If you're looking for evidence that the pay-TV industry is imperiled by the rise of over-the-top services that are going to cause subscribers to cut the cord, a good early indicator of such behavior would be whether "cord-shaving," i.e. the reduction of services like premium channels, additional outlets and DVR services, is happening already. But a look at the premium channels Starz and Encore - whose content is fully available for streaming on Netflix - suggests no evidence of cord-shaving is yet occurring.
As the graph below shows, since October, 2008, when Starz announced that Netflix had signed a distribution deal for "Starz Play," total U.S. subscribers to the Starz and Encore channels have actually increased slightly from 49 million to 49.4 million. During this time period there's been relatively little fluctuation, with only a temporary dip in the 2nd half of last year that was probably more related to the channels being temporarily out of their Comcast deal, and therefore losing some of their promotional backing. Further, for the first 9 months of 2010, Starz's revenue was $929 million and cash flow was $305 million, up from the same period in 2008, when revenue was $826 million and cash flow was $220 million.
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