Cable Companies Are Begging You To Watch More Porn

In the past decade, cable providers have avoided discussing the fact that a portion of their revenue comes from pay-per-view and on-demand porn. Yes, some customers are paying as much a $9.95 to rent hardcore films from the comfort of their own homes. Or rather, were paying. Just as the internet decimated porn magazines and adult video stores, it's destroying the cable porn business. And this makes the cable companies sad. Please, help them to help you masturbate!

Today the Wall Street Journal reports that while TV executives once tried to hide just how much of their revenue came from porn, they've become more forthcoming now that they need to explain what's cutting into their profits. For instance:

On Thursday, satellite provider DirecTV cited "lower adult buys" as a cause for weaker pay-per-view revenue in its second quarter earnings. That followed Time Warner Cable Inc.'s admission last week that shrinkage in the adult category was responsible for more than a third of a $14 million drop in video-on-demand revenue. While only a sliver of the cable company's $4.9 billion in revenue for the quarter, porn is one of TV providers' most profitable segments.

Of course, the internet isn't just threatening the porn-related segment of the TV industry. More people are canceling their cable subscription and watching the latest episode of 30 Rock when it's posted online the next day. The trend is just accelerated for adult content. While people prefer to chuckle at Alec Baldwin instead of the guy on public access TV, they aren't as discriminating when it comes to their orgasm. In 2010, cable and satellite providers made about $899 million from on-demand porn, down from $1 billion just two years earlier. Meanwhile, online porn is only becoming more popular:

The average time spent during each visit to an adult site has grown 26% since 2008, to eight minutes and 35 seconds, according to Experian Hitwise, a unit of Experian PLC. Ten of the top 11 adult sites are video sites, which have seen their share of visits to all websites grow fourfold since then, Hitwise says.

So far the only solution TV executives have come up with is to offer higher-quality content, for those who like to see a hot dog covered in Grey Poupon before a young lady does something troubling to it. Vivid Entertainment co-owner/co-owner Bill Asher says the company is working with cable providers to offer more competitive prices and exclusive content. Though the shift from films on cable to short online videos has already proven the average porn viewer doesn't care too much about quality, he or she may be interested in paying for something like a celebrity sex tape. Now the cable companies just need to find some stars whose sex tapes haven't already been leaked online, so the seven celebrities who haven't filmed themselves having sex should get on it.

TV Porn Doesn't Sell Like It Used To [WSJ]

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