Cord Cutting Explodes: 33% of U.S. Adults Do Not Have Cable TV

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AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File

Cord cutting is exploding as a record number 32.8 percent of the adult population have either canceled their cable or satellite television packages, or have not resubscribed.

Rather than slowing down, as wishful thinkers predicted last year, cord-cutting is up 43.6 percent over last year, according to research from eMarketer.

eMarketer found that the number of American cord-cutters — or those “who have ever cancelled traditional pay-TV service and do not resubscribe — will climb 32.8%, to 33.0 million adults” in 2018.

That is not only nearly a 50 percent climb over last year, it is a massive upward revision from eMarketer’s original 22 million estimate.

By 2022, a mere 3.5 years from now, that number is expected to climb to 55.1 million, but my guess is it will be much higher, especially after ESPN and Disney launch their respective streaming services and Americans become increasingly comfortable with the idea.

While eMarketer is measuring all adults, the cable industry counts households. Those numbers are also in serious decline, although they look much less dramatic.

In 2017, a record number of 3.7 percent of households cut the cord, leaving only 94 million households with cable or satellite TV.

A number like 3.4 percent might not sound like a lot but cable TV is not only no longer a growth industry, it’s shrinkage is accelerating. A near-50 percent increase in cord-cutting in 2018, could lift that 3.4 percent to something closer to 5 percent in 2018, which is a catastrophe.

To the surprise of no one, the study found that the biggest complaint about cable TV is price. The average bill this year is $101, which “represents a 5.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2000-17.” That is not only well ahead of inflation, but includes an increasing number of commercials. Some cable channels hit you with 20 minutes of ads per hour.

Cord-cutting is not only bad news for the cable TV industry, it is catastrophic for the news media and entertainment industry.

A ton of cable networks, like the far-left CNN, could not survive only on merit — or advertising revenue based on viewers. No one watches CNN, but still CNN is able to thrive due to carriage fees, which means that every cable customer, whether or not you watch CNN, still subsidize CNN to the tune of about $1 a month.

Far-left ESPN makes about four times that amount.

The cable consumer is being gouged by a number of left-wing institutions that cannot survive on merit. And the only way you can cut off that supply of free money to them is to cut the cable cord.

Politics aside, with the average cable bill at $101 per month for the pleasure of being bombarded with commercials, streaming services like Netflix and Amazon cost about a tenth as much, and have zero commercials.

As people get used to the idea of streaming, as they get comfortable with a dramatic change away from a lifetime habit, the financial and political benefits when you cut the cord are undeniable.

 

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.

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