Will the Coronavirus Outbreak Slow Down Cord-Cutting?

Sean Burch

The coronavirus pandemic, while sabotaging the U.S. economy overall, has led to a few select companies benefiting from millions of people suddenly being compelled to spend more time at home. Zoom, for instance, has seen its stock price surge 25% in the last month, as more people gravitate towards its video-conference technology for both work and staying connected to family and friends. Will all this nesting at home boost traditional cable and satellite TV providers — who have experienced record losses in recent quarters, as cheaper over-the-top alternatives continue to lead customers to cut the cord? Or will the outbreak prove the kiss of death for companies like DirecTV and Comcast, as customers look to save money by abandoning their service? Analysts say the answer lies somewhere in the middle. On the one hand, people simply don’t have as much to do right now. They’re cooped up in their homes, and watching TV is one of the few entertainment options available. Comcast on Monday reported its TV customers are now watching 64 hours of content each week, an increase of about 7% from the same period last year; that goes along with a 25% spike in on-demand viewing compared to...

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