Cutting the cord: Is anyone really saving money?

WASHINGTON — It sounds tempting: saving money by canceling a cable TV subscription and watching television over the internet.

But “cutting the cord” may not be as easy, or cost-efficient, as it seems.

Even if users drop cable in favor of watching streaming services, they still need an internet connection, which is generally provided by cable companies, which can maneuver packages to match current viewing trends.

According to The Boston Globe analysis, “subscription packages are hedged to ensure if your TV bill goes down, your internet bill will go up.”

A survey from Nielsen shows just under 100 million households have some form of pay TV, which is only 5 million fewer than five years ago.

The Globe says a separate survey by the Leichtman Research Group found 83 percent of households had pay TV subscriptions in 2015.

Clearly, TV lovers are still willing to pay to watch.

At the same time, there’s been a dramatic jump in the sue of streaming services such as Roku, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime.

The downside of streaming is the lack of live events, including sports, news and entertainment specials.

The Leichtman research shows 83 percent of homes with an internet-connected TV also have a pay TV package.

And Nielsen estimates the number of “broadband-only” households, which have internet but not pay TV, is between 4 and 8 percent.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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