ESPN has dug deep into Nielsen’s own ratings numbers and found that in the last three months just 0.28 per cent of homes dropped their cable or satellite service, but kept their broadband internet connection so that they could watch television online.
In addition, they found that 0.17 per cent of internet-only customers added cable packages, meaning the net loss of these “cord cutters” was just 0.11 per cent.
ESPN also claims that among “heavy or medium sports viewers” that number was zero, because free online broadcasts of live sports events are almost non-existent.
The network’s researchers also claim that cord cutters are not young, tech-savvy folks who consume all their content online, but older middle income families looking to save money in a tough economy.
The numbers sound encouraging, but be warned — this research is based only on households in the Nielsen ratings sample, which is not the most representative sample of television watchers in the U.S.
Cord cutting may be minor so far, but the numbers are still trending the wrong direction.
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