Kagan: Total Multichannel Households Down 2% in 2015

Despite headwinds from cord-cutting and cord shaving that helped drive total multichannel video households down about 2%, advertising and affiliate fee revenue remained steady in 2015, according to SNL Kagan, an offering of S&P Global Market Intelligence.

In its Economics of Basic Cable Networks, a 786-page comprehensive network-by-network analysis of the cable industry, total revenue rose 5.3% to $63.63 billion in 2015, driven by a nearly 2% increase in advertising revenue to $28.28 billion and a 7.5% hike in affiliate fee revenue to $37.58 billion.

According to Kagan, total multichannel TV households are declining about 2% per year. On the viewership side, cable news networks like Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC are growing ratings while there is some erosion at general entertainment networks.  Sports channels dominated license fees, according to Kagan, while consolidation has given some distributors more leverage in carriage negotiations. On the advertising front, Kagan said the market is eagerly awaiting Nielsen’s “Total Audience” ratings to fully monetize viewership across devices. In the meantime, some networks are experimenting with reduced ad-loads.