Cable TV Networks Brace

Cable TV networks are navigating turbulent times, facing not only a mass exodus of subscribers but also a sharp decline in advertising revenue from both traditional and streaming platforms.

The transition to streaming services such as MAX, Peacock, Paramount+, and Disney+ hasn’t offset the financial hit from declining cable TV viewership. Advertisers are increasingly abandoning traditional TV advertising. For instance, Oreo launched its space-themed cookie campaign without spending a dime on TV ads, choosing instead to leverage social media and e-commerce giants like Amazon and Walmart.

This shift is reflected in the numbers. This year, combined advertising revenue for streaming and traditional TV is expected to reach $60 billion, a drop from $64 billion five years ago. The situation is even more dire for traditional TV, where ad spending has plummeted from $60 billion in 2016 to a projected $30 billion or less this year. By 2025, digital TV sales are anticipated to decline to around $50 billion.

The decrease in viewership coupled with the withdrawal of advertisers has hit cable TV networks hard. While many had hoped that streaming services would make up for the loss, this has not been the case. The continued reduction in ad revenue may accelerate the closure of smaller cable networks faster than the cord-cutting trend alone would have.

The future of cable TV looks increasingly uncertain as advertisers continue to shift their focus away from traditional formats. The question remains: how quickly will advertisers abandon cable TV altogether?