Forget 'Cord-Cutters' -- the Future Is About 'Cord-Compromisers'

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Forget cord-cutting -- it's all about "cord-compromising" for the content consumers of the future. 

More people are getting content directly from networks like CBS (CBS), Disney (DIS) and Time Warner's (TWX) HBO and leaving cable companies out of the picture. According to a report from investment bank Evercore ISI, which tracks the industry, for the first time ever, the pay TV vertical lost a net number of subscribers in the U.S. in the first three months of a year, with cable losing the most (105,000), satellite losing 74,000 with other TV providers adding 143,000. This isn't a sea change, at least not yet. According to MoffettNathanson analyst Craig Moffett, the industry is shrinking at a 0.5% annual rate, with a net loss of 31,000 customers in the first quarter. 

So, the phenomenon of consumers moving away from getting their entertainment from cable television to online video called is happening, if only slowly. If what consumers really want is to get rid of bulky cable packages in favor of just what they want to watch, why isn't it happening faster? 

Today, viewers can create their own channel lineup by cobbling together digital subscriptions and accessing free content. But once they've added up the subscription costs and factored in broadband access charges, many find they aren't saving much over a basic cable subscription, if anything at all. That dilemma is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon. And the crux of it is they still don't have access to all the content they want, especially sports.

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