Cable viewership may be holding steady at 100 million households for now but according to SNL Kagan, cord cutting will be a real threat in the next few years. The research company expects 12 million households, roughly 10%, to go without cable, satellite or telco video service by 2015.
The list of options for watching movies and TV over the Internet grows every day. Of course there’s Netflix, iTunes and Hulu. Amazon is becoming an increasingly powerful force. The Internet retailer (which offers free streaming to Amazon Prime members) just signed a deal with CBS to distribute the network’s older shows like Fraiser and Cheers.
And an increasing number of start-up companies (like Bamboom) are trying to find a way to legally offer broadcast service online. Once viewers can watch live events like sports and the American Idol finale on their iPads, cord cutting will accelerate.
In 2011, SNL expects 4.5 million people, or 4% to abandon their cable service.
But don’t cry for the cable companies. They’re making a ton of money off of broadband service. According to a report by the Leichtman Research group, cable companies added 853,000 new broadband subscribers in the first quarter alone of 2011. Telephone companies added 425 ,000.