ESPN Says New Subscribers Offset Cord-Cutting
NEW YORK: ESPN discounts cord-cutting as a trend across
the cable TV industry. The network said it did a study of Nielsen data and
found just 0.18 percent of U.S. households cut the cord “between fourth quarter
2010 and first quarter 2011.” ESPN defined cord-cutters as multichannel homes
that dropped their cable or satellite TV subscriptions but retained broadband.
The number of households dropping pay TV during the three-month period was
offset by broadcast-only households subscribing to multichannel service, ESPN
said. The net-net between the two was zero.
ESPN said that the “popular image of a cord cutter is a home with both
multichannel and broadband connections, who decide to opt out of the
multichannel cord and rely on streaming content from the Internet.” However,
the network’s study indicated that 71 percent of people in cord-cutting
households were “non- or light streamers.” Additionally, the growth of
broadband homes was four times that of those cutting cords.
“We continue to see minuscule amounts of cord cutting among U.S. households,”
said Glenn Enoch, vice president of Integrated Media Research for ESPN. “Rather
than disturbing the existing avenues of distribution, the continued growth of
broadband penetration and use of online video provides a tremendous opportunity
for growth in media consumption across all platforms.”
Sports fans were unlikely to cut cords, the Entertainment Sports Programming