Number of Michigan cable operators, subscribers declines in 2022, MPSC report finds
February 01, 2023
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The number of video and cable television operators in Michigan declined by two to 31 in 2022, and total subscriptions for these services declined, resuming a longer-term trend, according to the Michigan Public Service Commission’s annual Status of Competition for Video Services in Michigan.
There were 1,477,202 video/cable customers reported for Michigan in 2022, a decline of 151,218 from the previous year. The reduction came after the number of subscribers increased by 18,341 in 2021, a year that marked a small reversal of steady declines in customers since a recent high of more than 2.3 million subscribers in 2015. The trend of decreasing subscriptions reflects a continued nationwide transition as customers switch from cable-video services to internet streaming services.
The number of franchise agreements between cable-video providers and municipalities increased to 2,032 in 2022 from 1,973 statewide in 2021.
The MPSC’s cable-video report is based on responses by providers to an annual MPSC survey. The report is submitted by Feb. 1 each year to the Governor and Legislature. The report does not include satellite TV providers, which do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Uniform Video Services Local Franchise Act.
About 42% of video and cable TV providers who responded to the MPSC’s voluntary survey reported investing a total of more than $6.5 million in Michigan in 2022.
The MPSC works to resolve disputes between customers, municipalities and video and television service providers. The MPSC received 1,305 customer complaints in 2022, a 46% increase from 893 in 2021. The most common complaint involved cable line issues, followed by billing charges and internet service problems.
A complaint form is available at the MPSC’s Video/Cable webpage, which also lists contact information for service providers in Michigan and consumer tips.
The video-cable report is based on franchise entities and video and cable television providers who responded to the MPSC survey, and other information collected by the MPSC.
The report makes several recommendations to the Legislature, including:
- Moving the due date of the annual report to March 1 to allow respondents additional time to provide timely and accurate year-end information.
- Requiring providers to provide additional information to ensure the MPSC has accurate contact information for purposes of handling complaints and gathering information and data pursuant to the Uniform Video Services Local Franchise Act.
- Requiring providers that change company names, go out of business or merge with another company to provide notification to the MPSC.
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