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Cable Technology Feature Article

December 07, 2010

ESPN Nielsen Study Find Cable Cutting Not as Big an Issue as Indicated

By Chris DiMarco, TMCnet Web Editor

Though trends have shown that people are thinking more about cutting their cable lines in lieu of streaming services, a recent study from Nielsen and ESPN (News - Alert) has shown that most of them are full of hot air. The company’s study confirmed that the phenomenon, though a growing concern for cable accounted for a “very minor” number of cancelations in recent months.

Only about .28 percent of homeowners have completely cut the cord in the last three months and offsetting that amount is the .17 percent who have since added broadband service to their cable subscriptions. Though those figures sound minuscule in concept, they translate to substantial numbers given the tremendous subscribing base for cable companies in the United States.

“So the net amount of cord-cutting for one quarter was just one-tenth of 1 percent,” says ESPN VP for Integrated Media Research Glenn Enoch. “We got a little worn out reading headline after headline saying, ‘Cord-cutting, it’s a disaster; young people are abandoning TV” Enoch said.

While the numbers may not be causing cable companies just yet, with the development of more and more streaming service options this survey seems to be missing the point. The cord might not be cut today or tomorrow, but in the metaphorical day after tomorrow adoption of internet based television or something as of yet unimagined is not as farfetched as this study would otherwise indicate.

Chris DiMarco is a Web Editor for TMCnet. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University. Prior to joining TMC (News - Alert) Chris worked with e-commerce provider Suresource as a contact center representative and development analyst. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Chris DiMarco