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Millions of Subscribers Leaving Cable TV for Streaming Services 380

Posted by samzenpus
from the end-of-an-age dept.
suraj.sun writes "Netflix and Hulu are convincing millions of cable, satellite and telco subscribers to cut the cord and dive into video streaming. That's the conclusion of a new report released this week by the Convergence Consulting Group, which finds that 2.65 million Americans canceled TV subscriptions between 2008-2011 in favor of lower-cost internet subscription services or video platforms. Though Convergence co-founder Brahm Eiley projects that the number of people opting out of TV subscription services will begin to slow in 2012 and 2013. Part of the problem, Eiley argues, may be the rising price tag for streaming rights to programming which could cause fiscal fits for Netflix."
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Millions of Subscribers Leaving Cable TV for Streaming Services

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  • Costs much? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pecosdave (536896) * on Thursday April 05, 2012 @05:36AM (#39582571) Homepage Journal

    It's cheaper to get Amazon Prime, Hulu, AND Netflix than it is to pay for cable.

    • by Shivetya (243324) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @06:04AM (#39582653) Homepage Journal

      I get the basic channels for free. How? Simple, I have cable internet and phone over which basic cable comes through unfiltered. When I asked the installer about it he told me they do not have filters for that range. Since that gets me my locals, weather being most important, its all good.

      What is really sad. I was paying for basic cable. I subscribed to the basic service using the website for 12.95 a month. Then come January someone at work mentioned that their cable bill went up by $5.00 and they say increases in internet charges too. Other people later chimed in to say similar. Well I did check my bill and lo and behold, I was now being charged 17.95 for basic cable. I called, cancelled it, and still have it all because my televisions can read it just fine. Best part about it, on their website it is still 12.95 but I cannot get it. Seems the local version of the same provider could care less about the web site pricing.

      TL;DR. Cable is killing itself because the right hand doesn't let the left hand in on what it is doing. Worse, they have tried to follow this combo model where they aim for over one hundred a month in combined charges. I am at 62 now with phone and internet (16/4 btw) and still have more TV than I want.

      I do know one thing, more people would drop cable and sat like a rock if you could stream HBO; there are people at work who get HBO and Cable simply for Game of Thrones!) and other "premium" channels.

      A side note, my cable lists a cap of 250g a month. I haven't hit that cap yet but I am wondering if the improved show quality (1080p) offered by some services will push me over.

      TV schedules need to revolve around me, not some schedule determined in a room in NYC or LA. Once a provider can time shift all their content then they will have value to me, but probably not as much as they will want to charge.

      • by pecosdave (536896) * on Thursday April 05, 2012 @06:27AM (#39582733) Homepage Journal

        I started to write a longer top level about how refusal to support Clear QAM and forcing cables boxes on people with QAM capable TV's and forcing people to use cable company provided DVR's instead of - well Clear QAM was a major contributing factor but the comment started to get too long and lose focus.

        BTW, the way the media companies are dealing with loss of viewers is the opposite of what they should do.

        Look at an original Star Trek episode on Hulu, it runs about 54 minutes. Look at an original Battlestar Galactica Episode, it runs about 50 minutes, look at a modern SciFi show - it will run about 43 minutes.

        I would argue an hour long reality show is 0 minutes of non-advertising content.

        People are watching less TV partially because there's less TV to watch in an hour.

        • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @07:31AM (#39582995) Journal

          People are watching less TV partially because there's less TV to watch in an hour.

          I stopped watching broadcast TV except on the BBC in the UK because there were too many ads (I then stopped watching the BBC channels, because iPlayer is a more convenient way of getting at the same content). When I tried watching TV in the USA, I was amazed anyone put up with it. You had at least twice as many ads as we did when it passed my tolerance threshold.

          I don't have a TV anymore, and I watch a lot more TV shows than I did back when I had one. Between iPlayer and DVD rentals, there's a lot of enjoyable content, and I know that if I sit down to watch a TV show for an hour then I will get an hour of entertainment, not 45 minutes of entertainment and 15 minutes of being annoyed.

