"Cutting the cord" on cable

Screenshot from movie and TV show downloading site Hulu.com

TEXT OF STORY

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: It is a full-blooded war that's kept Fox Network out of 3 million cable homes in New York for the past week. Now the Federal Communications Commission has sent letters to Cablevision and News Corp., the Fox parent, and the commission wants to make sure there's progress being made to resolve the fight over programming fees. These types of blackouts are becoming more common. And so is the practice of customers getting rid cable TV altogether. Marketplace's Alisa Roth reports.


ALISA ROTH: Thirteen percent of people plan to give up their pay TV subscriptions in the next year. That's according to a new study out from Strategy Analytics, a consulting company. Study author Ben Piper says the stats are a big deal.

BEN PIPER: I think it has a huge significance to pay TV companies like Comcast and Cablevision and Time Warner Cable. Because I think this is really the tip of the iceberg.

He says the next generation could trade in cable boxes and download their shows onto any number of devices just like people are giving up landlines in favor of cell phones. Jim Goss follows the media business at investment firm Barrington Research. He's not so sure people will be scrambling to "cut the cord."

JIM GOSS: There's a certain water cooler element and interest in being part of a community that if you didn't see your Dancing with the Stars last night, then you don't know who got kicked off the show.

But Piper, the study's author, says cable companies do need to start thinking about alternatives like offering channels a la carte. In New York I'm Alisa Roth for Marketplace.

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