Dolan: Sky Not Falling Yet

Cablevision Systems CEO James Dolan said he doesn’t think that consumers are dropping traditional cable packages for over-the-top and skinny bundles, but added that a shift away from more expensive offerings could take hold in the next five to 10 years.

“I don’t think the sky is falling quite yet,” Dolan said on a conference call discussing second quarter results. "There is not enough programming weight yet on the Internet and OTT services to really entice a mainstream video customer. …Eventually there will enough programming for OTT to be competitive with the traditional video bundle. I’m not saying I think that is going to happen over a very short period of time. Consumers have become very comfortable with the bundle cable is offering.”

Later, Dolan predicted that it would take at least five years for 10% of the market to move to OTT and 10 years for 30% of the market to move.

Cablevision has been at the forefront of offering smaller video and data packages – it was the first MSO to offer HBO Now to its customers and earlier this year launched a cord cutter package of high-speed data and a digital antenna to capture over-the-air programming. On the call, chief operating officer Kristin Dolan said the cord cutter package has been more attractive to new customers, but is not necessarily luring customers of the larger bundles to drop service.

“The cord-cutter packages are definitely making the phone ring,” Kristin Dolan said on the call, adding that the bulk of customers are going toward the three-product bundle. “We’re not seeing a migration.”