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October 2, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The cost of programming has risen so high for smaller cable operators — and so many of them have seen their customers "cut the cord" — that a growing number are shutting down their TV service and simply offering telephone and internet service instead, the Wall Street Journal reported today (Thursday). Other small operators, it said, are dropping major programming groups such as Viacom, Disney or Time Warner. Tom Might CEO of CableOne, which serves about 700,000 subscribers in 19 states, told the Journal that the company’s decision to push broadband has led to higher profits even as it has lost some customers. The "trends are kind of hard to fight," he said. "Better to join them and make your profit where the business is growing," he said. Another advantage of switching to Internet/phone services only: fewer customer complaints about service, since most service calls are related to TV. Steve Weed, CEO of a small West Coast cable company, told the Journal that his company intends to focus on online video, supplying its customers with settop boxes and a "storefront" of streaming-video apps. When his company drops its TV business, "We’ll go from being the bad guy to the good guy," he said.