Long live cord-cutting: More homes dropping paid TV packages

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The cord-cutting trend is alive — and 13 percent of US homes now have broadband but no pay-TV package, a report out Wednesday revealed.

That means one out of every six households across the country that purchases broadband access is no longer buying a multi-channel pay-TV package either from its cable company or from a streaming service — a stunner, courtesy of SNL Kagan research.

I n the fourth quarter alone, 400,00 homes joined the cord-cutting ranks. Over the year, 2 million cut the chord.

SNL Kagan projects the total number of so-called “broadband-only” homes stood at 15.4 million at the end of 2016.

The result of this trend is that homeowners pay less for TV and that the cable channels are seeing their revenues squeezed.

Indeed, cable channels have been reporting steadily lower subscriber numbers.

The growing figures show just how important it is for programmers to collect fees from new digital-only TV providers — which are on track to become a mainstream phenomenon.

Kagan projects that the number of broadband homes without pay-TV packages will grow to 28 million by 2021 — although company analyst Tony Lenoir said that forecast may not be aggressive enough.

“That forecast could end on the conservative side given the speed at which the TV ecosystem and the US broadband landscape are evolving,” he said.

The news will no doubt push major media companies to accelerate their efforts in digital delivery of content and give investors in traditional cable, satellite and telecom distribution firms some pause for concern.

Two companies — Hulu and YouTube — are launching live TV programming bundles in the coming months.

DirecTV Now from AT&T already has 400,000 subscribers, as does Sony PlayStation Vue.

Satellite outfit Dish also operates Sling TV, a first mover in the field.

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