Live sports and specials enable pay-TV to blunt cord-cutting

Editor ©RapidTVNews | 18-06-2012

The predicted rise of cord-cutting is being thwarted by a formidable combination of technological limitations and customer preferences, not to mention basic economics, the latest research from a leading financial analyst has revealed.

The new Bernstein report offers in part some vindication for the cash bonanza of the new English Premier League football rights deal, whereby not only did the incumbent pay well over the odds to see off a reported challenge from Al Jazeera, but also new entrant BT used the power of its corporate wallet to beat back broadcaster ESPN for the secondary rights.

Bernstein senior analyst Carlos Kirjner cites live sports, specials and first-run scripted content as the key reasons as to why there has been no mass customer uptake of cheaper online TV and video offerings.

"We think this goes a long way in explaining why we have not seen cord-cutting as Netflix subscribers and usage have grown and as other providers of long-form video content over the Internet have emerged,” Kirjner noted.

"Consumer preferences, content economics, technology and industry structure have all conspired to limit the impact of the Internet on how TV is consumed in the US, and will probably continue to do so in the foreseeable future… This is the case in large part because pay-TV providers want to control as much as possible of the user experience."