Sorry HBO, A Lot Of Cord Cutters Plan To Stay Cut

By: Josh Wolford - June 27, 2012

I kind of feel bad directing this at HBO, considering some of the amazing content they’ve pumped out over the last few years, it’s just that the words “cord cutter” engender thoughts of HBO, angry Game of Thrones fans, and frustrated torrenting. I guess I don’t have to be totally fair.

But the simple fact is that more and more people are cutting the cord and severing ties with cable. Whether it’s the price, dissatisfaction with the programming, or a genuine feeling that the interwebs have much more to offer – people have recently begun to take pride in cutting the cord. And why shouldn’t they? They certainly have more willpower and determination that I do. just released a survey that shows exactly why HBO (and other premium cable services) may have a hard time with their current business model in a few years down the road. The survey found that out of all the respondents, nearly one-third had already cut the cord on cable. And out of those cord cutters, 33% said that they would never go back – even if they were offered a drastically reduced price.

The whole reason that I bring up HBO is that, as you may have heard, the company’s business model has faced a bit of an online offensive as of late. Earlier this month, tens of thousands of people participated in an initiative called “Take My Money HBO.” Their message was that they would gladly pay for an HBO Go-like service that stood alone, without requiring a cable subscription. The only problem with that, of course, is that HBO doesn’t offer anything like that.

The average price that people said they’d be willing to pay for a standalone HBO streaming service was around $12.

HBO responded to this in a roundabout way, pointing customers via tweet to a TechCrunch article that explained why it would be bad business fro HBO to offer a streaming service apart from cable. Basically, spitting in the face of cable providers is currently suicide.

The TechBargains survey also found that 70% of people stream content to their desktops, 77% to their laptops, 72% to their tablets, 75% to their televisions (via Xbox, Roku, etc.), and even 53% stream content to their tiny little mobile phones. Seriously, people are spreading it around and there is an incredibly large demand for quality streaming content.

But once people have cut the cord, a significant majority say they aren’t looking back. And if they say they won’t go back even if the cable subscription became “drastically cheaper,” a few good (even great) HBO shows are probably not going tempt them either, considering they’d have to pay both the cable fee and the HBO fee.

Like I said before, I’m not a cord cutter. I wonder exactly how low a cable company would have to go to woo back people who have ditched their service. Any cord cutters out there? Thoughts?

About the Author

Josh WolfordJosh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf

View all posts by Josh Wolford
  • OnTheWrite

    I “cut the cord” more than 10 years ago. Comcast & Warners annual increase in rates and add on fees and taxes was just too much.

    I was a DISH customer for 5 years and dumped them when I couldn’t get a DVR for free that they were offering new customers. I understand how the incentive works, but where’s the customer loyalty? They lost my business and I am not coming back.

    Since then, I bought a ROKU box, Playon streaming (for HULU), Amazon Prime and Netflix. I have a TV Tuner for my MAC and stream or record over-the-air HD for the few shows my family likes.

    There are offerings I wouldn’t mind having, but they are either too expensive or come with too many strings. I will never be a cable customer again.

  • Jen L.

    I cut the cord four months ago – we have two Internet connections, a Playstation, an XBox, and subscriptions to Hulu Plus, Netflix, and an Amazon Prime account. Like the above commenter, we also have Playon and a Roku box.

    They couldn’t woo me back. I reset being forced to pay $100+ a month just to have access to Game of Thrones and True Blood. I would pay for HBOGo access – but not at cable prices, and not when being forced to support an outdated model that forces me to subsidize a delivery method and channels I don’t want and will never watch.

    I thought I would miss something about it, but when I cut, I not only found I didn’t miss things, it was a preferable set up. There is so much content out there within these services, and there are standalone service (like UFC) for premium streaming content. I plan to add a ChannelMaster, and at that point, I’ll be set.

    HBO is a holdout, as are some other channels, but they’re only going to leave that money on the table for so long.

  • Snappy Dan

    I cut the cord in 2009. The cable bill peaked out at $100 (not counting internet). Now I have a DTVpal DVR, a Roku, and Playon. I use Playon to stream both to my Roku and to my tablet. I also have my computer set up to stream to my upstairs TV. I don’t subscribe to any services since there is way too much free content out there for me to spend money on subscriptions. I get 24 digital English language TV channels including ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CW, MyNetworkTV, and PBS in the best quality HD. Also get THIS, The Cool TV, Me-TV, Antenna TV, Create, and Megahertz Worldview. No, I will not go back to cable.

