While the overall U.S. pay-TV universe grew subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2014, it did not keep up with the rate of new household formation, meaning that the pace of cord-cutting is actually on the rise, MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett surmised in a report issued Wednesday.
“On the surface, all is calm,” he wrote, noting that the total pay-TV subscriber base rose by 101,000 subs. It gets messy, he added, when those numbers are held against a surge in new household formation in the fourth quarter (1.3 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau) that typically “provides a tailwind for Pay TV subscribership.”
While conceding that government occupied household data is “notoriously volatile and therefore slightly suspicious,” Moffett said the adjusted numbers indicate that cord-cutting (mixed with cord-nevers) “appears to have markedly increased.”
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