In my latest piece in Forbes, I examine the idea of “cord cutting” in light of recent announcements from Viacom, Time Warner, and DISH Network of over-the-top (OTT) streaming video services that enable people in the US to watch pay TV channels without a pay TV subscription. Cord cutting means cancelling one’s subscription to cable or satellite TV and just getting TV programming over the Internet (or broadcast).
My research turned up two findings that were surprising (at least to me) and support a conclusion that cord cutting is mostly a myth. The first finding is that most people are unlikely to save money on programming if they pay for the increasing number of subscription OTT video services at their expected monthly prices. The second is that most American broadband subscribers get their TV and Internet services from the same company, and there isn’t really such a thing as a broadband Internet company that doesn’t also provide TV; therefore “cord cutting” in most cases really means “calling your cable or phone company and changing to a cheaper service plan.” I also conclude that, economically, cord cutting is a wash for everyone involved, particularly if the FCC is unsuccessful in its new attempt to pass meaningful net neutrality regulations.
As always, I eagerly welcome your feedback.