Poll: A Majority of U.S. Viewers Don’t Want YouTube TV, Sling TV, Fubo, and More Regulated Like Cable TV





Cheerful family having popcorn while watching television at home

More local governments are trying to slap cable taxes on streaming services. A new poll shows a majority of Americans aren’t on board.

The Preserve Viewer Choice Coalition, a consumer advocacy group made up of streamers like YouTube TV and Hulu, released survey findings that showed 57% of Americans oppose regulating streaming services like cable TV.

“Viewers want the ability to choose their content and control costs and oppose proposals for the FCC to regulate streaming like cable, which jeopardizes those priorities,” Bryce Harlow, a spokesperson for Preserve Viewer Choice Coalition, said in a statement.

The coalition’s findings come as multiple states have tried — some succeeding — to tax streaming services like cable providers. These initiatives mean to offset the financial losses of cable providers amid the rise of cord cutting.

Over the years legislation have cropped up across the U.S. in states like Maine, Georgia, Virginia, New York, and Florida. While taxes have gone into effect in Florida and Chicago, similar measures were defeated in Georgia.

The proposals have largely been met with resistance.

Last month, Missouri’s House of Representatives introduced a bill that would prevent local governments from tacking the extra fee. Before that, a U.S. judge said streamers don’t maintain a physical presence in cities like cable TV providers who run cable, so they shouldn’t be taxed.

The Preserve Viewer Choice Coalition was created in response to local ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC owners asking the Federal Communications Commission to treat streamers like cable TV companies. In addition to Hulu and YouTube TV, the group also includes Fubo, Roku, Telemundo, and Univision.

In addition to the respondent’s majority stance against regulating streamers, the Coalition’s poll — which surveyed 1,573 registered voters in the U.S. — found that 64% of viewers preferred streaming over cable or satellite services.

The poll also showed that one in five viewers, or 20%, find it difficult to stream local news and prefer to watch the broadcasts on phones, laptops, and tablets versus television sets. Poll participants also said they were more concerned with cost and convenience than the ability to watch live content on TV.

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