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Cord-cutting isn’t happening — this report explains why

Newton Daly | Digital Vision | Getty Images

Despite legacy media's anxieties about cord-cutting, data suggest that the phenomenon isn't nearly as significant as cable providers make it out to be.

In its 11th annual "Digital Democracy Survey," Deloitte found that the percentage of American households that subscribe to paid television services has remained relatively stable since 2012, even as adoption of streaming services has accelerated.

In its survey of 2,131 consumers, Deloitte said two-thirds of respondents reported they have kept their TV subscriptions because they're bundled with their internet plan.

Kevin Westcott, vice chairman and U.S. media and entertainment leader at Deloitte, told CNBC that bundling seems to be a huge deterrent for cord cutting.

"We've really not seen much in the way of cord cutting. There is some, but consumers who do have these bundled services — internet access is now like any other utility. If they have bundled service, they're much less likely to cut the cord," Westcott said.

While the percentage of consumers who pay for at least one streaming service has climbed from 10 percent in 2009 to 49 percent in 2016, those with TV subscriptions have remained relatively stable over the same period.

Deloitte's survey found that 74 percent of consumers continue to hold paid TV subscriptions in 2016.

The report confirms what Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has repeatedly said over the years, that his company is not killing legacy media companies. In 2013, Hastings said that data shows "zero cord cutting" and that consumers see Netflix as complementary to traditional television offerings, not a replacement.



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