According to this study the number of homes that rely solely on free, broadcast TV and broadband Internet has increased 22.8% over the past year, though the category still only represents 4.5% of all households. It's still a meaningful increase.
Frankly, this comes as no surprise to me. Whether you get your television from a cable, satellite or phone provider, the video product is getting more and more expensive. Ironically, it is getting more expensive primarily because of the soaring cost of programming while that same programming finds its way onto Internet delivery platforms such as Hulu Plus and Netflix. No wonder some consumers are seeking alternatives.
In particular, local broadcasters that are affiliated with the four major broadcast networks and sports content are the primary drivers in making TV so much more expensive. It has been reported that some of these stations have demanded up to 300% increases in their price to cable and satellite distributors upon renews of their contracts. Something has to give.
To be clear, Nielsen stops short of declaring all the households in the "Broadcast Only/Broadband" category "cord-cutters." Some growth could simply be former "Broadcast Only/No Broadband" households which have since upgraded to broadband Internet. Still, the growth of this group and its higher than average streaming video minutes is very real and should not go unnoticed by content owners.