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Poll: Majority of Americans Oppose Regulating Streaming Services like Cable, Find it Easy to Stream Local News Online
[February 20, 2024]

Poll: Majority of Americans Oppose Regulating Streaming Services like Cable, Find it Easy to Stream Local News Online

Consumers Show Strong Preference for Streaming

WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Viewers strongly prefer streaming platforms to access video programming over traditional video services, according to a new national poll released today by the Preserve Viewer Choice Coalition.

This poll, conducted in partnership with Change Research, considers American viewers' preferences for watching video content, how and where they watch, the availability of local news on streaming and whether they support imposing new regulations on streaming platforms.

Findings from the poll include:

  • Viewers strongly prefer streaming video (64%) to watching it via cable or satellite (23%).
  • Fewer than 1 in 5 find it difficult to stream local news, and far more watch local news on phones, laptops and tablets than watch on televisions.
  • More Americans oppose regulating streaming like cable; of the 57% who oppose these proposed regulations, 42% strongly oppose them.
  • Viewers are more concerned with cost and convenience than the ability to watch live content on a television.

"The data shows that streaming services are the preferred viewing method for many Americans," says Bryce Harlow, Preserve Viewer Choice Coalition spokesperson. "Viewers want the ability to choose their content and control costs and oppos proposals for the FCC to regulate streaming like cable, which jeopardizes those priorities."

Americans today watch video online, more often than via cable

The poll provides insight into how viewers access their video programming.

  • Respondents say they watch video online at least a few hours per week, either through clips on social media (66%) or via subscription on-demand services, such as Disney+ or Hulu (60%).
  • Live streaming services, including YouTube TV and Fubo are also popular, with 45% of Americans saying they view video content on those platforms weekly.
  • Almost half of Americans (48%) indicate they never watch cable or satellite TV and 3 in 4 say they never watch antenna TV.

Local news is widely available and easy to access for Americans of all ages

Viewers' preferences for where to watch local news now include phones, computers and tablets far more than televisions.

  • 84% of respondents said they often or sometimes view local news on a smartphone, computer or tablet versus only 48% who said they often or sometimes view on their television via cable or satellite.
  • A majority of respondents across all age groups found it easy to access local news broadcasts on streaming platforms, while fewer than 1 in 5 found it difficult.
  • Respondents were almost evenly split between cable/satellite and streaming viewership for local news – 40% and 37% respectively.

Streaming service perks like content and convenience are attractive to consumers, with the majority of viewers indicating they are content with the current streaming model

Viewers generally express satisfaction with streaming, with most American adults (57%) opposing regulating streaming like cable.

  • Most viewers (66%) believe that streaming services give them more access to content than cable or satellite.
  • Most surveyed (62%) believe that it is easier to switch streaming services than to switch cable providers, speaking to the ease of opting in and out of streaming platforms.
  • Just as many respondents 65 and older feel the same about cable/satellite as they do streaming, younger people are far more likely to feel more positive about streaming.
  • Respondents overwhelmingly ranked hidden fees (92%) and price (80%) as their top concerns when watching video content.

The poll was designed and conducted by Change Research in partnership with the Preserve Viewer Choice Coalition. The poll included a representative sample of 1,573 registered voters nationwide surveyed between January 10 - 15, 2024 and was conducted online in English. The modeled margin of error is +/-2.6%. Samples are recruited via dynamic online sampling, using a combination of social media advertisements and text messages that include links to the poll– allowing new participants to be recruited for each poll. Respondents participated voluntarily; no incentives were offered.

About the Preserve Viewer Choice Coalition
The Preserve Viewer Choice Coalition is an advocacy coalition dedicated to protecting consumer choice and innovation in the streaming video marketplace. The coalition advocates for an environment that promotes healthy competition and fosters continued growth throughout the streaming industry. Learn more at

About Change Research
Change Research is a full service audience insights company that conducts quantitative research, qualitative research, and data modeling. It was founded in 2017 with the mission of improving American democracy by making public opinion insights more accessible to forward-thinking political campaigns and advocacy organizations.

Media Contact:
Preserve Viewer Choice Coalition Press
[email protected] 

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SOURCE Preserve Viewer Choice Coalition

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