Cutting the ‘Cord’ with TV? Not If We Can’t Watch These Faves

Pauley Perrette Plays Abby on 'NCIS' (Photo: CBS)

Pauley Perrette Plays Abby on 'NCIS' (Photo: CBS)

What would it take for you to “cut the cord” with your TV in favor of watching all your favorite shows solely online?

A media analyst queried 300 people on that subject and came up with a list of the networks the survey respondents said they couldn’t live without if faced with the decision to cut off their cable subscription and convert to on-line viewing.

At the top of the list: The four big broadcast networks. Thirty-five percent of the respondents said they couldn’t live without CBS; 34 percent said ABC; and 31 percent said Fox and NBC.

The study, conducted for the investment banking firm Needham & Co., made a single request of its participants: “Please list which TV channels you must have available online for you to turn off your TV subscription.” The results were reported by

The remaining 19 channels, of the 23 listed on PaidContent, were surprising for the channels that were included, and those that were omitted altogether.

Among the Highlights:

-Fifth on the list, following the big networks, was the sports giant, ESPN (27 percent).

-HBO (11 percent) outscored its pay-cable rival, Showtime (5 percent).

-Missing from the list were such popular networks as TLC, Animal Planet, FX, AMC and Turner Classic Movies.

-CNN made the list (8 percent), while its higher-rated rivals, Fox News Channel (Number One in cable news) and MSNBC (Number Two), did not.

So-called “cord-cutting” is a nascent trend that is being closely watched by the TV industry. Currently, only a relatively small number of TV watchers are forsaking cable or over-the-air television in favor of Internet viewing, but experts expect the number to grow in the years to come as more and more TV shows become available for viewing anytime on the ’net.

Here’s the Complete List:

CBS (35 percent)
ABC (34 percent)
Fox (31 percent)
NBC (31 percent)
ESPN (27 percent)
Discovery (19 percent)
History (14 percent)
HBO (11 percent)
Comedy Central (10 percent)
Food Network (10 percent)
Nickelodeon (9 percent)
TBS (9 percent)
CNN (8 percent)
CW (8 percent)
HGTV (8 percent)
MTV (8 percent)
Lifetime (8 percent)
PBS (8 percent)
Bravo (7 percent)
Disney Channel (7 percent)
TNT (7 percent)
A&E (6 percent)
Showtime (5 percent)

Which channels would make your list? What are the shows you can’t live without?

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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