Survey: 22% Of Americans Canceled Or Cut Back Cable TV In Last Six Months

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Penny-pinching consumers are still putting the hurt on cable: About one in five Americans canceled or scaled back their cable TV service in the last six months to save money, according to a new poll from research firm Harris Interactive.

About 22% of respondents said they downgraded or eliminated their cable TV service, and another 21% considered it over that time, Harris found. The online poll of 3,084 U.S. adults age 18 and older was conducted Oct. 11-18.

The percentage of U.S. consumers who say they've cut back or eliminated cable hasn't changed in the last year, according to Harris. In February 2010, 22% of respondents affirmed cable cutbacks, while 21% did in October 2009.

On the most recent survey, 28% of consumers 34 to 45 (Gen Xers) said they canceled or cut cable, followed by the 46-64 baby boomers (23%) and 18-33 Echo Boomers (22%). Of the 65-plus "matures" cohort, just 13% said they dropped or cut back cable TV.

Meanwhile, 17% of respondents said they canceled their landline phone service and are only using their cell phone, while another 17% have changed or canceled cell phone service.

The most popular money-saving measures on the Harris poll: 62% of U.S. consumers have been purchasing more generic brands in the last six months, and about 45% are brown-bagging lunch instead of purchasing it.

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