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August 24, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Cable companies lost 711,000 customers during the second quarter — the worst “churn” rate in history, according to figures released by SNL Kagan on Monday. While many of them — 414,000 — moved to telephone companies that are increasingly offering fiber-optic connections to compete with pay-TV services of their own, at lower prices, the overall exodus of subscribers during the quarter nevertheless remained at a record high. (Satellite companies gained an additional 81,000 subscribers.) Six of the top eight cable operators reported the worst-ever exodus of subscribers during the quarter. In a statement, SNL Kagan analyst Mariam Rondeli said that while it was “tempting” to blame broadband video for the decline, “we believe economic factors such as low housing formation and a high unemployment rate contributed to subscriber declines.” Another factor, Rondeli said, was the end of promotional rates that were offered during the transition to digital TV a year ago.