What Do You Fear Most: Cord-Cutters Or Cord-Cheaters?

Some traditional TV viewers believe they don’t really need much TV after all -- a digital antenna and perhaps Netflix is enough.

Call them cord-cutters/shavers if you like.

But now you will need to consider another category of viewer: cord-cheaters. These are TV/video viewers who access, through broadband, the apps/websites of TV networks using someone else’s account/ID/passwords -- in theory, from someone who has given them the approval to use it.

Research company The Diffusions Group says 25.5% of those currently using the new stand-alone cloud-based TV service Sling TV are doing this; 21.2% using Hulu Plus; 19.9% Netflix; and 9.9% for Amazon Prime.

But perhaps the most glaring statistic is that 18% of HBO Go’s users are cord-cheaters – while HBO just announced its stand-alone digital TV service, HBO Now.



One wonders how many other authenticated TV network digital platforms might be getting the same treatment.

If you have ever been invited to a friend’s home  to see a high priced $40 or $50 pay-per-view event -- wrestling, music concert or whatever -- you might be in the same boat. You’re kind of cheating the system, at least according to those rights holders.

Sure, a TV party is one thing. Using someone’s account information in the privacy of your own home might be another. Perhaps future digital iterations might take account of specific IP addresses and/or geo-location data to make sure no one is cheating.

More importantly, pay TV providers now have another worry.

Next story loading loading..