In the ongoing saga of whether to shave, cut or extol the cord, new data reveals broadcast viewing is holding steady even as cords are shortened.
In an effort to understand how streaming
choices and over-the-top services are affecting TV viewing, Pivotal Research Group studied television consumption in the new broadcast season so far among shavers and cutters. While Nielsen data says
that overall TV consumption is flat, declines are most significant on cable networks with younger audiences, while gains are occurring via Internet-connected devices, the research firm said. But even
among the cord-cutters and cord-shavers, broadcast networks are still being watched with more consistency than cable networks. “This is more favorable for owners of broadcast networks vs. cable
as we assess long-term trends,” Pivotal says in in its report.
Among those consumers who have already scaled back, those in broadband-only homes watch more TV through Internet-connected devices than consumers in broadcast-only homes and the general population. That finding bodes well for multichannel TV providers that have focused on high-speed broadband services, which, of course, are the pipes that deliver this streaming TV.
The research group also found that broadband-only homes have similar usage trends regardless of whether or not they have access to a subscription VOD service. Broadcast-only homes with Internet access generally watch 60% less TV than the population as a whole. Broadcast homes with SVOD services consume 82% to 93% of the average amount of TV from English-language networks that the general population watches, which suggests that “the conventional broadcast networks should be able to hold their own in competition with SVOD services in years ahead,” the report found.
In related news, Comcast narrowed its video subscriber losses in the third quarter, with 48,000 -- down from 81,000 a year ago. On the flip side, telcos that were gaining have lost customers. In the third quarter AT&T lost 91,000 subscribers, down 142% from a year ago.