Lack of sports programming drives video service cancellations in the U.S.

Thursday, December 10th, 2020
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Nearly one in ten US broadband households cancelled at least one video service during the COVID-19 crisis

DALLAS — Parks Associates research finds that, as of May 2020, 8% of US broadband households cancelled at least one video service due to the COVID-19 crisis, including 4% of that cancelled a traditional pay-TV service, due in large part to the cancellation of sports programming.

Chart: Video Service Cancellation During COVID-19 - U.S. - May 2020

“The lack of sports programming had a significant role in households cancelling their pay-TV services early in the pandemic,” said Jennifer Kent, Senior Director, Parks Associates. “All major leagues have now resumed play, and that should bring back many of these households, especially online pay-TV subscribers, who have an easier path to re-subscribe compared to traditional pay TV. However, the ongoing economic crisis could push additional households to trim services. Service and video providers are shifting to focus on retention and finding ways to keep subscribers through innovative partnerships and unique content.”

Parks Associates research reports more than 40% of former pay-TV subscribers said they would re-subscribe once sports resumed, while more than two-thirds of former online pay-TV subscribers would sign back on.