Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cord Cutting Stats Show Rise in Free TV

Today's NY Post article continues to confirm that consumers are pushing away from cable subscription, especially given the current economy.  "Nearly 18 percent of all US households with TVs are watching old-fashioned broadcasts delivered for free over the airwaves, up from 15 percent of homes last year, according to research firm GfK Media."  This 3% rise from last year follows a rise of 1% from the year prior.  With cable costs rising and digital antenna and online providing a lower cost alternative, this may be the start of a growing trend.  Should we find that next year, the increase in over the air rises greater than 3%, then we can clearly say that this shift is becoming a growing trend.

But cord cutting is only one indication of trouble in cable subscription.  The other is cord shaving or cord shifting, the reduction of services to lower monthly charges.  "GfK’s report also found that 16 percent of households downgraded TV service this year through March, while only 11 percent of TV households said they had increased service."  Is this a trend too, probably so.  When the  economy eventually does improve, it will be interesting to see if these same households go back to cable again or have found enough satisfaction from over the air and online.  I suspect that they will.

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