Citing improved broadcast TV quality from digital
technology and the growth of online viewing, eMarketer
notes a couple of recent research reports indicating that
more American households are cutting the cord and opting
for broadcast-only TV, rather than pay TV services. The
trend is particularly pronounced in minority populations.
GfK recently surveyed U.S. television households and
found that 19.3% of respondents had broadcast TV only
and did not subscribe to any pay TV service. That’s a 37.9%
increase from 2010 when only 14% of households shunned
pay TV services and relied solely on broadcast TV. Among
black households, the cord-cutting
was particularly dramatic, jumping 10
percentage points over the period to 22%.
One quarter of Hispanic households
now rely exclusively on over-the-air
broadcasting, but that was a smaller
increase, since in 2010 already 23% of
Hispanic households with TV relied on
broadcast TV programming only. The
GfK study also found that among Hispanic households
where primarily Spanish was spoken, the percentage
that subscribed to pay TV declined from 67% in 2010 to
49% in 2013. Asian households, however, moved in the
opposite direction. 30% of Asian households in the U.S.
were broadcast-only in 2010, but that decreased to only
23% in 2013.