Forget Cord-Cutting. Introducing The Real Problem: Net-Nipping


Credit: Flickr / Eric__I_E

Yet more evidence disputing cord-cutting came Wednesday in a year-end TV-ratings report from Turner Broadcasting. But the good folks at Turner may have stumbled upon an even more pernicious phenomenon: the decreasing number of consumers who jettison broadband access while holding onto their cable subscriptions.

The point of the chart above is to show the relatively steady increase this year in U.S. homes that have both multichannel and internet access, which would certainly poke yet another hole in the notion that there’s some new breed of consumers opting to go it alone with internet access to meet their video needs. But there seems to be a more pronounced decrease at work in the number of people shedding broadband while still keeping cable.

From this moment on, I christen this group “net-nippers.” Because no trend should bear the indignity of going without a cute name.

Is five random months across 2009 and 2010 really any basis for declaring a new class of consumers who given the Sophie’s choice of e-mail or reruns of Burn Notice would opt for the latter? Probably not, but it does go to show how nimble statistics are. It probably merits a deeper look before we start holding candelight vigils for those who hold their ISPs dear.

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