Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > TV Talk
Reload this Page >

Nearly 800,000 U.S. TV households 'cut the cord,'

TV Talk Talk about Shows on TV

Nearly 800,000 U.S. TV households 'cut the cord,'

Old 04-14-10, 06:42 PM
  #1  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
Thread Starter
 
squidget's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: NoVA
Posts: 3,464
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Nearly 800,000 U.S. TV households 'cut the cord,'

Make no mistake: The big cable, satellite, and telco carriers are still sitting pretty with more than 100 million TV subscribers. Nevertheless, a new report claims that more and more viewers are "cutting the cord" in favor of watching their favorite shows via over-the-air antennas (remember those?), Netflix, or the Web.

TechCrunch has the scoop on a new report from the Toronto-based Convergence Consulting Group, and though the figures may not be a "serious threat" to the big cable and satellite carriers yet, the trend might eventually spell trouble for the like of Cablevision, Comcast, DirecTV, and Time Warner Cable.

To wit: Nearly 800,000 households in the U.S. have "cut the cord," dumping their cable, satellite, or telco TV providers (such as AT&T U-verse or Verizon FiOS) and turning instead to Web-based videos (like Hulu), downloadable shows (iTunes), by-mail subscription services (Netflix), or even good ol' over-the-air antennas for their favorite shows, according to the report.

Now, as TechCrunch points out, the estimated 800,000 cord cutters represent less than 1 percent of the 100 million U.S. households (give or take) currently subscribing to a cable/satellite/telco TV carrier, so it's not like we're talking a mass exodus here. But by the end of 2011, the report guesstimates, the number of cord-cutting households in the U.S. will double to about 1.6 million, and if the trend continues, well...

Even more trouble for the big carriers is the report's assertion that U.S. TV watchers are getting a taste for online video, with an estimated 17 percent of the U.S. TV audience watching at least one or two shows online in a given week last year, up from just 12 percent in 2008, and set to rise to 21 percent this year.

Personally, I find the temptation to cut the cord pretty enticing, especially whenever I get a load of my monthly $130 cable bill (which includes unlimited broadband and HD but no premium channels). Why am I paying so much for all the hundreds of channels that I rarely ever watch, anyway? Wouldn't it be easier not to mention a lot cheaper just to ditch my DVR and watch my favorite shows on iTunes and Hulu, catch up on the news via CNN.com, and be done with it?

There's one important factor that's keeping me from pulling my scissors out: live sports, and particularly ESPN, my 24-hour sports companion. Sure, as a football fan, I could keep up with the Jets and the Giants via over-the-air TV (although I'm not sure my landlord would be all that ecstatic about my installing a TV antenna on the roof of our Brooklyn brownstone), but without cable, I'd be left high and dry when it comes to Monday Night Football.

What about you? Anyone out there count themselves as one of the 800,000-plus cord-cutting households in the U.S.? If not, would you ever consider it, or are you too attached to basic cable?

SOURCE

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
I myself cut the cord last year and I don't regret it for an instant. At the moment, 800,000 in a year is not that much in the grand scheme of things but this could be a sign of things to come where cable will have to get competitive(ala cart?) to stay up against the online/streaming world.
Old 04-14-10, 06:48 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Legend
 
chuckd21's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Florida
Posts: 10,699
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Nearly 800,000 U.S. TV households 'cut the cord,'

I know some people who did the math and found that simply buying the shows they watch on iTunes saved them $100 per month.
Old 04-14-10, 06:59 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: St Louis, MO
Posts: 6,701
Received 8 Likes on 7 Posts
Re: Nearly 800,000 U.S. TV households 'cut the cord,'

Originally Posted by squidget View Post
There's one important factor that's keeping me from pulling my scissors out: live sports, and particularly ESPN, my 24-hour sports companion.
This is the big one for me as well. My wife and I are currently weighing TV options, having just moved, and it's really hard for me to justify upwards of $50 a month for tons of channels that are useless to me. In the meantime, I've been doing the antenna + streaming thing, and it really covers all my needs except the local sports teams, which is a big deal to me. ESPN isn't that much of an issue, because when there's an event on ESPN I want to watch, it's usually streaming on ESPN360. If Fox Sports Midwest would stream their live broadcasts, I probably wouldn't even think about cable or satellite.
Old 04-14-10, 07:06 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
dan30oly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 3,749
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Nearly 800,000 U.S. TV households 'cut the cord,'

