Cord-cutting impact still small


Cable / SatelliteAn estimated 2.65 million Americans eliminated their MVPD service (cable/satellite) from 2008 through 2011, says a new report from The Convergence Consulting Group Ltd. The Canadian research company says 1.05 million of that came in 2011, with former pay TV subscribers switching to reliance solely on online video and over-the-air television. What about 2012?

The research company’s sixth annual “Couch Potato” survey projects that the number of cord-cutting households in the US will grow to 3.58 million this year, or 3.6% of television households. However, that implies a net gain of  0.93 million homes without MPVD service, so slower growth than in 2011.

One trend noted in the report is that the audience for free full-episode TV shows made available online has started to plateau. An estimated 19% of the weekly viewing audience for full episodes from US broadcast and cable networks watched one or two episodes online in 2011, up only slightly from 18% in 2010. The Convergence Consulting Group Ltd. is projecting that the figure for 2012 will again be 19%.