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Number of cable operators in Michigan stays steady in 2023 as subscriber count continues to decline
February 02, 2024
News media contact: Matt Helms 517-284-8300
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The number of video and cable television operators in Michigan remained unchanged at 31 in 2023, and total subscriptions for these fell, continuing a long-term pattern, the Michigan Public Service Commission’s annual Status of Competition for Video Services in Michigan found.
There were 1,287,510 video/cable television customers reported for Michigan in 2023, a decline of 189,692 from the previous year. It marked the second consecutive year of declines that had been continuous since a peak of 2.3 million subscribers in 2015, interrupted only by a small one-time increase in 2021. The falling number of subscriptions reflects a nationwide transition as customers switch from video/cable services to internet streaming services.
The number of franchise agreements between video/cable providers and municipalities increased to 2,206 in 2023 from 2,032 statewide in 2022.
The MPSC’s video/cable 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 $24 million in Michigan in 2023.
The MPSC works to resolve disputes between customers, municipalities and video and television service providers. The MPSC received 2,183 customer complaints in 2023, a 67% increase from 1,305 in 2022. 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 video/cable providers to submit 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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