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Pay TV Cord-Cutting to Decline, Shows TDG's Q3 Research

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Perhaps cord-cutting won't be the threat to pay TV revenues that many thought it would be. According to research conducted by TDG, the percent of adult broadband users who expressed a desire to cut the cord declined sharply in Q3 2015.

Since 2011, TDG has been asking adult broadband users how likely they were to cancel their pay TV service in the next six months and not sign up with another pay TV provider. The chart below shows five years of results. While the amount of people saying they're moderately likely to cancel is roughly the same as it was in 2014, at 4.3 percent, the percent saying they definitely will cancel dropped to a low of 1.4 percent. TDG conducted its research in the first half of 2015.

According to Michael Greeson, TDG's director of research and co-founder, cord-cutting interest has held steady at around 7 percent for several years, but now that number has fallen to 5.7 percent—the first significant change in five years.

It's normal for cord-cutting rates to vary by quarter, and the chart below compares full-year measures for 2011 to 2014 to a half-year reading for 2015. While this doesn't conclusively say that cord-cutting has reached a saturation point, it shows an area that bears watching.

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