Originally Posted by chuckd21 View Post
I know some people who did the math and found that simply buying the shows they watch on iTunes saved them $100 per month.
I thought about doing this as well, but in doing my research found even "cheaper" options...
Old 04-14-10, 07:07 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Legend
 
EdTheRipper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 14,540
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: Nearly 800,000 U.S. TV households 'cut the cord,'

If I didn't have a kid, I'd ditch the DirectTV. From the time my wife was pregnant up until the kid was nearly 5, we didn't have anything. It was nice not having that extra bill each month.
Old 04-14-10, 07:14 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
DJariya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: La Palma, CA
Posts: 57,057
Received 27 Likes on 21 Posts
Re: Nearly 800,000 U.S. TV households 'cut the cord,'

I pay $90 a month for 2 DVR's, 1 HD Receiver and 200+ channels on Directv. I would hardly call that a ripoff. Sure I don't watch all those channels, but I like having the options. My family would go insane with only watching CBS, FOX, NBC and ABC over the air. My father loves Discovery, the ID Channel and the Travel Channel and News on CNN, MSNBC etc.

From what I can tell, most people don't enjoy watching their favorite shows on the computer. Sure you can do some crazy routing or buy buggy software like Play-On (which I do use), but I don't think most people are tech savvy enough to go through all that trouble.

Over the air antenna's suck IMO. I've had Satellite TV for almost a decade now and have enjoyed it very much.

Last edited by DJariya; 04-14-10 at 07:18 PM.
Old 04-14-10, 07:28 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 6,436
Likes: 0
Received 7 Likes on 3 Posts
Re: Nearly 800,000 U.S. TV households 'cut the cord,'

I watch Lost in HD via rabbit ears. Other than that, I just wait for sales and buy every show I'm interested in on DVD or Blu-ray. It's cheaper and I get to watch things at my own pace. The only potential downside is having to wait 6-9 months after original airdates to see things, but it doesn't bother me at all.
Old 04-14-10, 07:46 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
TheKing's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: City Of Orange, CA
Posts: 8,069
Likes: 0
Received 6 Likes on 2 Posts
Re: Nearly 800,000 U.S. TV households 'cut the cord,'

Originally Posted by DJariya View Post
I pay $90 a month for 2 DVR's, 1 HD Receiver and 200+ channels on Directv. I would hardly call that a ripoff. Sure I don't watch all those channels, but I like having the options. My family would go insane with only watching CBS, FOX, NBC and ABC over the air. My father loves Discovery, the ID Channel and the Travel Channel and News on CNN, MSNBC etc.

From what I can tell, most people don't enjoy watching their favorite shows on the computer. Sure you can do some crazy routing or buy buggy software like Play-On (which I do use), but I don't think most people are tech savvy enough to go through all that trouble.

Over the air antenna's suck IMO. I've had Satellite TV for almost a decade now and have enjoyed it very much.
Over the air sucked in the days of Analog. In the days of Digital, Over the air is superior in video quality to satellite and cable.

As for watching shows from a computer on a TV, it's really not that hard. I have my PC hooked to my TV via HDMI. I also have a PS3 that can easily access my PC content wirelessly.

I'm not saying cutting the cord is worth it, but it's not all that difficult to do it and have a similar if not equal experience to what you have now.
Old 04-14-10, 07:58 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Under Golden Gate Bridge
Posts: 10,912
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Nearly 800,000 U.S. TV households 'cut the cord,'

I cut the cord over a year ago. Save over $30 a month. Limited basic cable (the cheapest) was too expensive and the picture wasn't that good. I decided to get a TiVo HD and the over-the-air HD is great with a time-shifter like me. The picture on shows like Ugly Betty and Dancing with the Stars is incredible. In SF, you can't get NBC over the air so I have to watch a couple of NBC shows on Hulu and other cable shows I like I can catch on Hulu as well. I'm thinking of joining NetFlix and watching streaming movies again but I'm carely catching up on all my reality-TV programming so it will have to wait.
Old 04-14-10, 08:30 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Legend
 
calhoun07's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 14,402
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Nearly 800,000 U.S. TV households 'cut the cord,'

Cable is an over priced commodity in this day and age. With digital media via the home video formats and via downloads/streaming becoming cheaper and cheaper there is no reason that cable bills should go higher and higher.

