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Nielsen says cable networks are having a record bad month

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Nielsen has just reconfirmed some kind of apocalyptic news for cable networks and providers. Late last month, the media research firm released its “Cable Network Coverage Areas Universe Estimate” for November, showing uncomfortably large subscriber losses for networks that pipe content into homes via a very long wire. Nielsen subsequently recalled the data because ESPN got mad at numbers. Turns out, the data and measurement company was right the first time, Variety reports.

“Nielsen has now completed an extensive review and has verified that November estimates were accurate as originally released and that all the processes that go into the creation of these estimates were done correctly,” the New York-based firm revealed in a statement. “The month-over-month decline in coverage that most cable networks saw was driven primarily by an overall decline of approximately half a percentage point (.55) in the Cable Plus universe, meaning fewer households are subscribing to cable through the provider types listed above.”

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What that means is that the losses can be attributed to customers simply dropping cable services (aka cord-cutting) as opposed to scaling back on add-on channels. Why people would abandon an industry that forces them to pay for dozens, if not hundreds, of stations that they have no intention of ever viewing because they don’t care about pet hauntings remains a mystery.

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