Viewers Say This Is the Best TV Service for the Money

A new study reveals which TV providers offer the most -- and least -- value in the eyes of consumers. Does your TV service measure up?

Viewers Say This Is the Best TV Service for the Money Photo by pikselstock /

If you’re looking for a TV provider that offers more value, it’s time to ditch traditional pay-TV for a virtual on-demand service. And you won’t do any better than choosing Netflix.

That’s the crux of the latest annual “What’s TV Worth” study from Hub Entertainment Research, which surveyed more than 2,000 viewers and primarily examined the value of TV services.

Traditional TV offers the least value

Traditional pay-TV remains commonplace in 2018, with 78 percent of respondents saying they currently have TV from a cable, satellite or telecommunications company.

At the same time, this form of TV service is losing customers due to “cord cutting” — folks abandoning pay-TV. For example, the 78 percent of folks with traditional TV in 2018 is down from 89 percent in 2016, and 88 percent last year.

Over the same two-year period — 2016 to 2018 — the number of cord cutters more than doubled, from 6 percent in 2016 to 13 percent this year.

This cord-cutting trend is apparently not about age, either. The latest “What’s TV Worth” study found that the average age of cord-cutters is 40. The average age of people who maintain traditional pay-TV services is 42.

Perceived value may be a major factor behind the cord-cutting. Hub Entertainment measured “perceived value” by asking respondents how much value they associate with services they use.

The perceived value of traditional pay-TV is significantly lower than that of both virtual on-demand services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Video, and virtual “skinny” TV bundles from traditional providers like Sling TV (from Dish Network) and DIRECTV NOW (from AT&T). The study found:

  • Virtual on-demand services Netflix, Amazon Video and Hulu: Considered a “good” or “excellent” value by from 75 to 78 percent of respondents, depending on the provider
  • Virtual “skinny” TV bundles: 68 percent
  • Traditional pay-TV: 46 percent

If you have yet to cut the cord, be sure to start by checking out the step-by-step guide in “How to Cut the Cable TV Cord in 2018.”

Netflix offers the most value

While Hub Entertainment Research found that each of the “big three” virtual on-demand providers — Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Video — offers more perceived value than traditional TV and virtual TV bundles, the three are not equal.

Overall, Netflix has a slight edge over its competitors, with 78 percent of respondents considering it a “good” or “excellent” value. The study found:

  • Netflix: Considered a “good” value by 42 percent of respondents and an “excellent” value by 36 percent of respondents (for a total of 78 percent)
  • Hulu: 38 percent and 38 percent (total of 76 percent)
  • Amazon Prime (which comes with Amazon Video at no additional cost): 38 percent and 37 percent (total of 75 percent)

About 2,300 U.S. consumers ages 16-74 who have broadband internet access at home were polled for the study.

So, would you agree that Netflix offers the most value for your money? Or would you rate a different TV provider No. 1? Let us know why by commenting below or over on our Facebook page.

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More


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