|scissors are clearly not the right tool for this job|
In this context, the only ways for there to be no cord-cutting (defined here to mean someone who had a multichannel subscription and then gave it up -- whether or not he or she used online video as a substitute), would be if:
- the value of the multichannel subscription were going up faster than its price -- more and better original programming, HDTV, VOD, TV Everywhere and DVR do support this; and
- the price was still modest relative to household income -- uh, not so much; and
- few decent substitutes existed for the service
Still that leaves pesky point 2 and the issue of the other 60% of households. Maybe they look at multichannel television a bit differently than sports fans.
Maybe they look at it a bit like anchorman-cum-showman Howard Beale in the movie Network: "we are in the boredom-killing business".
Boredom can be pretty effectively killed in 60%+ of households without live sports. On some level, it is that simple.
As the inspiration for the articles, work by analysts Craig Moffett and Bruce Leichtman very clearly makes this point -- the increasingly high price of multichannel television is the biggest driver for canceling a multichannel subscription. Even with all of the most devoted and price-insensitive sports fans in the world locked in, the multichannel business would look at a lot different without those simply seeking relief from their boredom, sometimes in "unscripted entertainment" often not that unlike Howard Beale's show.