Despite cable executive insistence that "cord cutters" are akin to unicorn and yeti, a series of new reports
by the Convergence Consulting Group notes that 2.65 million American multichannel subscribers cut the cord between 2008-2011 and switched to "over the top" video options. According to their report, The Battle for the American Couch Potato
(pdf), the pay TV industry added just 112,000 net cable, satellite and telco TV customers last year, significantly less than other recent estimates.
As with previous Convergence reports we've covered
, the firm is clear to point out that any video revolution continues to be very slow in coming. Still, they also make it clear that with 1 million users cutting pay TV services in 2011, those who insist cord cutting isn't real are in very stark denial. The group predicts that total cord cutters (since 2008) will reach 3.58 million year end 2012.
Part of the problem is that cable operators and the broadcast industry absolutely refuse to compete on price. That belief's justified by the fact that despite bi-annual rate hikes, a dead housing market and a recession, users keep ponying up the cash for cable TV. Still, more than a few analysts, stock jocks and ratings houses
have been warning that the price hikes can't continue indefinitely, and that the bite felt from cord cutters will progressively be far more noticeable.