Supported Browser
  • About Us
  • Subscribe
  • Contact us
Entrepreneurship - BLOG

Will the Cable Bundle Survive?

Miklos Sarvary |

Recent talk of the decline of the cable television industry may be premature.

A recent article in The Economist about Comcast, nicely describes the challenges faced by the cable giant at a time when a hoard of start-ups challenge the traditional cable subscription model. People talk of "cord-cutters" or people who cancel pay-television subscriptions in favour of online streaming services (and increasingly of "cord-nevers") and there is a general sense that the traditional model needs to change somehow even if there is little consensus on what model(s) will emerge eventually.

In all discussions however, the idea that the cable bundle has to break apart seems to come up and people quickly point to the experience of the music industry. Unbundled services over the Internet exist already (e.g. AppleTV) but it is too early to say if they will take over the cable bundle.

Cord-cutting is still slow and the prices of cable subscriptions have continued to rise at 4-5% over the last years despite the slow recovery from the recession, which indicates that couch potatoes still see value in it. With the purchase of NBCUniversal, Comcast clearly bet on the future of the cable bundle. In fact, it tries to increase the value of the bundle by packing in even more services and making them more convenient in terms of search and access. It is a big bet but one should never under-estimate how lazy couch potatoes are.


Miklos's blog

Follow INSEAD Knowledge on Twitter and Facebook

Add a comment Already a member?
We welcome your comments and encourage lively debate. However, to ensure the quality of discussion, our moderators reserve the right not to publish personal attacks, abusive comments or overly promotional content. You can view our Terms & Conditions
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Your Privacy

INSEAD takes your privacy very seriously. For this reason, we inform you that the data collected via the form above is processed electronically for the purpose(s) specified in this form and will not be used outside this framework. In accordance with the Data Protection Act of 6 January 1978 amended by the GDPR, you are granted statutory rights of access, modification, update, deletion and limitation of treatment of your personal data. You may exercise these rights at any time by writing or sending an email to INSEAD at [email protected]. You have the right, on legitimate grounds, to object to the collection and processing of your personal information. For more information, please see our privacy policy.