More viewers than ever are kissing cable and satellite television goodbye, and are switching to digital, online and streaming TV services, according to a new study by the Convergence Consulting Group. An estimated 1 million homes cut the cord last year, on top of the 550,000 households that dropped cable TV subscriptions in 2009.
The firm estimates that from 2008 to the end of 2011, 2.07 million cable TV subscribers will have canceled service, though these figures represent a minute fraction of total U.S. viewership, pegged at 100.4 million. Moreover, as those who’ve tried exclusively switching over to services such as iTunes, Netflix and Hulu Plus, or to a steady diet of online reruns, have found, options aren’t always alluring in terms of price or show variety.
The cost of making the switch may be even more painful soon, as well. The report further hypothesizes added constraints on online viewing going forward, including more ads, longer wait times for new episodes or additional pay-as-you-go or subscription fee requirements.