Survey: Cord-cutters won't return to cable for anything

Faith Merino · June 26, 2012 · Short URL:

Survey finds cord-cutters more likely to be those without a landline, single, and childless

Are cable and satellite subscription services in imminent danger of a rising tide of cord-cutters?  Depends on who you ask.  A quick glance at the raw data—58 million cable subscribers, 46 million digital video customers, and one million cord-cutters in 2011—and the answer seems obvious.  But a survey from came up with different results.  It also found that among those users who have cut the cord, a full third said that they wouldn’t go back no matter how much the cost was reduced.

To be clear, this was a survey conducted on, where people go to find—tech bargains.  So one could probably assume that the survey polled Web users who are into gadgets and spending less for them.  Thus, it doesn’t come as a huge shock that of the 29% of respondents who said they cut the cord, a good chunk—20%, to be exact—said that they didn’t technically “cut” the cord, as they never had cable or satellite to begin with.

Of those who abandoned cable and satellite, a full 83% said that it was due to the expense, while 17% said that the content was too lame to justify the subscription.

Interestingly, however, a full third of those who cut the cord said that no price reduction could draw them back.  They’ve buried cable, they’ve mourned, and they’ve moved on.

So what are they doing instead?  Gardening?  Jogging?  Playing with the kids? 

They’re still watching TV, just via different formats.  Among the 1,640 respondents, the most preferred online source for streaming video was YouTube, while Netflix came in at a close second.  The vast majority (43%) stream to their TVs via a gaming console or streaming media player, while 24% stream to their laptops, 20% to their desktops, 10% to their tablets, and 3% to their cell phones.

And who are these techie bargain shoppers who have walked away from cable and satellite?  The survey found that those who have cut the landline cord were 24% more likely to say they have also cut the cable cord.  In this survey, cable-ditchers were also more likely to be single, childless, and between the ages of 18 and 30.

A report from estimates that some 112,000 people subscribed to cable and satellite services, which is down from 272,000 in 2010.  The consulting group also estimates that between 2008 and 2011, some 2.65 million cable and satellite subscribers cut the cord.  By the end of 2012, they forecast that 3.58 million will have cut the cord.

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