          • by pecosdave (536896) *

            I've pretty much quit TV. I do watch South Park and most of the Fox cartoons on the Internet, but I don't actually turn a TV on to flip through the channels anymore. That being said I work with TV junkies and there's TV's all over the building I work in and most of my family are still a bunch of TV junkies so I'm not that far behind on what's happening on TV, rather I want to be or not. I've tried watching TV, I really have.

            The last shows I've watched (not counting the ones mentioned above)

            Dollhouse
            Termi

          • by StormReaver (59959) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @09:43AM (#39584039)

            My advertising threshold dropped to zero pretty quickly in 2009, which is when I cut the Cable due to a negligible benefit/price ratio. I tried Hulu, which was great for about two weeks:

            The first week of watching Hulu, I had to watch 15 seconds of commercial per half-hour show. I could tolerate that, so I was fairly happy. In week two, I had to watch one 30-second commercial per half-hour show; which was starting to annoy me, but which was just barely tolerable. In week three, Hulu started showing two or three 30-second commercials per half hour show.

            Seeing where this was ultimately headed, I stopped watching Hulu and subscribed to Netflix instead. That hit the perfect sweet spot, so that's where I stayed. Even Netflix's recent price increases (due to greedy studios raising what they charge Netflix) are way, way better than watching even one commercial on TV/Hulu (which is run by the same TV people who flooded us with commercials to begin with).

            If the time ever comes where Netflix streaming has even one commercial, I'll cancel my Netflix subscription too.

            • by pecosdave (536896) *

              just because it's sort of on topic

              Scary Comic [smbc-comics.com]

            • by nabsltd (1313397)

              My advertising threshold dropped to zero pretty quickly in 2009, which is when I cut the Cable due to a negligible benefit/price ratio.

              I just don't understand why a site devoted to geeks has complaints about commercials. Except for sporting events, I haven't watched commercials for nearly 20 years (VCR). Since the invention of the DVR, I don't watch commercials on sporting events, either.

              The key is that you can't be so addicted to a show that you can't wait a day or two to watch it. The only exception to this for me was ST:TNG, but that was because everyone I knew came to my house to watch it two hours after it actually aired (so we sti

        • I started to write a longer top level about how refusal to support Clear QAM and forcing cables boxes on people with QAM capable TV's and forcing people to use cable company provided DVR's instead of - well Clear QAM was a major contributing factor but the comment started to get too long and lose focus.

          We hadn't had cable TV service until just recently when we got a roommate. She had to have it, so we factored that into her share.

          What I didn't factor in was the set top box tech support cost. The cable tech connected up the box to the cable and the TV to the box through the A/V jacks. The box came with a "universal" remote. Whenever the roommate got the remote in the wrong mode and changed TV channel instead of changing set top box channel, I had to fix it or else hear that she could only get "like 5 chann

      • by jgtg32a (1173373)
        They didn't put a filter on for you house, I had the same situation for a while as well; instead of looking at my bill to see if I was being charged I called them. Still took them 6 months to actually get someone out there to filter me, and it was after a storm so I bet they were actually there to do other work.
      • by darjen (879890)

        I have been doing this for a few years now. I even pay for a Tivo subscription because the basic channels just come through unmolested. My dad is a cable tv exec and he said most cable companies just leave the lower channels open like this. I refuse to pay for HD cable because it is so damn expensive. So this gives me the best compromise. The local HD channels all pass through, and most football games are on one of these OTA channels. I also get the fastest residential internet they offer. So they are still

      • 250GB/month is a pretty fair cap amount. That's >8GB/day, which is about as much as I could imagine downloading on a regular basis. I think if all of the providers with 'unlimited' services had limits of that quantity, nobody would be complaining about their BS.

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      Also a lot of local stations are now streaming on their websites, so you can get the live news and local sports as well.
      And the NBA had the games streaming for free in march.

      No reason at all to have Cable TV/Satellite TV anymore It's overpriced for what it delivers. I'll come back Comcast, if you give me all the channels for $20.00 a month and the price never goes up.

      • by ewieling (90662)
        In Huntsville, on Knology, is more expensive to only have internet service than it is to have basic cable + internet. Yay bundling,
    • I do wonder just how bad the US cable market really is - I have Sky in the UK, and I pay roughly $75 a month for TV, Broadband (unlimited 20Mbit ADSL) and voice with free evening and weekend calls.

