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BizReport : Trends & Ideas : November 17, 2010

7% of young broadband users consider severing cable TV ties

Watching television shows on the Internet and mobile devices is a daily activity for a quarter of broadband users, according to new research from Horowitz Associates. That figure rises among younger viewers, some of whom are considering cancelling their cable TV ties.

by Helen Leggatt

Almost 40% of all users of broadband Internet in the U.S. watch television programming on the Internet, or via a mobile device - up from 34% last year.

Among 18-34 year olds that figure is higher - 37% of broadband Internet users in that age group now watch television online every day, or nearly every day.

At least 7% are considering cancelling their television service and if more of their favorite shows became available online an additional 19% would consider cancelling.

"The penetration and usage of alternative viewing technology is reaching a tipping point, and the measurable impact on how the TV product is viewed will inevitably follow," said Howard Horowitz, President of Horowitz Associates.

But what will become of the cable companies if consumers decide to cancel their subscriptions? According to CNET's Marguerite Reardon, U.S. cable companies, which are essentially infrastructure firms, will still be in the loop.

"In addition to controlling most of the paid TV market in the U.S., cable companies are also poised to dominate the broadband market," writes Reardon.

"This means that even when people drop their pricey cable TV packages, they're still likely to pay the cable company for access to the Internet, which is used to deliver the video streams to their TVs. For cable operators, it's a "heads we win; tails we win" situation."

Tags: cable, Internet, television

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