Harris Poll: 1-in-5 Americans cutting back on cable

Here's one poll that says--definitively--that, while Americans may not be cutting the cord to their pay-TV providers, they're certainly shaving their services.

In a poll it conducted in Q2, Harris Interactive says it found 22 percent of Americans have cancelled or cut back their pay-TV service and that another 22 percent have considered doing that. Harris said the percentage of respondents who have cut or reduced their service increased from 19 percent the previous year, with the largest percentage of consumers actually doing so being Baby Boomers (29 percent) followed by 18 to 33-year-olds (20 percent), and 34 to 45-year-olds (19 percent).

The second-quarter showed the cable industry's worst subscription losses in history, with some 711,000 U.S. customers dropping their cable subscriptions.

But, take heart, it's not just pay-TV providers who are suffering from American belt tightening.

Harris says that the economy has prompted significant shifts in U.S. consumer spending, among them:

  • 31 percent have cancelled one or more magazine subscriptions;
  • 17 percent have cancelled a newspaper subscription;
  • 15 percent have cancelled their landline telephone service and are only using cell phones;
  • 15 percent say they have changed or cancelled cell phone service to save money;
  • 48 percent say they are brown bagging lunch instead of purchasing it to save money;
  • 39 percent of U.S. adults each say they have switched to refillable water bottles instead of purchasing bottles of water; and
  • 24 percent have cut back on dry cleaning.

For more:
- see this video
- see this release

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