ESPN Again Informs You Cord Cutters Aren't Important
TV Industry Sees Some Recovery, But Questions Remain
While it's clear that cord cutting remains a small threat to a statistically dominant cable industry, there's still a very clear shift afoot. Still, most broadcasters and cable companies are eager to downplay the idea that users could eventually begin dropping pricey cable service in exchange for less expensive and more a-la-carte-centric Internet video options. ESPN in particular seems very excited to highlight just how small they believe the risk is, issuing a report last December
insisting that just 0.11% of cable households had cut the cord -- and now this week issuing yet another story
insisting the cord cutting is just a meaningless blip:
Just 18/100ths (of one percent) of US households "cut the cord" between fourth quarter 2010 and first quarter 2011, according to ESPN analysis of Nielsen households. This study defines "cord-cutters" as multichannel homes with a high-speed Internet connection that drop their cable/telco/satellite subscriptions, but retain their broadband connection to watch television. The current rate of 0.18 percent is less than the 0.28 percent found in ESPN’s previous analysis of cord-cutting from third to fourth Quarter 2010.
As outfits like Convergence consulting told us last year
, the rise of Internet video isn't a short-term story -- but a very glacially paced rise. Most of cable's losses of late have been to competitors like telcoTV, and SNL Kagan released data this week noting that TV operators gained 65,000 new subscribers in the fourth quarter -- after two consecutive quarterly declines. However ESPN shouldn't get too comfortable just yet -- given that according to data from Stifel Nicolas, the percentage of households that pay for TV declined in 2010 as the cable industry's two biggest bogeymen for subscriber losses (housing, digital transition) stopped being as much of a factor
But the decline of the pay TV market is being helped along by high unemployment, higher food and transportation bills, and cheaper, if less convenient alternatives than traditional cable or satellite. King notes that at the same time pay TV subscriptions languished, Netflix added 2.4 million paying subscribers in the fourth quarter and 6.4 million subscribers throughout 2010. With 18.3 million people paying for its service, it would be the third-largest pay TV service behind Comcast and DirecTV.
So while you'll hear a lot of rhetoric from the cable industry that the very idea of a "cord cutter" is some kind of ridiculous hallucination, the ongoing shift that's occurring is very real, and this is all a story very much unwritten. ESPN can take some comfort in the fact that there's very few options for legal, live sports streams via broadband at the moment, but it's probably premature to pop the bubbly just yet.
| |espaethDigital PlumberPremium,MVMReviews:
Re: Can I cut ESPN?
said by Joe12345678:So you can cough up more cash to get a sports "theme pack" just to get TSN2 (ESPN2)?
we should have theme packs like canada.
It seems like a good idea on the surface, but there are so many rules about how channels need to be combined in Canada that you still get Loonied and Leafed to death.
I have both DirecTV and Shaw Direct service, and I get much less for my subscriber dollar from Canada.
Maybe it is a "ridiculous hallucination" Karl,
No matter what data you are presented, you still insist this is happening. ESPN is right...if you are a sports fan, and not in the ~1% that has a PC hooked up to a TV to stream illegal sports streams (and in poor quality), you won't be "cutting the cord" anytime soon.
| |espaethDigital PlumberPremium,MVMReviews:
Re: Maybe it is a "ridiculous hallucination"
said by ilianame:For starters, the cable / satellite / OTA broacasts are encoded for a significantly higher bitrate.
characteristics (ie, fast motion) that make real-time encoding for bandwidth-friendly distribution at regular broadcast quality almost impossible.
And how are you getting it on your DTV???
| |Sr TechPremiumReviews:
New Fairfield, CT
Re: Hey ESPN
said by amungus:Did that a while back, never been happier, another vote for OTA and Netflix.
..I can't wait to drop at least 'expanded' cable, if not the whole package... OTA and Netflix will do just fine.
Expecting to be able to do so this year, when I move. Guess what, I won't miss it either!
Re: They have lockdown on Sports
said by AndyDufresne:Well I can watch ESPN3 without have to have cable or satellite. But since it doesn't have shows like PTI, Around the Horn, NFL Live, Monday Night Football it's kind of useless for the most part. Unless you're a European soccer fan then sure.
So of course they are not worried. From a marketing perspective they have a lock on male 18-39 eyeballs.The only major sport not on their stable of channels is Hockey which Comast owns rights to via Versus. They also have Espn3 so they seems to be well postioned to navigate any future cord cutting uptick that might come their way.
Re: They have lockdown on Sports yes I know what they have. Until they get MNF adn other stuff, like I said it's little good to me. I'm not big on the NBA.
said by Moropo:Ok that's illegal and where I have an issue with you. If you live In Miami, FL get you a $10 antenna and watch it via OTA if you're inclined not to pay for cable or satellite. Also the CBS website has the latest episode for viewing
And for my weekly fix of Big Bang Theory, there is torrents.
Dump 'Em I did it 2 months ago...don't know how I've done it. I had been a DirecTV subscriber since 1998 and a lifelong cable subscriber prior to that. I guess it was just part of my DNA to feel the need for more than OTA channels. The need for 10s of channels (now 100s), whether I actually watched them or not, seemed to be a requirement. Never could justify it apart for the "what if" scenario where a program I might want to watch wasn't available to me because it wasn't in my package.
Times have changed. With the wide variety of on-line content coupled with broadband Internet speeds, I figured I'd give it a shot and I'm glad I did.
I use a Roku box (one-time $69 charge) to stream Hulu ($8/mo), Netflix ($8/mo), and any number of free content. On-demand movies are available from Amazon On-demand if I feel the need. OTA antenna gets me the local HD channels (free).
I also use an XBOX360 for streaming content (~$4/mo) like ESPN3, Netflix, etc.
The ONLY thing I believe I will truly miss is the NFL Sunday Ticket, but with the ever increasing prices it was becoming hard to justify.
In summary, I've cut my satellite bill from $140/mo (5 receivers + programming) down to $20 using Internet based programming .... saving over $120/mo ($1440/yr).
Maybe this will work for others and maybe not. I'm still amazed at how I don't miss DirecTV. Give it a shot.