U.S. pay TV landscape hits 80 million

Silicon Alley Insider reports that cable TV companies, telcos and satellite TV providers in the U.S. collectively had almost 80 million households signed up at the end of 2008, about 1.5 million more than in 2007. Some observers might find it surprising that the housing crash and the rise of Internet TV viewing hasn't had a measureable impact yet on subscribership, but perhaps that fact also serves a dose of reality about how important such services really are to consumers.

The fastest-growing segment of the U.S. pay TV landscape is of course the still the smallest segment--the telcos. The largest cable TV companies lost customers to telco and satellite players during the year. There has been much debate in recent weeks about whether or not consumers may consider cutting the video cord this year amid the slumping economy and the increasing availability of free video content on the Internet. Integrated offerings now under development by cable TV firms and others, including media companies liek Time Warner may be able to help the pay TV market maintain its growth.

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