      The Sky subscription gets me Anytime+, which gives me access to tonnes of tv and movies for viewing at any time. It also gives me SkyGo, which is essentially the same as Anytime+ but available on computer, tablets and phones - I have no need for Netflix or Lovefilm. Sky also have a suite of apps to interact with

      • by pecosdave (536896) *

        My parents pay about $200 a month for basic cable plus a package that gives them Boomerang and a few movie channels like Starz. They get about 3 Mbps up and down and home phone service. They really don't want the home phone service but the way the package triple plays in the US phone service is like an appendix. Mom's been complaining that when she first got this package it was about $120 a month and just keeps creeping up in price.

        BTW - it's fiber. I used to think the company she's using was among the

    • Re:Costs much? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by msobkow (48369) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @06:22AM (#39582713) Homepage Journal

      I think far more important than price is the idea of a virtual VCR where you can watch what you want, when you want, with far fewer ads than "traditional" channel-based TV.

      My exposure to DirecTiVO broke my TV habit. When I moved back to Canada, I shifted to torrents. But I will NOT go back to watching shows on the schedule set by some arbitrary board of assholes.

      • by pecosdave (536896) *

        Absolutely.

        The cable companies are basically advertising for all the services I mentioned by refusing to offer anything worth watching in Clear QAM and pretending HD costs more for them to get to the consumer.

        Hint - it costs the cable company more to offer an SD and HD version of a channel than it does to just offer an HD version. By offering both they're actually cutting into the bandwidth available to make other channels better HD. Not to mention two versions gets really confusing for people who have to

    • Re:Costs much? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tirefire (724526) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @06:54AM (#39582831)

      It's cheaper to get Amazon Prime, Hulu, AND Netflix than it is to pay for cable.

      An excellent point. I would like to add that it is even cheaper to just wait for the show to come out on DVD. And then check it out from the local library.

      On the one hand, it requires discipline and patience. On the other hand... it's just TV. I'm not rich, so I'm probably showing some kind of ironic poor-man's snobbery here, but even my favorite TV shows (Futurama, House, Mad Men, The Wire, Top Gear UK, Cowboy Bebop) still enrich my life less than a good novel/comic book/six-pack of beer. And even a terrible novel stimulates the imagination more than TV, with its effortless entertainment value, something that is only really valuable to me if I'm dead tired or staying home from work sick or something.

      Paying for any TV show is just not a good deal for me. Or maybe I just don't know good television - feel free to suggest a good show I haven't heard of. But hearing about millions of subscribers leaving cable and satellite TV makes me smile. Cable/sat companies have offered little to nothing of value beyond their infrastructure for years. Enough of this 19th-century rent-seeking. I'm lukewarm about TV, and I understand that puts me in the minority, but I'm sure we can all think of things more deserving of our money.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947)

        On the one hand, it requires discipline and patience. On the other hand... it's just TV.

        It takes discipline and patience if you want to eat brussels sprouts since they are seasonal. On the other hand...it's just brussels sprouts.

        TV is infinitely worse than brussels sprouts, because I like brussels sprouts and TV gives me a rash.

        I've never had cable television. Some years ago I was on a fellowship and stayed at a friend's vacant house and he had full cable. Everything. HBO, Showtime. All that stuff. H

      • I would like to add that it is even cheaper to just wait for the show to come out on DVD.

        What you say is true of scripted series. But daily political commentary and sporting events generally don't come out on DVD because they'd be outdated by the time they did. Even for scripted series, your local library might not have a particular title.

    • by na1led (1030470)
      With so many smart TV's and BlueRay Players, most people will have the ability to stream videos which will give them further incentives to cut Cable.
    • Exactly it really comes down to costs. I once had Digitial Cable with all the channels... And I ended up watching a few channels and the rest were repeats of the same freaking show at different time slots. I watched an interesting show on Discovery channel... Then it is available next week on Discovery 2 and Discovery 3... They will add 20 new shows I want to watch a season. Then it is repeats and repeats on all the other channels. It just isn't worth the money. Then to make it worse you get adds that are
    • by mapkinase (958129)

      And if you are cheap even for that, there is a "broadcasting" version of it: shady low quality streaming services.

