Cut the cord

Recently, USAToday wrote a story discussing why consumers are continuing to cut the cord. The story notes that while consumers are being given “more than 200 channels” by their TV providers, they only watch “about 20 channels, according to recent research from Nielsen.” Meaning, consumers watch less than 10% of the channels given to us.

But this is not new. Not at all. According to Nielsen’s TV Audience Report.

  • In May 2014, consumers watched just 10.6% of the 197 channels they paid for.
  • In May 2015, consumers watched just 9.6% of the 208 channels they paid for.
  • In May 2016, consumers watched just 9.6% of the 206 channels they paid for.


This is why TV companies are continuing to push out their own so-called “skinny” lower-priced pay-TV bundles. Dish Network, Comcast and Verizon have all put out skinny bundles to customers who otherwise aren’t probably buying a bloated package.

Up until several years ago, TV executives and industry insiders continued to laugh at the idea of cutting the cord. Former Sanford Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett mocking cord cutters as “poor, irrelevant basement dwellers” yet realized he was completely wrong in a 2013 report that showed TV losses beginning to pile up.

Since then, we have seen TV companies slowly warm to the idea of fewer channels at a lesser price. Unfortunately, those who cut the cord are still forced to deal with absurd restrictions by the TV providers who “intentionally and consistently go out of their way to make watching video content without cable cumbersome and annoying“.


For example, TV executives have responded by placing a growing number of restrictions on the applications. Restrictions such as waiting extra days for new episodes, being only able to watch select episodes of select seasons and being required to buy expensive, bloated TV packages for any on-demand library. Or making sure that any and all sports are put behind TV-authorized pay walls.