New research reveals more Americans are tapping broadband Internet services to watch television than cable TV services, with thenumber of broadband subscribers now surpassing cable TV subscribers.
The reveal is evidence of how the Internet is becoming a deeper part of everyday life and the increasing popularity of streaming content, states a report by Leichtman Research Group.
The report says there were 49,915,000 broadband Internet subscribers in the U.S. through the end of the second quarter, in comparison with 49,910,000 cable TV subscribers.
While the difference is minimal, most observers believe the gap will widen as more users take their viewing experience online.
According to the report, the country saw the addition of around 385,000 high-speed Internet subscribers in the second quarter.
"Top broadband service providers account for some 93 percent of the current market," the report says. "These top broadband providers now account for over 85.9 million subscribers -- with top cable companies having nearly 50.7 million broadband subscribers, and top telephone companies having over 35.2 million subscribers."
"The top cable broadband providers have a 59 percent share of the market versus the top telcos," states the report.
The top cable companies accounted for 99 percent of additional Internet broadband subscribers during the last quarter, a 128 percent increase from the same period the previous year.
"With the addition of more than 30 million broadband subscribers over the past decade, cable providers have clearly expanded well beyond their roots in cable TV service," said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for LRG. "As of the end of 2Q-2014, the top cable providers now have more broadband subscribers than cable TV subscribers."
A number of companies already realize the move is toward the Internet for television viewing. Popular streaming service Netflix recently inked a deal with three cable operators to launch its own channel in April, Tech Times reports.
Netflix will offer a service for cable companies Atlantic Broadband, Grande Communications and RCN Telecom Services, providing subscribers the ability to watch Netflix content like it's another channel. Customers will need a Netflix subscription and a TiVo set-top box.
For now, the battle appears to be neck and neck, but most analysts expect the Internet to win out over traditional cable TV as more and more people are using mobile devices to stream and view TV content.