  • by rebelwarlock (1319465) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @05:37AM (#39582573)
    Also known as the Department of Shit We Already Know. Next, we explain how fewer people write handwritten letters after the advent of "electronic mail".
  • My mom learned to use bittorrent to get new shows, and also watches Hulu. My brother uses an Xbox with a friend's Netflix account and also torrents. They canceled cable TV last month. There's really no need to have cable anymore unless you want live sports. Practically everything else is available online for free.

    • Re:Seems about right (Score:5, Interesting)

      by wanzeo (1800058) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @05:54AM (#39582635)

      There's really no need to have cable anymore unless you want live sports. Practically everything else is available online for free.

      That and cable news. I would love to get my parents to switch, it kills me to see them sending $100 to Comcast every month. But they are absolutely addicted to the talking heads. I have tried to introduce them to online news, but so far online news is mostly text based with short video clips. Until there is a mainstream site that streams 24 hour news presented by a human, they (and many others) will never give up their precious cable.

      • Re:Seems about right (Score:4, Interesting)

        by sqrt(2) (786011) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @06:30AM (#39582747) Journal

        Aye, that was the last thread holding my father to paying for cable as well. I eventually convinced him to start reading his news instead of watching it. I showed him the CNN website and the BBC, and got him to start listening to NPR.

        Text is superior to watching a talking head anyway; it's just hard to convince people of that generation--assuming your parents are within a generation of 50yo.

        It came down to time. You can read a rundown of the news in just a few minutes that would normally take an hour if you were trying to watch it on cable with commercials. But I know a lot of people are devoted to their particular favorite news personality so that keeps them tuning into that channel every day.

        • by tepples (727027)

          I showed him the CNN website and the BBC

          Does CNN.com stream 24 hours a day, or does it stream only 10 AM to 3 PM on weekdays like MSNBC.com does?

          Text is superior to watching a talking head anyway

          With a talking head, you can hook the cable box up to a radio transmitter and listen with headphones throughout the house or with a shower radio. You can also recline in a recliner and watch TV on the TV set that you've already paid for instead of a $400 tablet.

          I know a lot of people are devoted to their particular favorite news personality so that keeps them tuning into that channel every day.

          Someone in one of the households in my survey sample (let's call her "Becky") is like that: it has to be MSNBC's Morning Joe Brewed by Starbucks,

      • by Hatta (162192) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @09:38AM (#39583981) Journal

        The right thing to do is to drop the cable news entirely. Same with talk radio. They're bad for you, and bad for the country.

    • My mom learned to use bittorrent to get new shows

      I tried teaching my mom but I think it's just too far removed from her comfort zone to do unsupervised. Instead, I just get emails every few days asking me to get the newest episodes for her, but I don't mind. She's good at getting the episode names and everything, at least.

      She was a pro at Napster and Kazaa and such back in the day, but I think torrents are just too complicated.

  • by EzInKy (115248) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @05:51AM (#39582611)

    After 12 years of paying for TV, I finally cut the cord. The final straw for me were the distracting popups shown at the bottom of the screen in the middle of the shows. I mean really, think about. You are paying for the "priviledge" of being a product subjected to insistent advertising. How ridiculous is that? My average bill was around $100 month. That's over $12,000 a decade for chrissakes! What do I have to show for that expense now? Absolutely nothing!

    • by kermidge (2221646) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @06:39AM (#39582777) Journal

      http://www.waynesthisandthat.com/commerciallength.htm [waynesthisandthat.com] for a piece on pop-ups, logos, and increasing time given to standard commercials. When I was a lad a half-hour TV show was about 26 minutes; last I looked, more like 17 1/2. Haven't owned a TV in five years and didn't use it for two years before that. I now watch a half-dozen shows from Hulu and some of the networks' sites.

      Seems like every time I look at the local cable company, everything's fifty bucks: digital cable, telephone, "high-speed" Internet. I got a "deal" from Time-Warner for Internet for $35, 7 down, 1 up. Real-world mileage varies.

    • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @08:39AM (#39583381) Journal
      I have pretty much ignored TV for the past 12 years, getting my shows and movies online. I do have a cable subscription again (it comes with my internet hookup, for a few euros extra), and recently I have started to watch some TV again; my new GF sometimes likes to veg out and channel surf a little. And I am appalled at how crap TV has become. Not because of the shows but the incessant, loud commercials. And those popups, yes. Dear god, how can anyone sit through that?

      What pisses me off even more than the increased ad airtime, is the fact that shows are now designed around commercial breaks, especially the non-sitcom shows. They now show you what's to come after the break, and after the break there's a short recap of what has come before, eating into the amount of actual content even further. Then there's the timing of ads. For example, at the end of Community, Troy and Abed always do a funny little skit. You guessed it: between the show's end and the skit is a commercial break. Milking the audiences' interest in the show for all it's worth.

      Funny thing about those popups: I had never seen them before until recently, but I remember sitting in at some conference where a company (I think it was Adobe) announced technology to insert them on the fly. I think I was the only real consumer at that talk, all the others were content producers or broadcast people. And I recall my horror at their enthusiasm. I asked the speaker if he really thought that people were waiting for this sort of disruption during their shows, and he assured me in no uncertain tones that yes, TV stations and advertisers would love it, and the rest of the room joined in an enthusiastic brainstorm on the possibilities. Of course I meant real people, not TV airheads and marketeers. In the whole presentation, Q&A, and subsequent discussion, the topic of us the viewers or our viewing pleasure did not come up once.

      That enthusiasm leads me to believe that it's only a matter of time before Hulu and all other streaming services will start inserting ads and popups into their streams. Streaming media will simply replace cable broadcasts; what changes is the selection of content and the on-demand nature of the medium, but the ads will come back. Even if there will be a few premium channels offering ad-free content for a little extra, at some point even they might cave in to pressure or temptation. The once ad-free premium TV channels around here all have caved in long ago.
  • It wasn't long ago that you'd have had to watch these on a laptop, at best hooked up to the TV for the duration of the show. Complete, probably, with AV, update and email pop-ups...

    Now we just watch it on our $200 XBMC boxes, our XBOX 360, Wii or whatever device it is we normally hook up to the TV. We also get it in every room (Wii in the Playroom with Netflix + netflix kids, Xbox 360 in the main room, old xbox running xbmc in the kitchen, tablet everywhere else).

    And that's even with a very limited select

  • Only Logical (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Phrogman (80473) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @05:54AM (#39582631) Homepage

    Let's see:
    * Cable TV with the few channels that air shows I want to watch: ~$100/mo.
    * Cable TV with only basic channels + Internet ~$75/mo.
    * Internet only: ~$50/mo.

    Netflix: $8/mo.

    Between stuff available online, stuff downloadable as a torrent and netflix, WHY would I want to watch something that is:
    * Only available according to the broadcaster's schedule
    * Chopped up to make room for 15mins of advertising at a minimum
    * Where the ads are broadcast louder than the shows
    * The shows worth watching are all scattered on specialty stations each of which costs me extra $$$ to watch, or broadcast in another country but not here and simply not available.

    Cable TV and the 5000 channels of shit have priced themselves out of the market, the huge number of (mostly pointless) channels have spread the advertising potential so thin that none of them can make anything that isn't a cheap reality tv show etc.

    TV is dead IMHO. The only problem is that the shows I like to watch still cost money to produce, and they need revenue from somewhere. Hopefully the deals with Netflix and other services are sufficient to provide that money. Hopefully this also kills off the shitty programming that isn't worth the time and money it took to make it. Let the viewers decide. I would much rather spend $8 per month than ever see another ad again in my life.

    • by mapkinase (958129)

      "Cable TV and the 5000 channels of shit "

      compare to

      "internet+netflix+hulu+amazon+whatever and 50000000 channels of shit"

      5000 channels of shit is not a problem. Problem is 0 channels of non-shit.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 05, 2012 @05:58AM (#39582639)

    First, yes, cable costs too much. I'm not technically old enough to "remember" the days when one of the major selling points of cable TV was the theoretical lack of commercials. After all, you're paying for the TV channels directly, why would you need commercials? But companies are greedy, and folks learned to tolerate commercials, and now you get where we are today. You're paying to be advertised to. And don't think I've not noticed the same creep happening with Hulu, originally one commercial per show, now 2-3 commercial breaks per half hour show, with 1-2 commercials each break... (However, Hulu's the internet equivalent of free-broadcast TV, so I cut it a lot of slack.)

