Cord Cutting

Definition of Cord Cutting

Cord cutting refers to the process of cancelling traditional cable or satellite TV subscriptions in favor of alternative, often internet-based services, such as streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, or YouTube TV. This shift allows consumers to choose specific content and enjoy a more convenient, personalized, and often less expensive viewing experience. The term originated from physically cutting the coaxial cable that was linked to cable or satellite television providers.


The phonetic spelling of “Cord Cutting” is: /kɔːrd ˈkʌtɪŋ/

Key Takeaways

  1. Cord cutting allows consumers to discontinue their traditional cable or satellite TV service in favor of alternative viewing options, such as streaming services and digital antennas.
  2. By switching to streaming platforms and other means, cord cutters can save money on monthly bills and personalize their channel lineup for more tailored and customizable entertainment.
  3. Regardless of the clear benefits, there are potential drawbacks to cord cutting. These include unreliable internet connection quality, occasional loss of live sports or local channels, and the ever-growing number of streaming platforms to manage and pay for.

Importance of Cord Cutting

Cord cutting refers to a growing trend among consumers who choose to discontinue their cable or satellite television subscriptions and opt for alternative, often more affordable, streaming services and devices.

This trend is significant for several reasons.

Firstly, it signals a shift in consumer preferences, as viewers are now seeking customizable and flexible entertainment options.

Secondly, it highlights the increasingly competitive landscape of the media and entertainment industry, where not just traditional providers, but also new entrants and tech giants are vying for audiences.

As cord cutting gains momentum, industry players must evolve, adapt, and innovate to cater to changing consumer demands and stay relevant in the rapidly transforming digital era.


Cord cutting refers to the process of cancelling traditional cable or satellite television subscriptions in favor of alternative methods of consuming media content, such as streaming services and over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts. The primary purpose of cord cutting is to save money and gain more control over one’s entertainment choices by switching to more flexible and personalized options.

With the advent of advanced technologies and high-speed internet, cord cutting has become increasingly popular over the last decade, as it allows consumers to avoid long-term contracts, pricey packages, and bundled channels, which often include channels they may not watch. In addition to its cost-saving benefits, cord cutting also provides users with a diverse and customizable array of viewing options by leveraging various streaming platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and YouTube TV.

Many of these services also offer original content exclusively on their platforms, further incentivizing users to make the switch from traditional cable or satellite TV. With the option to pause, rewind, and even binge-watch their favorite shows on-demand without commercials, cord cutters are empowered to tailor their viewing experience to their individual preferences and schedules, making cord cutting a practical and increasingly popular solution for modern-day consumers looking to both streamline and take charge of their entertainment options.

Examples of Cord Cutting

Online Streaming Services: Platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video have played a significant role in the cord-cutting movement. These streaming services provide a wide variety of content, including TV shows, movies, and original programming, with monthly subscription fees much lower than traditional cable or satellite TV subscriptions. As a result, viewers have been canceling their cable and satellite subscriptions in favor of these more affordable, on-demand streaming options.

Live TV Streaming Services: Services like Sling TV, YouTube TV, and Hulu with Live TV offer live television programming without the need for a cable or satellite subscription. These streaming platforms give access to popular cable channels, news networks, and sports channels at a fraction of the cost of traditional cable or satellite packages. Furthermore, they allow users the flexibility to choose plans with their preferred channel lineup and no long-term contracts, as well as the ability to watch live TV on various devices such as smartphones, tablets, and streaming devices like Roku or Apple TV.

Over-The-Air (OTA) Digital Antennas: Digital antennas have regained popularity as a means to access local broadcast channels for free, enabling cord-cutters to watch local news, sports events, and network programming without a cable or satellite subscription. With the transition to digital television broadcasting, these antennas are capable of receiving high-definition channels, providing viewers with excellent picture quality. By incorporating a digital antenna into their cord-cutting setup, consumers can enjoy both the local channels and their chosen streaming services, further reducing the need for traditional cable or satellite TV subscriptions.

FAQs: Cord Cutting

What is cord cutting?

Cord cutting refers to the process of canceling traditional cable television subscriptions and opting for streaming services or other alternatives to watch TV shows, movies, and other content.

Why do people cut the cord?

People cut the cord for various reasons, including saving money, gaining more control over the content they watch, and taking advantage of features and flexibility offered by streaming services.

What are the alternatives to cable TV?

Popular alternatives to cable TV include streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video, among others. Live TV streaming services, such as YouTube TV and Sling TV, also offer a cable-like experience. Additionally, some people use digital antennas to access free over-the-air (OTA) broadcast channels.

Do I need an internet connection to cut the cord?

Yes, an internet connection is essential for accessing most content available through cord cutting, including streaming services and live TV streaming platforms. A high-speed, stable internet connection allows for better streaming quality and a more enjoyable viewing experience.

Can I watch live sports and local channels without cable?

Yes, there are various options to watch live sports and local channels without a cable subscription. Live TV streaming services, such as Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV, offer access to sports channels and local network channels. Additionally, digital antennas can be used to receive free over-the-air local channels.

Related Technology Terms

  • Over-the-Top (OTT) Streaming Services
  • Video on Demand (VOD)
  • Smart TVs and Streaming Devices
  • Internet Protocol Television (IPTV)
  • TV Everywhere Apps

Sources for More Information


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