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Ipsos: Majority of Primetime Viewers are Cord Lovers

The majority of primetime viewers in the key 18-49 demo (64%) are cord lovers, not cutters, according to a just-released Ipsos MediaCT poll.

That means they have kept the same level of cable or satellite service or added to it in the past six months.

But 27% were cord shavers, who had indeed cut back. Another 2% had cancelled service in the past six months, while 7% did not have service.

The study found that most cord shavers were not doing so in favor of more streaming, but for economic reasons, since they were the group most likely to have also cut back on paid online services in the past six months.

"Results from the study indicate that those who have cut back on the level of TV subscription services in the past six months were also the most likely group to have cut back on paid online streaming service within the last six months," Ipsos said. "This indicates that this behavior may be a part of a broader effort on behalf of this group to decrease their financial spending on entertainment across the board."

Gavin Bridge, director of media insights for Ipsos MediaCT, said he expected cable operators to offer more a la carte of lower-priced packages to win over the shavers and nonadopters.

The study was conducted Oct. 21-27, 2013, based on a national online sample of 2,015 adults aged 18-49 who watch primetime TV at least twice a week and are not associated with any related industries.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.