Hunting for Cord Cutters, Not Sasquatch

Which is more believable, an eight foot, 500 pound ape running free in Washington State or thousands of people canceling their cable service? The answer may seem obvious, but that may not be what you hear from cable CEO’s. Since the phenomenon of cord cutting came to light, it seems that its existence has been downplayed or even denied by many.

At a media conference in New York, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg said what no cable executive has been willing to say, cord cutting is real and it is a problem. Verizon which offers pay TV video services is one of the many providers which will be affected. Seidenberg took aim at the bundling of services like TV, broadband and phone service saying:

“Young people are pretty smart. They’re not going to pay for something they don’t need to.”

Seidenberg is only the first cable executive to open up about cord cutting, even as it is becomes more difficult to deny what is happening. After a year where an unprecedented amount of people have already canceled their pay TV services, many cable companies are already softening the blow for a devastating third quarter, like Time Warner.

The excuse many cable companies are using for consumers canceling their services is the down economy. While that may play a role in the acceleration of cord cutting, the technology available with over-the-air HDTV and web TV is the real reason people are leaving. They are finding a better home viewing experience which is much more inexpensive.

As technology improves with innovations like multicasting, cable companies are faced with the reality of turning into an urban legend. And just like an urban legend they may be spotted occasionally like Sasquatch, but not really exist. (Which is sometimes because he stinks.) As the year continues, expect to hear more about cord cutting and possibly even some additional CEO’s admitting to problems because of cord cutting.