One of the biggest uncertainties facing ESPN and every other major sports network on cable is the cord cutting phenomenon not showing any signs of slowing down any time soon. It’s no secret that subscriber shedding has been a major story recently in the entire media world and if the demographic numbers are to be believed, it’s not slowing down any time soon.
A new survey from MorningConsult.com shows the extent to which people, especially millennials, are cutting the cord. You can check out all the data in the entire infographic at the link above, but the highlights include the following:
* A whopping 29% of millennials (age 18-29) have cut the cord and given up cable or satellite television entirely to rely on streaming services. Additionally, 54% of millennials use more streaming television than traditional television. In fact, there is a direct correlation between the youth of the age demographic and the more likely you are to use streaming than cable.
* American television watchers are consuming 40% more streaming versus two years ago, compared to only 19% who are watching more traditional television.
* Cost is the leading factor in leading Americans to cut the cord with 33% citing it as the major factor. Then, 20% say that the quality of content is the biggest reason why they made the switch to streaming. This is an issue that cable and satellite television is going to have huge trouble trying to fight. If young people (or anyone quite frankly) can see that you get a lot more bang for your buck from streaming companies like Netflix and Hulu, cable is in a non-competitive position moving forward.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, survey respondents indicated just 36% satisfaction with the cost of cable versus 75% satisfaction with the cost of streaming. Additionally, respondents indicated more satisfaction in both quality and quantity of content for streaming versus cable.
About the only advantage television has right now is live sports and other events. And the dilemma facing ESPN et. al. and the looming cloud over the industry is how long the masses will be willing to pay a premium for live sports that are holding up cable and traditional television. With the number of subscribers that have left already, and more possibly on the way, it’s something that everyone in the industry will likely have to face sooner rather than later.