Cable Password Sharing Crackdown Underway

Cable TV providers are reportedly beginning to seriously crack down on illicit sharing of passwords of cable TV and streaming accounts after years of it costing them millions of subscribers and billions of dollars in revenue.

Bloomberg reports that Charter Communications is leading this crackdown following a recent industry conference. Viacom, Inc. has been approached and ESPN has also been participating in the process which will work by reducing the number of allowed simultaneous streams per account and forcing more frequent logins for paid users. ESPN currently allows ten simultaneous streams, but plans to reduce that to three or five.

Parks Associates (via Reuters) says around one-third of online users stream cable TV without paying for it, and a single account was, at one time, being used to play 30,000 simultaneous streams. Over 20% of viewers aged 18-24 logged in to at least one streaming service using credentials owned by someone outside their household. 12% of adults overall do the same.