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Would You Ever Become a Cord-Cutter?

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.

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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….

Probably not.

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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About TV Answer Man (704 Articles)
The TV Answer Man is veteran journalist Phillip Swann who has covered the TV technology scene for more than two decades. He will report on the latest news and answer your questions regarding new devices and services that are changing the way you watch television.

1 Comment on Would You Ever Become a Cord-Cutter?

  1. Hello,

    I cut the cord about two years ago just to see if I could. I, too, live in the DC area. My overarching sports interest is the Washington Redskins (HTTR!). I use the TiVo Roamio OTA with Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. I have a Denon receiver and Polk Audio speakers in a 7.1 configuration in order to allow me to have great sound on everything I watch. I am a FiOS 50/50 customer. I use a RCA antenna for (over-the-air) OTA broadcasts.

    The first thing I learned is that DD 5.1 EX sound OTA is miles better that what I hear on DirecTV. I think that the picture quality on DirecTV is quite good compared to OTA, but DirecTV saves bandwidth by compressing sound. I hear the difference on all network TV. Using the TiVo Roamio OTA DVR with the newly added SKIP function is as good as streaming any show. I believe that it is preferable to watching network TV on DirecTV. Once I discovered the better sound, there was no choice but to keep the cord cut.

    While the occasional streaming glitch still occurs, it has become less and less as the two years I’ve been a cord-sutter has progressed. Yes, it is annoying when it happens, it is like the signal fade with DirecTV. I had DirecTV for 20 years before cutting the cord. As time passed, signal fade became less and less of an occurrence even in the worst of weather.

    Except for sports, I don’t miss anything. I only really care about football anyway. I miss the NFL network, ESPN and the NFL Sunday ticket. But, it doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. With local coverage and more stuff popping up on YouTube, I’m pretty satisfied.

    I wait for programs to appear on one of my streaming services and decide from there if I want to pay for the season or wait for the offering to become part of my package. I usually wait then binge. With all the new service-specific content popping up, I don’t have a time when there “nothing to watch.”

    I love DirecTV and still recommend it to others trying to decide between cable and dish. But, unless there is a compelling reason to sign back up with a service, I have no plans to reconnect.

    Later,
    -B

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