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.
If I were to drop Dish Network, I would lose SyFy, Fox News, ESPN, and the History Channel (generally the only channels I watch).
Without the Internet and Dish, I would be cut off from anything that would in any way present the news in a balanced format.
I use the local daily newspaper for sports, comics, the obituaries (always look to see if I'm listed), and local news. It's national news section is an arm of the MSM and hence is biased, slanted, and useless, since the stories are usually a day or two late. Unfortunately the headlines are twisted with a liberal slant, and usually don't really reflect the content of the article.
A lot of people just browse the headline, and take them as fact.
What is so sacred about Free tv - as in abc, nbc, cbs and sitcom city? I prefer cable tv. Although now that we have netflix we dropped the movie channels.
I’m paying 56 clams to DISH for watching FNC, Foxsports SW, and during football season, ESPN. Histronic channel, Discovery channel, et al have gone to, best I can tell, “reality” programming. People watch this? Really? It’s a lousy value compared to broadband internet, which might be undervalued (shush). Dumping DISH in August at when my 2 yr contract expires.
I ditched DirecTV after 9 years as a loyal customer, never late with a payment.
DirecTV final act? Spit in my eye!
Offered me free movie channels, all sorts of stuff just to try out and see if I’d change my mind. I took them up on it.
After several weeks we decided it still wasn’t worth keeping.
THEN they tell me that if I cancel I have to PAY for all that ‘free’ stuff if I cancel. If I don’t cancel I STILL have to pay for it! Very different from the reps talk of ‘free’ watching.
NEVER TRUST DIRECTV REPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
AND NEVER, EVER, DO BUSINESS WITH SOMEONE WHOSE FINAL ACT IS TO SPIT IN YOUR EYE.
I paid the bill, but hell will freeze over before I EVER do business with DirecTV again.
“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.”
Yes he can because they’ll just have ABC, CBS and NBC for their news.
Poor people are cutting cable.
Very few people that can afford it are cutting cable/sat.
I have the everything package with AT&T Uverse and will never give it up.
Game of Thrones,House of Lies,CSPAN, Fox News,Fox Business Channel etc etc etc.
Dish isn’t DirecTV, but be very careful when cancelling and returning equipment. See #24.
There’s a lot more to the story, none of it favorable to DirecTV, I hit the high spots.
We watch nothing here but BBC4 documentaries on YouTube, and shows that we can get on Netflix. Many nights we just watch classic clips from old TV shows with the occasional BitTorrent grab.
Not missing cable at all. There simply wasnt anything on worth paying for.
If you’re not into sports, just get an antenna and Netflix/Amazon Prime everything else via broadband.
Just caught a partial radio ad for low cost cable (sat) picking only those few channels you want. Cost was as low as 24.95.
I’m tired of paying to watch commercials. No matter how fast I flip, I always get a commercial.
Yes, had similar experience with Diectv yrs ago. Thieves. AT&T type racket- and that’s bad. DISH has always been above board with me, and treated me well, I’ll give ‘em that. They just don’t get that their product is way overvalued. Some of it’s not their fault, but they’ve failed to adjust to a changing market in terms of their pricing. Comes from the top: the CEO’s greedy and arrogant per my recent reading of him.
We can afford it. We stopped all TV input because too much crap was being piped into our home at our expense. We decided to stop supporting the leftist agenda w/ our dollars. We use netflix our viewing pleasure, less frequent, more quality...no commercials.
I freep, surf the web, email on my phone, etc on Verizon. Im done with them. Im getting Virgin for my mobile uses, but need home internet about 5 x a month for actually sitting at the computer. I spend about 10 hrs a week watching travel channel or sports(more during the season). Im tired of handing over my money to these jerks. Ill go mow my lawn. Im no old guy, just have to make cuts..
Never had cable, never will.
It would be great to be able to purchase ala carte, but I doubt that will ever happen.
All I watch are ESPN ESPN2 SpeedTV, NBCSports, FoxBiz, and Big10.
They billed it as commercial free decades ago....They lied...
Today, cable TV scam is nothing but commercials.
They got Americans to pay to watch their commercials which the fat cable insiders have already been paid for.
Kill your stinking rip off cable if ya still have it.
I changed to Satellite with 3 rooms and saved 70 bucks Per Month.
The programming is on par although not quite as much HD but overall it was a great swap. It also has the rock solid reliablity you want. When you turn it on it works every time. I can't say that for the Cisco Cox unit (Particuarly the secondary client boxes).
I called AT&T and requested the “naked dry loop”. It isn’t advertised but my son told me about it. DSL thru my home phone line (I don’t use it for a phone anyways, but that wouldn’t be a problem) It’s fast, always on and only $38/month. I bought the wireless router instead of renting, which would add to the monthly bill. I’ve been very happy with it for a couple years now.
And the ludicrous, antiquated, technically unnecessary practice of channel bundling.
Newspapers believe that technology alone killed the classifieds but they won’t admit that Craigslist is also their comeuppance for gouging readers.
There’s a reason that cable is a byword for a belligerent, lazy, greedy bureaucracy as well as the butt of jokes for their Byzantine system for scheduling on site visits.
In truth, the whole scheduled, mass audience model is an anachronism except for live sports and other events.
“It would be great to be able to purchase ala carte”
A Roku is a good way to get channels “A la carte”
New TVs are set up for internet streaming, so no Roku is needed. Roku still does not have many cable channels, but they are adding them all the time.
My roommate has cable now, but I’m planning on moving and just using my Roku and the free broadcast channels. There are quite a few here in the DFW metroplex.
$70/month for 300 channels of crap. With commercials.
What’s the value proposition?
Thanks, that’s about what we’re willing to pay. I listen for that ad.
Roku: I checked their offerings.
Doesn’t have any of the channels I use on cable:
ESPN ESPN2 SpeedTV, NBCSports, FoxBiz, and Big10.
I got direct TV because I am in an rural area where I can only get 3 fuzzy channels with only one clear one. And all my TVs are old and would needed to be upgraded to get HD
I am tempted to drop it as it is way to expensive but I dont know if I can live without watching my favorite shows like “Best Pillow Ever”, “How it is Made”, and all them Bigfoot shows.
We ditched DISH and just have Netflix streaming.
Between Top Gear and all the documentaries we haven’t missed a thing’ don’t watch movies anyway.
Women and minorites hit worse ping
I’m not understanding completely. Do you have landline phone? Or just DSL?
I just got tired of the abject, stomach-churning sleaze from both cable and the networks. Trying to find one single solitary decent show to view (and a few do exist) just became no longer worth the depressing effort of wading through the sewer that modern television has become.
So, I started buying dvd-sets of old shows and movies that genuinely entertain me and buoy my spirits. I now have a pretty huge library. Both cable-tv and the networks can take their sick dreck and go to hell!
You can also get many movies that are coming onto general cable for free at the library and pay $1-2 per episode to watch a single beloved TV series. Then there is the classic “go to someone else’s house to watch it”.
Then there is the modern frustration of someone watching a TV show or movie in snippets on Youtube, taking up a library computer.
They will: he'll promise to regulate the 'evil cable companies' and/or 'subsidize' your cable bill.
And his followers are stupid enough to believe him: Remember this?
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