One in eight consumers are set to cut off their pay TV services in the next 12 months and use their PCs, gaming consoles, and other connected devices to access video programming instead, according to the Yankee Group, a Boston-based research firm focused on global connectivity issues.
Put another way, one in eight consumers are poised to become "coax-cutters." In Yankee Group lingo, "coax" is short for "coaxial." Because many cable TV companies use or once used coaxial cable to bring video content to the homes of their subscribers, the Yankee Group uses "coax" to mean "pay TV services" in a new report titled, "Consumers Consider Axing the Coax."
At the risk of pointing out the obvious, a "coax-cutter" is someone who cuts off paid cable TV service and opts instead to rely on the Internet for gaining access to free video content. In some respects, this "coax" trend seems to mirror a movement by many consumers to cancel their telephone land lines in favor of cellphones and smart phones.
Three factors are expected to swell the ranks of coax-cutters: "a new wave of connected TVs, ever-escalating pay TV prices, and the advent of connected consumer devices that can act like set-top boxes, including Sony Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii, and Microsoft Xbox 360 gaming consoles," the Yankee Group said in a press release.
In a statement, Yankee Group principal analyst and "Coax" report co-author Vince Vittore said: "At the most basic level, the decision to cut off pay TV services is an economic one. As programmers continue to demand ever higher fees, which inevitably get passed on to consumers, we believe more consumers will be forced to consider coax-cutting."