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‘Cutting the cord’ on cable TV

This could be the beginning of the end for cable television. Just as cell phones have affected the number of landlines in the U.S., advances in technology are also causing more and more Americans to cancel their cable TV subscriptions.

Online services such as Netflix and Hulu are acting as the new-age form of television, and a cheaper option, for millions of viewers. Web surfers can also get free episodes of certain television series without needing to become a subscriber.

TV Remote Control
Artur Marciniec/Thinkstock

“Young people are leading the way in this,” said Steven Miller, a Rutgers University professor with the department of journalism and media studies. “They can watch anything they want, except for live sporting events, without subscribing to the cable company.”

A recent survey from Experian Marketing Services found that 7.6 million U.S. households had “cut the cord” on cable television, representing a 44 percent jump over the past three years.

Miller noted consumers are also turned off by “outlandish” cable bills, accompanied by a per-monthly rate for every remote and cable box in the house.

“It’s nickel and diming us to death at the same time that they’re charging us an arm and a leg,” he said.

The exodus will continue, Miller predicted, as more folks get in tune with the alternative forms of programming and entertainment. He said cable companies are starting to “feel the pinch.”

“The cable companies are soon going to find out what the networks felt like when cable came along,” Miller said.

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