  • Tom Hudson

    I never got cable after I left for college until my exwife and I got together in 2001. When she went away in 2005, so did my cable. There just wasn’t ANYTHING on that I cared to watch, much less pay for.

    Since then, ther’s been a lot of content I admit enjoying, but I can get it through Hulu+/Netflix/Amazon Prime. If I’m desperate, I’ll even pay per episode of certain content that can’t be found elsewhere (I paid to watch Chuck).

    For me, it isn’t even a matter of the cost of the whole package. I just don’t want to get sucked into watching MORE TV than I already do. I can’t stand to have the tube on just for it to be on; I prefer every minute of watching TV to be deliberate. Having 500 channels piped into my living room is more than I could stand.

    All that said, I really do feel like I’m missing out on GREAT content from stations like HBO and even Starz (I’d like to watch Boss). I’d pay to watch this content, too. I’d even pay more than their standard subscription fee on top of standard cable. I just don’t WANT standard cable, and I refuse to subsidize crappy content I don’t want to watch just to watch Game of Thrones, Mad Men, and Newsroom while it’s airing. I really wish I could watch it–I have friends in love with these shows that want to discuss it with me; there are discussion forums I want to participate in. But I have principles.

  • James White

    We cut the cord in 2009 when our bill finally reached over 99 bucks I had enough of there cap no customer service the price kept oping up and we didn’t watch enough to make it worth the money, they are still trying to get me back I get mailings weekly but now they have in he fine print they will lock you in for 2 years and you get a 250 dollar visa gift card for cable tv at 135 a month …. hmmm, ummm no thank you ?

    I will never go back there arrogance there attitude they can jack up he cost of internet they can throttle all they want and try to cap it to stop us but in the end I’ll watch over the air until they die

  • HadEnoughOfCable

    I cut the Comcast cord 8 months ago after my cable bill had gradually increased to over $200 per month for 1 cable connection. I got rid of the entire Comcast package including my internet connection and landline. Sprit PCS has been a great substitue for my internet connection and I use Netflix to watch movies/TV shows. Sports are a challenge as there is limited access without cable. Its been very liberating to get rid of Comcast and their arrogant attitude. The only way you will get their respect is when you hit them in their wallet. With the spare time I have by watching less TV I now read more, have improved my relationships with the important people in my life and am in the best shape of my life (at 52 years old). Its a drastic step to completely get rid of Comcast, but you would be surprised how quickly you realize that you do not need them. Btw….every week they send mail with cheap offers to return. If you read the fine print, there are lots of strings attached. I will not go back at any price. Lastly….the $1,600 I have saved in just 8 months have been put to good use such as funding books for my daughter who is in college. Good luck to those of you who are considering cutting the cord. Be bold and daring….take your life back!

  • John A

    I am just getting started, I got the Roku, I got the PlayOn software and have all that working fine. Now just opening the box to my dual tv capture card and deciding which PC to use. Unfortunately PlayOn would not run on my Windows 2003 server and hate the thought of another PC running but looks like I got no choice. Seems rather perculiar that nobody makes a DVR with TV Tuners cards built in with no subscription fee. Oh well, looks like I will have to move my workstation to the living room afterall.

  • Yamezsr

    I cut years ago. I remember along time ago when I had friends over they were shocked I only had a cell phone no land line. It didn’t make since to pay for 2 phones especially when 1 was taken with me everywhere. Same thing with cable one day I just realized cable prices were ridiculous and began trouble shooting. I ditched cable completely after I’d heard about clear internet $50 a month but now I pay $35! Got net flix hulu and never looked back. Here’s how I did it. Every refund check I added something new Apple TV, 2 rokus for the daughters and a ps3 for the son Mac book air iPad and iPhones. I know that’s a lot of money, but I brought them every refund. And clear streams well to 10 devices. Oh yeah it seems odd that one would cut the cord and then buy a 55″ flat right? I not only got that for the living room but also a 27″ flat for my daughter! People come by like what are all the little black boxes by the tv,s and I tell them and a number of them wait till refund season and cut the cord as we’ll. my wife’s mom called one day to complain about her cable bill I brought her the wd box and and hooked her wii to the wifi and she’s hooked! Hulu shows air the next day! Cable? Who does that anymore? Sign of the times and times have are and will always change 360 degrees the cable probably should change with the times.