Are people really cutting the cord to their cable or satellite television subscriptions? If two recent reports are any indication, their hearts (and wallets) say yes, but at the end of the day they just can’t bring themselves to do it.
Last month The Yankee Group released a report saying that as many as 12.5 percent of cable, satellite or telco television subscribers plan on cutting the cord in the next year, instead getting all of their TV content online.
And who can blame consumers? The average cable bill is now approximately $71 a month, and they only continue to rise. In addition, websites like Hulu and paid services like MLB.tv help offset the programming consumers may miss.
But another report released today from SNL Kagan and MediaBiz sends a very different message. The report, summarized at MediaPost by David Goetzl, says that in 2009 the number of households paying for TV service increased by three percent over 2008.
While cable companies saw a decline in subscribers, their satellite and telco competitors more than made up for the losses. AT&T U-verse and Verizon Fios saw their subscriber numbers jump 65 percent in the same time period.
So what does it mean? People love their television sets and shows. Over and over again consumers say they will cut the cord in surveys, but when they take a good hard look at the content that is really available online, most keep their pay TV service.
Will 12.5 percent of consumers (totaling almost 12.5 million households) really cancel their service in the next year? Only time will tell, but if Vegas is taking bets, “no” would be the better wager.