There's been a growing movement across the country of people getting rid of their cable or satellite television subscriptions, foregoing even the aerial antenna and watching sports and entertainment programming through their computer, tablets or mobiles. This phenomenom is labeled "Zero TV" by the Nielsen rating service and it has the networks concerned. A study by Nielsen estimates there are five million homes that have "cut the cord." Many are fed up of paying over $100 a month for TV while others have grown up with no cable at all.
The cord cutters have broadcasters so concerned they're discussing the issue at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas this week. What they're worried about is people using Netflix, iTunes and other services to watch TV shows. In addition, the cord cutters are subscribing to MLB.TV, NBA League Pass online and NHL Gamecenter to watch sports.
Broadcasters say the Zero TV numbers are growing as new subscibers to cable and satellite providers have slowed. But while there are over 100 million TV households across the country, the numbers are down from from three years ago. Nielsen says those who have chucked their TV's are young, single and childless. The networks hope that the trend will change as this group gets older.
In addition, there's Aereo, a service that allows people to watch broadcast television on their tablets and mobiles. The networks have lost challenges to shut down the service and they're so angry about it that Fox is threatening to go all-cable if Aereo continues to win in the courts. While that is probably an idle threat, Aereo could have enough steam to make a breakthrough with viewers.
The cord cutters have made the networks sit up and notice. The key is to make a product that people want to watch. Will the broadcasters find a way to to bring this group into the fold or have they lost the Zero TV generation forever? That is a story that will be watched over the next few years.
@awfulannouncing GCL is great unless game is on NBC, NBCSN, or NHLN. MLB.tv is great until FOX/MLBN. Sunday Ticket w/weird blackout areas.
@awfulannouncing I watch very few regular TV shows on TV. I watch on my computer when convenient. We still have cable, but its not worth it.
@awfulannouncing The ONE issue was with live sports. The packages offered by the major leagues are good until national broadcast exclusives.
@awfulannouncing Funny is that (my tv provider) has basically given me free TV, or else I'd stick to only internet
@CindyBrunsonAZ Most days I don't even turn the thing on. I'm getting ready to stream only. Just need broader band & receivers 4 my dumb tvs
"Nielsen says those who have chucked their TV's are young, single and childless."
As someone who this article is effectively about and matches the description quoted the "Zero TV" moniker works until someone starts talking about chucking TVs, or not having a TV in the house. That's just not an accurate description of the landscape for what I will be so bold to say is a majority of the individuals who fall under the term. I'm in my late 20s and I've never paid for cable/sat, but my household (roommate and myself) has 2 32"+ and 2 21"+ panels, and they get used every day.
@mikeinthewest Good to know, thanks!
@Grif_E I'm 40 w/3 high school kids. Ditched cable for Apple TV. Get espn through their app signed in w/Internet acct. I watch whatever I want when I want.