    What really turned me off and pisses me off now, though, is the return of the cable box. When cable was new, the cable box was a requirement. I remember it oddly fondly. Old fake-wood plastic with a sliding linear tuner, up to channel 35 or 55, even though we only got up to 21 or 22...

    Then came Cable-ready TV's! You can just plug 'em in, use a remote, handy dandy!

    Now, with the Digital transition, you're dependent on cable boxes again, which I understand from a practical stand point. Older TV's aren't Digital Cable ready. Annoying, but acceptable.

    However, even with Digital Cable-Ready TV's you still need to rent a "box" from the cable company, except now it's a card. You have to have a cable-company specific decryption card, which my local company charges you monthly rent for, in addition to the "subscription" fee for digital cable, which just happened to increase as they transitioned these past 6 months. Plus, my understanding is, they can use it as a poor-mans Nielson, track my habits, make MORE money from me that way...

    Oh, and let's not forget that there's a new format/standard for the cable cards that's coming out, and your "Digital Cable-Ready" TV may not be able to use the NEW card, so you're back on the damn box again...

    Really? I'm really going to PAY for a service that's LESS convenient than it was in the 1980's? That makes my functional technology artificially obsolescent? I'm going to accept a BACKWARDS movement in capabilities and convenience? When I don't even use 95% of what they make me pay for anyways, but tolerated because it was "good enough, barely?"

    Hell, NO. I'm taking advantage of the digital transition to drop cable. I'm not dropping TV entirely, I know myself, but Over-the-air, with Netflix, Hulu, and DVD supplements will be enough for me.

    Screw 'em.

    (Of course, I think those cunning bastards at Comcast, or some of them at least, have realized that as cable becomes more of a hassle more people are going to be Net-only households, thus their aggressive acquisition of so much internet infrastructure, but that's another delusional rant for another time.)

    • by pecosdave (536896) *

      I will not cut Hulu a bunch of slack.

      It seems to me Hulu itself is a descent company that wants to offer us a descent way to watch TV on our computers, but they have to suck and take it to get the content. Part of this bending over to secure rights to the content includes putting tons of detection into their site to make sure I'm not using a browser integrated into a set-top box to watch it on my TV instead of on a computer. Part of this sucking includes showing commercials - while initially significantly

    • Cable companies and content providers want to live in a world where all play back devices are "pay for play" and consumers have to pay a marginal fee for every video watched and every song listened to. Even better would be if the play back devices could detect how many people were in the room and a charge per viewer/listener could be assessed. Fortunately for consumers such a system is presently unworkable.

      But encrypted digital channels allow cable providers to get pretty close. On top of subscription fees

  • We ditched land line and TV service last summer. Currently we watch OTA, Hulu Plus, and Netflix (DVD and stream). None of us feel like we are missing anything worth the cost of TV service. Amazon Prime may get added to the list.

  • Stuff like Game of Thrones gets made so that people sign up to HBO. If enough HBO subscribers move to streaming (which brings substantially less revenue) - good bye expensive premium content. That's why it's not unreasonable to predict that Game of Thrones will last to the end of the saga (even though that bit hasn't been written). The production costs are simply to high and HBO won't be able to maintain its subscriber base as people move away from the Cable TV model to streaming.
    • by ifrag (984323)

      Stuff like Game of Thrones gets made so that people sign up to HBO. If enough HBO subscribers move to streaming (which brings substantially less revenue) - good bye expensive premium content.

      So far Thrones has felt a little too budget tight for me despite being expensive premium content.

      The most disappointing part is battles they have cut out. The most offensive editing so far is the one where Tyrion gets immediately knocked out. In the book I recall Tyrion participating quite successfully despite his supposed role as a decoy.

