JAN PATRICK

Millions of Americans Are Cutting Cable - Here's Why

Are you like millions of others across the country repeatedly frustrated by cable providers?

A recent report from emarketer.com seems to have defined exactly how much frustration consumers across the country are feeling about their local cable companies.

The consumer information clearinghouse reported that even as traditional pay TV providers form partnerships with former over-the-top (OTT) rivals to retain customers, cord-cutting continues to outpace projections.

According to eMarketer's latest figures, the number of cord-cutters - adults who have cancelled a pay TV service and continue without it - will climb 32.8 percent this year to 33.0 million. That's higher than the 22.0 percent growth rate (27.1 million) projected in July 2017.

Christopher Bendtsen, an eMarketer senior forecasting analyst says 186.7 million U.S. adults will watch pay TV (cable, satellite or telco) in 2018, down 3.8 percent over last year. And satellite providers are experiencing the biggest decline, followed by telco.

Meanwhile, the site says streaming platforms are growing at the expense of pay TV losses.

Reacting to the news, Mark Huffman at consumeraffairs.com reported that OTT services have found ways to provide live TV channels, so consumers can pair a couple of streaming services together at a much lower cost than subscribing to cable.

For example, he said while a mid-tier pay TV package is around $100 a month or more, OTT subscriptions could run just $10 and $15 a month. So subscribing to two or three services can deliver customized viewing at a huge savings - often justifying their cutting out cable.

Consumers are cautioned, however.

Huffman cited researchers at the management consulting firm Waterstone that asked consumers to estimate how much they spend on monthly subscription services. Waterstone found the average consumer underestimates that total monthly expense by 197 percent!

Since so many industries have moved to a subscription business model, Huffman writes that consumers need to work a little harder to keep track of subscription costs, which tend to be small amounts but, added together, take a big bite out of the typical household budget.

By John Voket. Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. c2018. All rights reserved.

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