Revenge of the Antenna

The percentage of broadband-connected households using antenna-delivered broadcast TV has jumped from 9 percent to 15 percent over the past three years. And the percentage getting pay-TV service has dropped every year during the same period, to 81 percent of broadband households in 2016.

“Data consistently shows that the perceived [lack of] value of pay-TV is always the number-one reason why people cut the cord,” Brett Sappington of Parks Associates told the San Diego Union-Tribune. But of course they’ve got new options competing for their attention. Of the 63 percent of broadband households that subscribe to video streaming services, more than half get more than one. During the 1980s, the growth of cable poached viewers from broadcast TV and the big networks. But now, the combination of broadcast TV and streaming is poaching viewers from cable.

Billy's picture

We all dumped cable/sat. in favor of an antenna and Netflix. I am pleased as punch, miss very little. Really do not miss the commercials, but how long will that last, and at what cost? All those Netflix shows we get to watch commercial free for 12 bucks a month, they all have to come from somewhere, and most came from traditional network or cable TV networks that were commercial supported. Pretty soon the source of fresh viewing is going to dry up. What happens then? Obviously another model is going to have to happen, but hopefully for a lot less then the hundred plus bucks a month I paid for Directv.

Old Ben's picture

My wife and I ditched Satellite TV and use an antenna (with a Tivo DVR) and the usual Netflix and Amazon Prime streaming for our TV watching. The value aspect - paying for a whole bunch of channels we never use - was certainly part of the calculation. However, there is a negative value to it as well. We found it was way too easy to turn on the TV and watch re-runs of the same shows we had seen numerous times already (I'm looking at you, Big Bang Theory on TBS) or some completely vapid "reality" show on HGTV or whatnot. Without those distractions, we're talking and interacting more.