Feb 26, 2019

Skinny bundles may not salvage pay-TV declines

The total number of pay-TV subscribers, or people who buy cable or satellite TV packages, dropped 4.1% year-over-year last quarter, according to research firm MoffettNathanson.

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Data: MoffettNathanson Research; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Why it matters: Cord-cutting seems like an inevitable conclusion to the onslaught of streaming services entering the market today, but last quarter we saw a newer trend which was that Pay-TV losses weren’t offset by cord-cutters signing up for digital "skinny bundles," like Sling TV or YouTube TV.

  • Yes, but: "Given all of the new OTT options available both free and streaming, it’s inevitable that cord cutting is going to start picking up," says Alan Wolk, co-founder and lead analyst at TV[R]EV. "But it’s also important to note that in a market with around 80% penetration, a loss of 1% of the customer base is still a trickle and not the tsunami that so many in the press make it out to be."

Go deeper: On life support: Record number of pay-TV watchers cut the cord

Go deeper

Robert O'Brien: "I don't think there's systemic racism" in law enforcement

White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien said on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that he doesn't believe there is "systemic racism" among law enforcement in the U.S., arguing that there are "a few bad apples" that are giving police a bad name.

Why it matters: The mass protests that have swept across the United States are not just a response to the death of George Floyd, but of the dozens of high-profile instances of unarmed black men dying at the hands of police officers over the years.

Atlanta mayor on Trump's riot response: "He speaks and he makes it worse"

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms responded on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday to President Trump's tweets and comments about the mass protests that have swept across the United States, urging him to "just stop talking."

What she's saying: "This is like Charlottesville all over again. He speaks and he makes it worse. There are times when you should just be quiet. And I wish that he would just be quiet."

Black Americans' competing crises

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

For many black Americans, this moment feels like a crisis within a crisis within a crisis.

The big picture: It's not just George Floyd's killing by police. Or the deaths of EMT Breonna Taylor and jogger Ahmaud Arbery. Or the demeaning of birdwatcher Christian Cooper and journalist Omar Jimenez. Or the coronavirus pandemic's disproportionate harm to African Americans. It's that it's all happening at once.