ESPN Ratings Dip, Subscriber Loss and Weak Performance By Disney To Blame
By Mark Fahey, CNBC // December 12, 2016
(CNBC) – ESPN has been making investors nervous. The network’s rapid subscriber loss has been blamed for the Disney’s weak performance this year, but the worldwide leader in sports certainly isn’t alone.
More than 70 percent of the most widely distributed channels have lost subscribers in the last year, according to Nielsen data.
Most television network owners have a channel that has done as bad or worse than ESPN’s percentage loss since December 2015.
Overall, the number of households with cable or satellite hookups in the U.S. fell by 1.6 percent — those are people who disconnected entirely, so that figure represents a sort of minimum loss for widely distributed networks like ESPN (if you’re already in every cable household, there’s nowhere to go but down).
That’s why the median losses were around 2 percent for the most popular channels.