Americans grumble about the money they’re paying for cable and/or satellite television services, but they’re not quite so disgruntled that they’re cutting the cord entirely. Yet.
According to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of CouponCabin.com, nearly half (45%) of U.S. adults think paying for cable TV is a waste of money, although 81% of them continue to maintain their subscriptions. However, 11% of respondents said they have previously subscribed to such services, but don’t any more, and 8% said they have never subscribed to them. (Not surprisingly, younger consumers were more likely to have never subscribed than older consumers.)
“Having cable TV is a part of life that many people are accustomed to having,” Jackie Warrick, senior savings adviser at CouponCabin.com, tells Marketing Daily as a possible explanation into people feeling they pay too much, but being unwilling to cut the cord. “In addition, it could be that cable alternatives like streaming programming aren't as widely used by older Americans, who are more comfortable with and used to traditional TV.”
Live sporting events may be the biggest sticking point for potential cord-cutters. According to the survey, 43% of adults said they won’t cancel their pay TV services specifically because they wouldn’t be able to watch sports programming. Fourteen percent said they would cut the cord if there were alternative ways to watch sports broadcasts.
“Perhaps if there were alternative ways to watch sports broadcasts, we'd see a higher number of cord-cutters,” Warrick says. “Overall, as more people become comfortable with streaming technology, and programming via that channel continues to grow, it's likely that cord-cutting will increase.”
Indeed, the survey found that the emergence of other, less costly alternatives would motivate 56% of subscribers to cut the cord, while 55% cited the expense (i.e., "if I couldn’t afford it anymore") as a reason. Other motivators included: not watching TV enough (27%), alternative ways to watch live broadcasts (17%) and only watching a few of the total channels provided (17%).