REPORT: 25% of US Homes Don’t Have Cable

cable trends 2015

Last year, there was discussion among cable companies at a large industry summit where most were claiming that cord cutting wasn’t much more than media hype. While, sure, they believed a small subset of people were cancelling their cable subscriptions for alternative methods, it wasn’t really that big of a loss to their bottom line.

But a new study now suggests that 25% of US households no longer have cable subscriptions in their homes. 6% of these consumers have switched entirely from cable subscriptions to streaming services as their only form of home television entertainment consumption. 17% rely only on broadcast television, simply through their television with a traditional antenna

As DSL reports suggests, the growth in SVOD-reliance has actually gone up 50%, as last year only 4% of homes reported only using a streaming service as their main content consumption subscription.

While the growth in technology is certainly interesting, we’re even more fascinated by people who strictly just enjoy television from the ol’ bunny ears sticking out behind their television sets. It’s endearing to think that television can essentially be free if one doesn’t mind dealing with a limited selection.

The concept of ‘cord-nevers’ is also starting to catch on, as more younger people who move out of their parents’ homes never end up signing up for their own cable subscription. This is the trend we’re guessing will continue to grow the fastest.

But cable companies are starting to release their own streaming packages as well, that now only require an internet connection to enjoy. It will be interesting to follow along with this trend as more content distribution services attempt to keep up with the latest technologies and trends.

Have you cut the cord in the last year? How has it been going for you so far? Let us know in the comments below.

  • Tom

    “It’s endearing to think that television can essentially be free if one doesn’t mind dealing with a limited selection.” I wonder if the writer has even checked out over the air television lately. It’s no longer a universe of just 4-5 networks. In many places, you can pick up several dozen OTA channels through the miracle of DTV. Try it, you might like it.

  • Steve Hansen

    I disconnected the traditional cable box setup three months ago. I kept my broadband service. My bill is $55 monthly and includes basic cable TV consisting of mostly the local broadcast channels. To have just the broadband would have been $60 monthly, so I took the $55 deal. I can only guess that the cable company wants to be able to continue to count me as a subscriber. So I have access but I don’t use it.

    This began earlier this year when I discovered that my children weren’t really watching the cable tv, my wife was only watching HGTV and I wasn’t watching much that wouldn’t be missed, except for baseball. I inadvertently discovered that the broadcast DTV picture was better than the cable feed of the same channels and that got me started on antennas. I spent some time over a few months investigating antennas and then making different designs and it became a hobby of sorts, and I finally came up with a design that can receive both VHF and UHF signals well.

    I made an antenna that is installed outside and above my roof line. I receive 60+ channels, including all networks and their subchannels, and with a crisper picture than I had with cable. I also receive a bunch of foreign language channels and shopping channels that I don’t watch, so I have about 35 potentially watchable channels, including several I enjoy that were not on my cable system. I have connected the antenna to the house former cable wiring which serves 3 tvs and I don’t have antennas that clutter up the rooms. I made and connected an indoor antenna to my (15 and 8 yr old) sons’ tv, but they don’t watch anything except Netflix. My other son (17) has a tv but doesn’t want an antenna because he doesn’t watch anything he can’t stream.

    For me, I would have stopped there and not bothered with streaming subscriptions. But I have others who have their demands and I could not have won the war to just use an antenna and forget watching some things. My kids had already gotten me to subscribe to Netflix and I actually found things I enjoy and use it but I wouldn’t bother if they didn’t want it.

    I subscribed to SlingTV so my wife can get her HGTV and I and my son can watch Yankees games. With three months advance payment, Sling sent me a Roku 2 for nothing, to add to the Roku 1 I already owned. Sling has been working nearly flawlessly on the Roku, on computers, Ipads, and Iphones at home, on the road, on the beach, etc., and I recommend it if you need cable channels.

    On the Roku, in addition to Sling, we watch Netflix, Youtube, and I have discovered several other apps that provide live tv from the UK, Canada and other countries, as well as cable channels not included with Sling.

    The bottom line is that I did it to save money but also because I found that I was wasting money and discovered DTV broadcast channels are not like the old analog days. I was also able to do it because I could get my wife the channel she wants on Sling. My overall tv bill has dropped $80 monthly, I have more channels and options than I need or use and that appeal to everyone’s taste, with the added bonus that I can watch Sling anywhere on multiple devices, and no one misses the old cable tv setup, and the three cable boxes, which also saves me some money since they are no longer using electric 24/7. It has taken some retraining to find and watch programs but not a big deal, such as using the remote input to flip between antenna and the roku. So I’m not a full-fledged cordcutter but rather a hybrid. Three months in, I just don’t see us going back as this has worked out very well.

    I have to watch commercials still but at least I’m not paying to watch most of them like I was a few months ago. My next step in this adventure is a DVR that can record both broadcasts and from other sources.