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July 28, 2020

Lack of Live Sports is Driving Cord Cutting

Nearly one in three U.S. TV households (32%) are cord cutters, according to the latest edition of Roku’s annual cord cutter study. Roku suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating changes that already were well underway.

The study which was performed by MARCO Consulting on Roku’s behalf, also found an additional 25% of U.S. TV households that are “cord shavers” that have reduced their service. Almost half—45%–of cord shavers say that they are likely to cut the cord fully within the next six months.

The “vast majority” of people who cut the cord did so to save costs, researchers found. Roku users report saving $75 monthly, the press release says.

“While we entered 2020 with significant momentum around cord cutting, we’re now seeing that the COVID-19 pandemic and the pause of live sports has caused consumers to rethink how they access home entertainment and what they are willing to pay,” Roku Chief Marketing Officer Matthew Anderson said in a press release. “It’s clear that value matters more than ever and the abundance of free content, free trials to premium streaming services and the savings that consumers achieve are fueling the shift to streaming.”

The pandemic is affecting viewing habits. Almost half of respondents said that they are watching more ad supported free TV during the pandemic and 40% of recent cord cutters said that access to free and extended free trials to premium subscription services was an element in convincing them to cut pay TV services.

The changes may be permanent. Only 17% of cord cutters said that they will re-subscribe to traditional pay TV services when sports return, while 31% said that they likely will subscribe to a live sports streaming service. Fifty-two percent of traditional cord shavers said they likely will reduce their packages if live sports on traditional pay TV does not return.

Customers aren’t giving up video. They’re just turning to what they perceive to be less costly video options. For service providers, providing customers with options and educating them about how your service can enable their needs is critical.

ETI can work with you to ensure your network is up to whatever video task your customers demand – pay-TV, OTT, or a combination of the two. We can help you quickly implement new services and help you monitor and maintain a winning customer experience. Schedule a demo with us to learn how.