Survey: Multiplatform Viewers Cite Importance of Broadcast Networks

A new survey finds widespread interest in over-the-top subscription video on demand (SVOD) services but does not find evidence that pay TV providers are likely to quickly lose subscribers, in part because of their attachment to major programming providers, Horowitz Research reports.

The study is notable because it focuses on viewers who watch at least one hour of TV programming a day and spend more than 20% of their viewing time with streaming media. This group, which Horowitz estimates accounts for about 31% of TV viewing content homes in the U.S., has often been seen as particularly likely to give up their multichannel TV services in favor of OTT content.

The survey of 2,000 of these multiplatform viewers found that 20% of these multiplatform viewers who have multichannel services did indeed say that they were likely to cut the cord. But it also discovered that there are another 25% who do not currently have or have never had multichannel service that say they are likely to start subscribing to multichannel service.

Horowitz also found that among multiplatform viewers who have multichannel service, “75% rate access to broadcast networks as a top advantage of having multichannel service,” and that “two-thirds (66%) say that broadcast primetime dramas and/or comedies are essential.”

Broadcast networks were also cited as important for multiplatform viewers who do not have multichannel service, with 38% saying that not having access to broadcast networks was a top disadvantage of being OTT-only. Overall, 50% told researchers that broadcast primetime dramas and/or comedies are essential.

“The demand for easy and total access to ‘live’ broadcast and premium cable content remains strong for the overwhelming majority of multichannel subscribers, including those who are currently enjoying the major OTT and SVOD services,” noted Howard Horowitz, president of Horowitz Research in a statement. 

He also noted however that the results showed “there is strong potential for stand-alone HBO, Showtime, CBS and other services among those who choose to cut the cord.”