Roku: Return Of Live Sports Unlikely To Help Pay-TV Much
Roku, a leading supplier of streaming video devices and services, released Tuesday the findings of a cord cutting survey it commissioned of U.S. consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic showing traditional pay-TV services are unlikely to see many cord cutters returning as live sporting events resume.
According to the study, 32% of U.S. TV households do not have a traditional pay TV subscription (cable, satellite, telco) while another 25% of households identified as “cord shavers” have cut back their pay-TV service.
Further, 45% of the cord shaver respondents indicated they are “likely” to fully cut the cord in 2020.
Roku’s Cord Cutting survey was conducted in March 2020 by MACRO Consulting, which surveyed 7,000 Americans ages 18, and continued in May 2020 with 2,000 Americans ages 18 and over “to understand changes amidst the COVID-19 pandemic,” Roku said.
According to the study findings:
The return of live sports is not likely to influence cutters and shavers to change their decisions, with only 17% of recent cord cutter households indicating they would re-subscribe to traditional pay TV when live sports returns this year.
Roku said some 51% said they will find other ways to watch live sports while 31% cited a possible subscription to a new live sports streaming service.
Meanwhile, over half (52%) of traditional and shaver households said they are likely to reduce their pay TV package if televised live sports on traditional pay TV does not return, while indications are that nearly half of all U.S. TV households will stream more free TV amid the pandemic.
Some 40% of recent cord cutter households said access to free trials and extended free trials to premium subscription services helped convince them to cut traditional pay TV service.
Roku said about one in five recent cord cutters said they are likely to return to traditional pay TV only if sports returns, with only 17% of recent cord cutter households indicating they would re-subscribe to traditional pay TV when live sports returns this year. However, 31% said they are likely to subscribe to a live sports streaming service.
Fifty-two percent of traditional and cord shaver households said they are likely to reduce their package if televised live sports on traditional pay TV does not return.
The top driving factor for cord cutting during COVID-19 is the desire to reduce home entertainment expense, Roku said.
The vast majority of Cord Cutter households said they are extremely satisfied with their decision and wish they had cut their traditional pay TV service earlier. When asked about factors driving the change from traditional pay TV to streaming in the last 90 days, cutting home entertainment expenses was cited as the No. 1 reason.
On average, Roku users who cut the cord saved approximately $75 per month on home entertainment. In fact, Roku device owners report more savings than owners of other streaming devices.
More Cord Cutting insights can be found on The Roku blog.
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By Greg Tarr
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