A lot of people have no intention of cutting the cord, study shows

TV
Many people who still have pay TV service are planning on keeping it. (islandjoe/CC BY 2.0)

There’s no denying that cord cutting has put a massive dent in U.S. pay TV subscriber totals over the past few years, but new research suggests many of those that haven’t cut don’t plan to.

Research firm GfK MRI found that 71% of all U.S. consumers say they have cable, satellite, or telco TV service and have no plans to drop it. This includes the majority of the 18-to-34 age group (58%), as well as 69% of people ages 35 to 49, and 80% of those 50 and over. Of these respondents, 97% said they have no plans to cut the cord.

MRI’s research is based on 24,000 in-person, in-home interviews.

Many respondents cited familiarity, reliability and access to live events as primary reasons for keeping traditional TV services. But that’s not to say that many of those people aren’t adding subscription video to the mix.

RELATED: Fewer subscriber losses due to cord cutting this quarter, analyst says

According to the study, more than half (55%) of pay TV loyalists are stacking subscription streaming video on top of cable or satellite access. Among 18-to-34 loyalists, the figure rises to 76%.

At the same time, 52% of pay TV loyalists in the 50-plus age group have never streamed and only access TV through traditional pay TV services.

“The fact is that pay TV services still account for most of the TV watching that happens in the US,” said Amy Hunt, vice president of TVideo Media Sales at MRI, in a statement. “Many of their subscribers simply cannot imagine a new way of doing things. But as younger generations more comfortable with streaming technologies set up households, cable and satellite companies need to find ways to remain attractive and relevant.”

Read more on

Suggested Articles

Alan Wolk, co-founder and lead analyst at TV[R]EV, explores what vMVPDs like YouTube TV need to do as their prices approach legacy cable levels.

In the event of a recession, consumers may consider watching streaming video “an austerity measure” compared to other entertainment choices.

Pluto TV, Tubi, Netflix and other streaming video services saw big spikes in viewership during earlier coronavirus-related lockdowns.