Nearly Half of U.S. Adults Think Cable TV is a Waste of Money, Reveals New Survey

--Thirty-One Percent Spend More Than $100 Per Month on TV Services--

-- Fifteen Percent of U.S. Cable Subscribers Report They Would Never Consider Dropping Cable TV Services --

Jun 26, 2013, 07:00 ET from

WHITING, Ind., June 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite a high price tag and the growing availability of programming options online, many Americans are still reluctant to cut the cable television cord. A new survey reveals that nearly half of U.S. adults (45 percent) think cable TV is a waste of money, yet 81 percent report they are currently subscribed to cable or satellite television services. This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of from June 7th – 11th, 2013 among 2,046 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.

While most Americans are currently subscribers of cable or satellite TV programming, there are some who have decided to find entertainment elsewhere. More than one-in-ten (11 percent) U.S. adults report they have previously subscribed to satellite or cable TV, but don't anymore. In addition, 8 percent said they have never subscribed to any television services, with young Americans ages 18-34 more likely (15 percent) to have never had television services than those ages 35 and older (5 percent).

When it comes to how much viewers are shelling out on their cable or satellite TV bills, U.S. adults who currently subscribe to either service said the following:

  • $1 - $100 – 69 percent
  • $101 - $149 – 16 percent
  • $150 - $199 – 10 percent
  • $200 or more – 5 percent

"Despite the big bills that arrive month after month for TV services, most Americans continue to subscribe," said Jackie Warrick, senior savings adviser at "In fact, 15 percent of cable subscribers we surveyed said they would never consider dropping cable TV services. As more viewing options arise at lower price points, though, it's likely more consumers will pull the plug.

Sports fans may have a harder time cutting the cable TV cord. More than four-in-ten (43 percent) U.S. adults report they won't cancel cable TV services because then they can't watch live sports programming. On the flip side, 14 percent of current U.S. cable subscribers said they would cut their cable cord if there were alternative ways to watch live sports broadcasts.

In addition to live sports programming options, when asked what situations would motivate them to cut the cable TV cord, current U.S. cable subscribers said the following:

  • If there were other, less costly, alternatives – 56 percent
  • If I couldn't afford to watch cable anymore – 55 percent
  • If I wasn't watching TV often enough – 27 percent
  • If there were alternative ways to watch live broadcasts – 17 percent
  • If I only watch a few of the channels – 17 percent
  • Other – 5 percent

Regardless of the cost, live programming options or changing viewing habits, some cable TV subscribers decide to switch to other providers because of issues. Nearly one-third (32 percent) report they have switched cable providers because of poor service (e.g. customer service, picture quality).

Survey Methodology:
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Coupon Cabin from June 7th – 11th, 2013, among 2,046 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Allison Kaplan,

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