Last updated: December 9, 2010 - 12:09pm
Seeking to understand the cutting of cable cords, ESPN has waded into the Nielsen Company’s audience sample and concluded that the cancellations are currently a “very minor” phenomenon.
The sports network’s study provides a new answer, or at least a new set of data, for a question that looms over the television industry: how many Americans are dropping their costly cable subscriptions and watching TV on the Internet instead? This action, often called cord-cutting, has happened in 0.28 percent of households in the United States in the last three months, ESPN found in a study that it plans to release on Monday. Offsetting those losses, though, 0.17 percent of households that had been broadcast-only signed up for pay TV and broadband. “So the net amount of cord-cutting for one quarter was just one-tenth of 1 percent,” said Glenn Enoch, the vice president for integrated media research for ESPN. The study is significant because the prospect of cord-cutting has deeply worried television executives. Established players like ESPN that depend on subscriber revenue have been eager to figure out how much cord-cutting is going on — and to dispel myths about the behavior.
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