Not sure if this is a sign of the economic times we’re living in or a reaction to the growing amount of free TV stuff to be found online, or both. But it’s intriguing that more than 10,000 Twin Cities homes recently gave up on their pay TV subscriptions.
The down tick from 1,487,892 subscribers to 1,477,576 between the first and second quarters of 2010 amounts to less than a 1 percent decrease. But ours was one of the few top markets to see a decline.
Here’s a chart from the Wall Street Journal blog:
The journal writes, “For the first time since the dawn of cable TV, the number of U.S. households paying for TV subscriptions is falling, marking a potential turning point in the TV business.”
I’ve never paid for TV service. I’m too cheap and don’t need the battle with the kids over watching Cartoon Network. So I’m in no position to understand why people are cutting the pay TV cord. But it seems like there’s a shift under way.
Throughout the Great Recession, sources in MPR’s Public Insight Network have told us repeatedly they are moving away from spending and using any extra money to pay down debt or save. Even as the economy improves for many, we’re still getting the message from Minnesotans: we’re not buying.
National data show the personal savings rate of Americans continues to climb.
Here’s a chart by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis showing personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income since 1970 (click on the chart for a larger view).
You can see savings took a dive in the 2000s but has been rebounding out of the recession. We’re squirreling our money away.
SNL Kagan, the company that did the research that spawned the Journal post, recently wrote:
SNL Kagan estimates U.S. cable operators lost 741,000 basic video customers in third-quarter 2010, marking the single largest quarterly dip for cable since SNL Kagan began compiling data for the segment in 1980.
If you’ve walked away from subscriber TV during the Great Recession, drop us a line and tell us why.