People are canceling their TV subscriptions. There were more than half a million U.S. households who pulled the plug on cable in the second quarter, according to a new research report. The 0.5 percent decline in viewers won’t alarm the TV industry, especially as the lost customers tend to be some of the least dedicated viewers, but the lost revenue will heighten the financial distress of an industry that seems to be perpetually in distress.
More importantly, the United States is turning into a TV-optional culture, where asking people to tell you about last weekend’s MTV Video Music Awards broadcast is as socially acceptable as watching it yourself. In a time-pressured society, that is no small matter. When it really sinks in that you don’t have to have a TV subscription, half of TV households may think about canceling.