Unsurprisingly, Over 4 Million People Canceled Their Cable TV Packages Last Year

As the world slowly shifts to a streaming service-only landscape, it has become increasingly difficult to find people who just have regular cable. Sure, you can watch every episode of Stranger Things on Netflix, and of course, you can only find every Star Wars title ever on Disney+, but whatever happened to just finding a good, old-fashioned House MD marathon on USA Network to have on in the background while you’re cleaning your room? Have we really moved beyond that? According to the 4.7 million people who canceled their cable and satellite subscriptions in 2021, we have!

According to a new report from Leichtman Research Group, the largest pay-TV providers in the U.S. lost about 4,690,000 subscribers in 2021. Surprisingly, this is still less than 2020, which was nearly 4.9 million. Still, that’s a lot of people shifting away from cable, most likely due to the abundance of streaming services, and their combined costs, which really do add up. Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc, doesn’t seem worried at the loss. “While the pay-TV industry continued to lose subscribers, net losses in 2021 were fairly similar to those in recent years.”

Services like Comcast and DirectTV both lost over 1.5 million subscribers each, leaving their final subscriber count to 18 million and 14 million, respectively. That’s still a lot, but doesn’t quite compare to sites like Disney+, which is aiming for 230 million subscribers by 2024. Currently, they have just over 83 million worldwide.

Streaming services that include live TV, like Hulu Live and Sling TV, had an increase in customers, due to their hybrid model, where you can watch sports and still catch up on original shows like Only Murders In The Building. Hulu Live TV added about 300,000 subscribers last year.

Still, having to keep track of all these services is becoming a little hectic. And, as HBO Max proved during the Euphoria finale, some streaming services can’t seem to handle the influx of viewers at once. Perhaps we should all just go retro and switch back to cable?