Advanced Television

Study: ‘Linear hanging by thread’

September 29, 2022

Researcher MoffettNathanson thinks we’re near the end of linear TV as we have known it. The company says this has been taken for granted as SVoDs have prospered, but looks more problematic now they are stalling.

Moffett notes the continued value of linear TV. Linear TV revenue at $86.3 billion (€89.2bn), is nearly four times that of streaming’s $22.6 billion. That could pose problems for content creators as their core linear business — pay-TV — is declining at a 6 per cent annually.

According to the analyst, with the best scripted shows shifted to streaming, linear is left with news, some sports, reality shows and second tier drama.

Overall pay TV subscribers fell 6.1 per cent in Q2, with cable, satellite and telco providers all reporting steep declines. Cable TV led the walk of shame with 1.048 million fewer linear TV customers (a 7.8 per cent decline), while satellite TV shed 635,000 subscribers (a 12.5 per cent decline) and telco TV lost 223,000 customers. Overall, traditional pay-TV lost 1.95 million customers. Including virtual MVPDs such as Sling TV, DirecTV Now and Hulu Plus Live TV, pay-TV providers shed 1.9 million customers in the period, according to Moffett.

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