With cable and satellite prices continuing to increase, many people are joining the cord cutter movement and ditching their television provider services. In fact, 7.6 million Americans have ended their cable/satellite subscriptions according to USA Today. In the report, the newspaper claims that “about 6.5% of households nationwide have cut the cord, up slightly from 4.5 percent in 2010”. The highly-decorated newspaper also suggests that up to 15% of people who have internet at home will be ditching their television provider services within the next six months.
While many cord cutters are relying on Hulu and Netflix for their TV comedies, dramas, and movies, sports fans are using their computers and smart phones to watch their favorite leagues and teams play. With tools such as DishWorld, Fox Soccer 2GO, MLS Live, ESPN 3, and BBC iPlayer, it’s easier than ever to watch soccer without paying upwards of $100 a month in cable/satellite bills.
According to FIFA, the 2014 World Cup broke all kinds of records for viewing matches and highlights online. During the tournament, FIFA director of TV Niclas Ericson stated, “We are proud to say that this FIFA World Cup has been the biggest multimedia sporting event in history, with more people watching matches and highlights online than ever before”.
FIFA also has the numbers to back up this statement. As of July 7th, FIFA stated that 24 million people had already watched over 15 million hours of World Cup content using FIFA’s multimedia service alone. Stefan Wildemann, manager of sales and distribution at FIFA TV, reiterated Ericson’s thoughts, saying: “More and more football fans want to watch high quality, live coverage of matches on their tablets or mobile phones, as well as on their televisions. These figures show just how fast our industry is adapting to a truly multimedia world. Only on the digital platforms can fans watch the FIFA World Cup from every possible angle”.
With the introduction of online-based sports programming, plus now a TiVo DVR catered towards cord cutters, cable and satellite providers may just be in a standing eight count. The number of people switching to the internet to watch soccer, and other sports for that matter, is likely only to increase in the near future.
News of Americans defecting from traditional television provider plans and switching to more internet or antenna use surely does not sit well with cable/satellite companies. These cable and satellite providers essentially have two options. Either drastically lower prices to their plans or alternatively go the route of the rotary phone and die off.