I recall before I made the decision to ditch cable they were moving channels to the digital tier left and right. When I called to complain they said they were moving the channels because it was cheaper for them to put them in the digital tier. Oh, really! That's interesting because that tier costs more.
Old 04-14-10, 09:02 PM
  #11  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
Posts: 12,576
Received 6 Likes on 5 Posts
Re: Nearly 800,000 U.S. TV households 'cut the cord,'

Originally Posted by chuckd21 View Post
I know some people who did the math and found that simply buying the shows they watch on iTunes saved them $100 per month.
Saved them $100 per month?!

How much were they paying for cable/satellite in the first place?

$50 is the max I'd pay a month for TV programming.
Old 04-14-10, 09:11 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Matthew Chmiel's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 13,263
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: Nearly 800,000 U.S. TV households 'cut the cord,'

Give me a la carte pricing and I'd be back for cable.

Until then, I'm fine with just paying for internet.
Old 04-14-10, 09:53 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Triangle, NC, USA
Posts: 8,810
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Nearly 800,000 U.S. TV households 'cut the cord,'

We have ultra-basic cable - 12 channels or so - and broadband internet. I don't really miss it, but my wife has expressed an interest in upgrading again. I did just get a flyer for a promotion, upgrade for 9.95 a month for 12 months, I might look into that. Our bill is currently about 60 including broadband, basic, and taxes/fees. I think the last bill before we cancelled, when we weren't on any deal, was about 120-130 after taxes. Way too much for what little we used. We just got satellite for the breakrooms at work, and I've been flipping through the guide channel - yes, there are hundreds of channels, but 40 of them are the same 5 movie channels skewed 1/2 an hour for different time zones. A DVR renders that offering totally pointless.

The only bad thing is that a lot of people who have cut cable, still rely on the broadband to access those other sources - so ultimately the cable companies or other broadband providers still have the power. Cut cable? OK, your broadband just went up 20 bucks.

The little TV I watch "live" - the Simpsons - I'm fine with watching once a week on my computer. Netflix, DVDs, or Instant View through Xbox on the big tv for the rest.

Much like the music industry, I fully believe the TV/broadcast industry really needs to get with the program. The days of the family gathering around "Must See TV" on Friday night are over - we watch what we want to watch, when we want to watch it, now.
Old 04-14-10, 10:00 PM
  #14  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Future World
Posts: 1,048
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Nearly 800,000 U.S. TV households 'cut the cord,'

I'd cut cable if it wasn't for sports, hockey in particular, since the Hawks are usually on Comcast. I could get enough of the other sports on the basic channels.
Old 04-14-10, 10:46 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Numanoid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Down in 'The Park'
Posts: 27,882
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Nearly 800,000 U.S. TV households 'cut the cord,'

I'm probably days away from cancelling my DirecTV of a dozen years. I mostly watch stuff that I can get on the local channels, or Netflix, or via download. I'll miss Forensic Files and World's Dumbest, but I think I'll live.
Old 04-14-10, 11:22 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Illinois
Posts: 2,378
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Nearly 800,000 U.S. TV households 'cut the cord,'

I recently cut back to the most basic cable service since all of the shows I watch regularly on the premium channels are available for free via other means.

I had to laugh when the Customer Service rep from the cable company said, "Umm..I guess you want me to see if there is a promotion for upgrading your cable internet speed?"
Old 04-14-10, 11:27 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Puyallup
Posts: 16,435
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Nearly 800,000 U.S. TV households 'cut the cord,'

love sports way too much. can't cancel cable.
Old 04-14-10, 11:38 PM
  #18  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
Michael Corvin's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 58,143
Received 21 Likes on 13 Posts
Re: Nearly 800,000 U.S. TV households 'cut the cord,'

So basically we're all at the mercy of ESPN.
Old 04-15-10, 12:04 AM
  #19  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Rosemount, MN
Posts: 32,212
Likes: 0
Received 21 Likes on 14 Posts
Re: Nearly 800,000 U.S. TV households 'cut the cord,'

We got rid of DirecTV almost three years ago and went exclusively Tivo HD OTA and Netflix streaming. 85% of what we Tivoed over satellite was from the networks anyway. The kids have more cartoons than they'll ever need via Netflix streaming and we supplement with Hulu if needed. I haven't missed anything at all.

