Bad news for cable, good news for cord-cutters

The second quarter numbers are in, and it’s not a great time to be a cable company. Broadcast Engineering reports that the top 13 multichannel providers (cable and satellite companies) lost a total of 325,000 subscribers last month. That’s a “net” number, meaning they lost more than that but gained other people.

Some might say that cord-cutting is just a fad, but numbers don’t lie. Satellite companies had it a little hard this last quarter, but the real losers were the cable companies. Together they lost half a million subscribers. The only good news is that they lost 600,000 subscribers the year before, so I guess that’s an improvement!

Those people who didn’t cut the cord completely flocked to fiber services like UVerse and FIOS, who are both aggressively promoting deals that promise low first-year costs, as low as 33% of the price you’ll pay in the second year. This makes the 2012 numbers look good, but expect these customers to churn out when the year is up and they start paying north of $150 per month for service.

This isn’t just a drop in the bucket… even though the total TV market is over 100 million homes, you can’t just shake off losing half a million cable subscribers. This is a major shift.