it would seem to be natural that more people would prefer the on-demand service that has become the norm. From HBO’s highly regarded original programming that is now available through a specialized app to streaming mainstays like Netflix and Hulu, doing away with conventional cable TV service has become an extremely viable option.

Even so, the nation’s cable television providers are largely doing just fine. Profits and margins remain as high as ever, with fundamental health being the rule among the largest providers. Because all of this online streaming activity requires connectivity and bandwidth to support it, many providers are simply finding that the makeup of their customer base is shifting. Instead of giving up on business for good as consumer cut the cord, they are deriving a greater fraction of their revenues from supporting this increasingly common move.

Of course, that does open them to certain kinds of competition, although cable Internet connectivity remains an extremely attractive option in many places. Although the proliferation of 4G wireless Internet coverage has helped in some respects, cable still stands out in many places as the fastest, most reliable kind of connectivity that is available. With many providers also investing in fiber-optic lines that can enable even greater speeds for customers, few need to worry overly much about losing too many clients for good.

All the same, the top providers are still looking for ways to improve their numbers even more. One example of that quest is the recently announced merger of Charter and Time Warner, with the two to combine to create the nation’s second most active cable provider. With the customer base of the combined operation set to approach forty million right from the start, maximizing the revenues that are derived from that business will obviously be a high priority. Even with many of these customers being destined to cut the cord at some point, few believe that the company that results from the merger will struggle.