Cord-Cutting Greatly Exaggerated: ESPN Study [Multichannel News]
ESPN took a look at Nielsen's latest numbers in an effort to quantify cord-cutting. It defined cord-cutters as households that retain their broadband Internet, but drop their regular subscription TV service. ESPN analyzed Neilsen samples and found that a mere 0.18% of American households fit that description between the fourth quarter of 2010 and the first quarter of 2011.
Further, that percentage is a decrease from the 0.28% who cut the TV cord between the third quarter and fourth of 2010. Also, the 0.18% was offset by a similar number of people who moved from over-the-air to subscription TV service, meaning that the net loss between the two evened out at roughly zero.
What’s perhaps even more interesting is that, of the households that fit ESPN’s “cord-cutter” description, the vast majority (over 70%) were not heavy or even middle-of-the-road streamers. This means that over 70% of the “cord-cutters” were light or non-streamers, who are not watching significant amounts of online video to make up for their subscription TV loss.