Cable providers increasingly concerned of Web content

Cable providers remain concerned as the TV market continues to see new competitors that could one day fracture the market.

The leading cable companies could raise prices to help relieve the cost of increased programming, but TV viewers now have multiple choices to receive content.

“The affiliate deals between cable networks and operations have been increasingly contentious over the last six months,” said Thomas Eagan, Collins Stewart analyst, in an interview with Reuters.  “There’s got to be some realization that the ecosystem works if they work well together.  It falls apart if their negotiations are disruptive.”

A Yankee Group study said 1 in 8 American TV subscribers are prepared to cancel their TV subscriptions by the end of 2010.  TV viewers have the option of using streaming services built-in through their Web-enabled TVs, set-top boxes, and video game consoles.

A study last month revealed 800,000 subscribers have dropped cable and satellite services in favor of streaming services and over the air broadcasts.

Cable and satellite providers saw paid TV subscriptions increase with more than 2 million new subscribers in 2008.  However, analysts expect the growth to slow in the next three years, especially as consumers have become familiarized with alternatives to cable and satellite subscriptions.

Are you interested in dropping your subscription in favor of streaming services?  I’ll wait until all of the streaming services currently available become consolidated — right now it’s too fractured for regular consumers — but that will take time.