Q. I know you have said many times that you don’t think there are that many people cutting the cord. But would you ever consider cutting the cord? What would it take for you to join our team, the cord-cutting team? — George, Buffalo.
George, what I’ve written (ad nauseam) is that cord-cutting has been hyped by misinformed journalists and financial analysts with self-interest.
There has been some people who have dropped their pay TV service, but the number is so small that it has had relatively little impact on pay TV operators. Look at the stats. Roughly 100 million homes still subscribe to a cable, satellite or telco TV service. While their sub numbers have fallen slightly in the last few years, the most recent financial quarters show an overall gain, particularly by the larger operators.
If cord-cutting was a significant trend, the pay TV providers would be losing subscribers every quarter — and losing millions and millions of them. And that’s just not happening.
Now to your question….
I subscribe to DIRECTV and my family (wife, myself and 5-year-old daughter) watch a lot of television, both live and on-demand. Of course, we could manage just fine if we dropped DIRECTV, but our daily life would not be as convenient and entertaining. I would miss the live sports channels, and basic cable channels that are serving up some of the best TV shows we’ve seen in years. My wife would miss the home improvement channels and the broadcast networks (particularly CBS) and my daughter goes nuts for every animated hero on the screen.
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Now, that said, if I were single, I might consider cutting the cord if some Net TV service such as Sling TV or Play Station Vue added MASN, the regional sports channel that airs the games of the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals. As a huge Nationals fan, MASN is a must for me. (My daughter is becoming a fan, too.).
But even if MASN was available online, I still don’t think I would drop pay TV. There are just too many good shows on that I want to watch live, or the next day or two via DVR. (I am also not a fan of the sub-par quality of live streaming; too many technical glitches and picture break-ups for my taste.)
Yes, I’m a TV junkie, but I suspect I’m not alone in this country, which is why cord-cutting has not taken off like some believe.
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