Cord Cutting Explodes as 56 Million Americans Do Without Pay TV

While Americans are pulling the plug on cable TV, there’s never any analysis of why, so let me speculate.

I know a woman who is totally disgusted by her soap operas that she’s watched for decades. Seeing a naked white male in bed with a naked Negro male, the two of them kissing, isn’t her cup of tea. It’s soured her on the whole TV viewing experience. There’s way too much diversity for her.

For similar reasons, I stopped watching TV, other than the news, documentaries, and old movies, around 1992 or even earlier. So-called entertainment was anything but entertaining.

Millions are feeling the vibe that TV is not a necessity. I’ll bet most of them are white.

Excerpt from Techcrunch

Bad news for traditional pay TV: cord cutting is accelerating at a pace faster than previously estimated. According to a new industry report from eMarketer, there will be 22.2 million cord cutters ages 18 and older this year – a figure that’s up 33.2 percent over 2016. The firm said it’s had to revise its forecast as the pace of cord cutting has increased. Previously, it believed there would only be 15.4 million cord cutters in the U.S.

In addition, the so-called “cord-nevers” – meaning those consumers who never choose to subscribe to traditional cable or satellite TV in the first place – is growing, too. While the pace of that growth is slower – a more modest 5.8 percent this year – the total number of cord-nevers is higher. eMarketer says there will be 34.4 million U.S. adult cord-nevers in 2017.

When you combine the cord cutters and cord-nevers, there will be 56.6 million U.S. non-pay TV viewers this year.

By 2021, eMarketer says the number of cord cutters will nearly equal the number of cord-nevers with 40.1 million for the former, and 41 million for the latter.

The firm attributes its revised forecast, in part, to the growing list of live streaming and over-the-top platforms that are now available.

In addition to existing players like Sling TV and PlayStation Vue, in under a year’s time we’ve seen new entrants in the live TV streaming space like AT&T’s DirecTV Now, which arrived late last year; YouTube TV, which launched in April; and Hulu Live TV, which arrived in May. There’s also a growing number of sports streaming services, including fuboTV and Stadium. Meanwhile, major companies have announced similar plans to enter the live streaming space, including CBS Sports and ESPN.

And that’s just live streaming TV.

The on-demand market, which includes Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO, and others, is growing, too. Even Disney is prepping its own Netflix competitor.

“Younger audiences continue to switch to either exclusively watching [over-the-top] video or watching them in combination with free TV options,: noted Chris Bendtsen, eMarketer’s senior forecasting analyst.

“Last year, even the Olympics and presidential elections could not prevent younger audiences from abandoning pay TV,” Bendtsen added.

Another factor accounting for the decline in pay TV viewership has to do with the way we’re now watching video content. U.S. adults simply aren’t watching TV as much as they used to, says eMarketer. The average time spent watching TV, excluding digital, will drop 3.1 percent to 3 hours, 58 minutes – that’s the first time it’s fallen below 4 hours per day, eMarketer notes.

Digital video viewing, meanwhile, has jumped up 9.3 percent over 2016 to reach 1 hour, 17 minutes.

4 thoughts on “Cord Cutting Explodes as 56 Million Americans Do Without Pay TV

  1. “The average time spent watching TV, excluding digital, will drop 3.1 percent to 3 hours, 58 minutes – that’s the first time it’s fallen below 4 hours per day.”

    Oh, boy, 2 minutes less TV per evening. That’s a huge drop! It probably is disgusting commercials or answering that cellphone.

    Too much time spent on tablets and cellphones. Recent studies show this obsession is causing depression and antisocial behavior in our youth.

    I think much of it is cost. Cable is expensive for the number of programs actually watched. The good programs usually are on the higher channels, more costly. Those going live stream are still probably watching rot; although at a lower cost.

    I keep hearing how bad TV is, but there is very good programming on cable and satellite that is not politically and socially infested. Rarely do I see mixed couples on programs I regularly watch or in commercials. Last night we watched US Air Force Hurricane Hunters on The Weather Channel that fly viewers inside an actual plane through the wind and torrential rain to the eye of the hurricane where measurements are taken that determine its category, where and when, or if it will hit the United States. That was fascinating!

    I can get some live streaming on the internet directly from the source and don’t have to sign up with any company. Some of it you can only get on those tiny mobile devices using a mobile app where everyone will eventually develop eyesight problems. Fox is one of them.

    Live streaming may force cable and satellite companies to eventually give us what we want rather than paying for many channels we don’t watch. That’s a good thing.

  2. Speaking with friends and family about this over the last few months, it is the politically correct, liberal, progressive, Hollywood narrative that is turning people off, including some who consider themselves liberal or progressive. For years, Hollywood has produced programs that portray contra-factual messages: all men (particularly white men) are stupid, clumsy, lazy. All women (particularly WoC) are smart, independent, strong, and overworked (due to parenting their husbands). All kids are smarter than their parents, ultra-cool, ultra-hip, etc. For years, Hollywood has produced programs with values and moral standards that may be prevalent in Hollywood, LA, or California, but those values and standards aren’t shared by a very large, diverse cross section of the US population. Add to that the insult of having to pay substantial cable TV fees to be disgusted, outraged, or bored, and it’s a wonder to me that cable TV isn’t losing viewers at an even faster pace.

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