It does drive my parents and in-laws crazy that they can't park it on CNN the entire time they are visiting, but I actually prefer it
Old 04-15-10, 01:34 AM
  #20  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: St Louis, MO
Posts: 6,701
Received 8 Likes on 7 Posts
Re: Nearly 800,000 U.S. TV households 'cut the cord,'

Originally Posted by DJariya View Post
Over the air antenna's suck IMO. I've had Satellite TV for almost a decade now and have enjoyed it very much.
Have you used an OTA antenna in over a decade? If not, then you could stand to re-evaluate your opinion. Very little sucks about free, hi-definition content with less compression than cable or satellite.
Old 04-15-10, 01:49 AM
  #21  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 9,569
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: Nearly 800,000 U.S. TV households 'cut the cord,'

I do the cheap $20 cable, actually considering going back to the $14 package... lol. Most of my entertainment is movies and games, a couple shows I watch on hulu (24, Lost) but those will be done soon.
Old 04-15-10, 06:06 AM
  #22  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Lake Ridge, VA
Posts: 6,303
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Nearly 800,000 U.S. TV households 'cut the cord,'

I am one of the 800,000. A $40 antenna for over the air along with $9/month Netflix steaming via my TV and Hulu streaming via $20 PlayOn have all worked great.
Old 04-15-10, 07:00 AM
  #23  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: MI
Posts: 25,061
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Nearly 800,000 U.S. TV households 'cut the cord,'

I never had cable or satellite to cut, just OTA. I've looked at cable and satellite selections; it seems like a much broader selection of things not worth watching (quite a bit of that on network too). I admit there are a few things, not on the networks, that I would watch, but not enough to be compelling.

With HD, if you can get adequate reception (digital is mostly go/nogo), OTA is considerably better (higher bit rate) than cable or satellite, which both over compress and use much lower bit rates than broadcast. If I ever got cable or satellite, I would maintain OTA for the broadcast channels.

Cable and satellite would charge me extra (HD fee) to overcompress what I can get full bandwidth for free. (Yes I know broadcast is compressed too, but that signal is what cable and satellite start with and compress some more.)
Old 04-15-10, 07:17 AM
  #24  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
DJariya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: La Palma, CA
Posts: 57,057
Received 27 Likes on 21 Posts
Re: Nearly 800,000 U.S. TV households 'cut the cord,'

Alot of you claim there is nothing on cable/satellite that is worth watching. I humbly disagree with that. There is a ton of stuff. Some examples:

USA: Burn Notice, In Plain Sight, Royal Pains, Psych, Law and Order: CI, White Collar

TNT: The Closer, Dark Blue, Leverage, Southland

FX: Rescue Me, Damages, Justified, Archer, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

AMC: Mad Men, Breaking Bad

HBO: The Pacific, Treme, HBO documentaries, True Blood, Big Love, Entourage

Showtime: Dexter, Californication, Nurse Jackie, United States of Tara

Bravo: Top Chef and Top Chef Masters

SyFy: Caprica, Stargate Universe, Eureka, Warehouse 13

and the list goes on and on. Yeah I know that not everyone has the time or the finances to afford to pay for it, but I'm just saying that there is alot of quality programming, especially scripted. And this is an addition to Sports (college and pro) and News, documentary channels. Yeah there is alot of junk like the shit on MTV or VH1. If I didn't have a job or had some other major financial commitments 1st, then obviously I would have to change the way I watch TV. But, being that most people who visit this forum are passionate TV viewers like myself, I don't want to see this get so one-sided with everyone saying that everything on Cable or Pay TV sucks and I'd rather spend my money elsewhere.

Last edited by DJariya; 04-15-10 at 07:25 AM.
Old 04-15-10, 07:23 AM
  #25  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Warren, MI
Posts: 5,614
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
Re: Nearly 800,000 U.S. TV households 'cut the cord,'

Originally Posted by Michael Corvin View Post
So basically we're all at the mercy of ESPN.
This is the only reason I'm keeping cable. I can watch everything online or via iTunes.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.