Skip to comments.Economic bummer: 6.9 million homes ditch cable TV
Posted on 06/19/2012 4:55:11 PM PDT by Beave Meister
It started with homes, then cars, and now penny-pinching Americans, especially minorities, are giving up cable TV because they just can't afford it in the lingering recession.
Instead, they are switching back to free TV, improved with the recent switch to digital broadcast which requires a special antenna but eliminates the $70-$100 monthly cable, satellite or broadband service fee.
Industry officials had worried that Americans would begin "cord-cutting" in a shift to internet TV, but the recession is more to blame, not internet bling.
"It's not so much cord-cutting as cost-cutting that's motivating this. There's possibly recessionary issues here," said Dennis Wharton, spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters.
An ownership survey conducted by GfK Media found that about 6.9 million homes abandoned pay TV last year, a shocking number that industry sources chalk up to the sagging economy. What's more, the survey found that the number of Americans watching only free-TV surged from 46 million to 54 million. GfK said that means about 18 percent of all homes with TVs, or 21 million, watch only free-TV, a jump from about 14 percent just five years ago.
"When asked why they cancelled TV service, the overwhelming majority, over 70%, cited cost-cutting; cord-cutting because of online options was cited by less than 20%," said Dave Tice senior vice president of GfK.
Younger Americans, minorities and low-income homes, socked by unemployment and the economy have jumped the cable ship in the highest numbers. The GfK poll found that minorities make up 44 percent of all broadcast-only homes.
But according to Wharton, the shift isn't all bad. He said that more and more cable-like shows are now on free digital broadcast, especially those for minorities. "There is sort of an explosion in free network programming," he said.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonexaminer.com ...
4 years and counting...and our blood pressure is way down.
Thanks Obama! And you expect all these 6.9 million with no cable(because of the high cost) to still vote for you??? Good luck with that.
You might as well bring a sewer line into your living room and have it dump on the floor as have cable tv.
Cable rots peoples brains....well...so does a lot of free tv. It’s likely people are watching movies and other personal interest programming.
We dumped DirecTV and Hughes.net, and haven’t been sorry.
Special antenna my @$$, I use some weird (used) FM antenna (it's a loop with a half loop) ~3 in x 3 in I bought at a computer show for < $10 a decade years ago.
It’s tragic that these people won’t be able to watch the Communist News Network or MSDNC.
You don’t need a special antenna. I cut our cable TV and hooked a pair of rabbit ears to the set and we get 25 digital stations.
Overpriced junk mostly. Verizon is ripping me off just having a FIOS connection. Anybody using satellite service for their internet? I wish DISH offered it-—I would dump Verizon then—with gusto.
So does 99% of the product on “free” TV.
yeah they are trying to make it sound like the poor minorities are getting squeezed out. I cut back because no one ever watches anything except ball games. The shows are mainly reality shows, which are awful. We use our TV more for dvds. Never even watch the news.
“Verizon is ripping me off just having a FIOS connection”
Do they still use that signal booster that drives up your electricity bill every month?
I haven’t had cable in a very long time. Had better things to do than sit in front of the tv when I had my own business and was doing quite well. Now, I appreciate the lack of expense. I actually rode the old analog signal until there was only a repeating message playing over and over again, it was sort of poignant. An end of “a” world, so to speak.
Finally broke down after a couple of weeks of nothing after even that stopped, and got set up for digital broadcast. There are actually a number of channels that can be entertaining. One plays nothing but classic sitcoms and syndicated scifi, several music channels running the gamut, a local sports channel, it’s amazing how many there are now.
I probably need to scan again but there are at least 25 with reception that doesn’t chop up and then drop out to “no signal no signal no signal.”
There is a black oriented channel and an Hispanic oriented Spanish language channel in my midsized southern metro market. The Mexican game shows are hilarious in a primitive Gong Show sort of way. The way they all gesticulate and mug the camera, it’s amusing, like stepping fifty years back in time.
This can only improve 0bama's "unexpected" jobs numbers in the near future.
I think DISH does offer sat tv now. Check them out
They don’t have the poll available at the link )LOL!)...
“Our data show that only one third of broadcast-only homes actually did cut the cord they cancelled pay TV service at their current household - and only one sixth of those broadcast-only homes report some type of online service connected to their TV set. “
If true, which I doubt, it’s only because of bundling of cable with internet service.
I agree though that Over the air broadcast is exceptionally good these days.
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