• SNL Kagan Forecasting 10% of U.S. Homes Will Cut the Cord by 2015

    Researcher SNL Kagan is forecasting that 10% U.S. homes (12.1 million) will cut the cord on their pay-TV subscriptions by the end of 2015, substituting in over-the-top alternatives. At the end of 2011, 4% or 4.5 million homes will have done so. Still, Kagan sees pay-TV subscriptions actually increasing, though not at a rate fast enough to maintain current penetration levels (see yearly forecast after the break).

    Kagan isn't providing any additional profile information on these cord-cutters, but as I've said before, I think the most vulnerable buckets are the "cord-nevers" (i.e. college grads and others who simply don't sign up for pay-TV service in the first place) and entertainment-only viewers who don't care about live sports that are only available on cable TV channels.

    The Kagan data is sure to further fuel the debate over cord-cutting and its potential impact. Pay-TV operators have adamantly maintained that they are not seeing any real evidence of cord-cutting, yet the anecdotes seem to abound. With premium content becoming more available in more places (see today's CBS-Amazon deal), I continue to believe that choice will drive some level of fragmentation.

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