    • by jgtg32a (1173373)
      They have HBO Go but you can't get that unless you have a normal HBO subscription.
    • why can't HBO just sell there own stream? maybe they can but the cable co will be pissed off if HBO where to bypass them.

  • TV has become almost unbearable indeed. I guess that this evolution will repeat with streaming too. We see the trend also in youtube. First it was completely free, then adds appeared at the begnning. the next step is to have adds to appear during play or interrupt the movie for ads.Once TV is less relevant and streaming the only possibility, the crap will creap in too. The movies will be interupted regularly for advertisements, or adds will be injected into the movies and show and on will only be able to ge
  • I just quit watching it all-together. The
    Only thIng I watch any more is college basketball and NFL, wh

  • We had Satellite (We're in the boonies) and honestly at the time we coonsistently watched the Daily Show, The Colbert Report, various documentaries from the science networks that were, at their best, only on par with average PBS programming, and often no where close, and some news.

    HDTV and a MythTV box were easily worth trading those out for. DailyShow and Colbert are online. Since then I've done Netflix and caught up on some good TV series. I bought a Roku box when my Wii was in for repairs - I wish the in

  • I can acquire every show we watch on iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, or streaming from the network's website. Adding up all that cost is still far cheaper than cable. I don't watch sports, so there is really no point. Of course, I can also tune in the networks for free over the airwaves.

  • ROI (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MDillenbeck (1739920) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @07:58AM (#39583125)

    People have hit on two major issues as to why cable is dying: first, the on-demand issue (who wants to have to be in front of a TV on a weekday at 7pm to catch their show - or what if it only comes on at 2 am?); second, the cost (paying for Netflix and internet can be a lot cheaper than extended cable and internet, and it can offer more variety of shows).

    However, I want to expand on the cost issue. For me it isn't just the rising cost, but the cost for comparable goods. Who here remembers when over-the-air (OTA) television stations when off the air in the wee hours of the morning? Ah, I fondly remember the "Indian" crying or the waving flag/bald eagle playing at sign-off. To fill their late night blocks, many stations (especially the independents) would buy up whatever was cheap - old movies, B movies, or whatever was in the equivalent of the discount bin for TV. Eventually cable took over with its 24 hour schedule of reruns - and TV viewing was good for insomniacs.

    However, things have changed significantly in cable land. Late night shifted from a "lets fill the airwaves with cheap shows" to "lets make money by selling ad time to people who make 30-60 minute commercials - score!!!".

    I am a night owl, I am most likely going to watch TV between 10pm and 4am. Not their main market, I know, but I've watched infomercials take over the wee hours of the morning, creep into the just after midnight hour, and now see the bloody things as early as 9pm. Heck, they are even creeping into the daytime hours now.

    TL;DR Long story short - I dumped cable not only because the price kept were going up, I dumped it the minute I realized they were asking me to pay to watch commercials (infomercials) rather than entertainment shows during the hours I was most likely to watch! As mentioned, the shortening of shows due to increasing ads is hard enough to swallow - but when most of the channels of expensive extended cable are nothing but ads on the late night, why the heck should I keep paying more for less?!? This is why I dumped cable and even have to avoid many OTA channels. Thankfully, ad-free Netflix and Amazon Prime is there for us night owls.

  • AppleTV (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NetFusion (86828) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @08:11AM (#39583189)
    Apple are on thier way to winning this war on cable. The new AppleTV was quietly updated to 1080p and requires no local time shifting storage solution. The have secured agreements so you can get most shows one day behind air date, with premium shows from HBO released after season ends. No commercials for the majority except for Glee which did put in post show adverts that put it in my will not watch again list. No monthly fee so you can not buy anything new and still have access to you previous purchases. Prediction: Apple will release AppleTV iOS apps with user selectable channels and lower the bar to become a broadcaster with Apple doing delivery. Tight integration with iPads and iPhones for remote control with Siri voice query as option. Maybe a TV set with AppleTV docking station to allow for brain upgrades without replacing set every time.
  • by divisionbyzero (300681) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @08:12AM (#39583197)

    to pad their subscriber numbers. I cut the cord over a year ago and they keep calling me to give me "free" basic cable in order to pad their subscriber numbers and get more ad money. I always find it amusing when the person on the phone can't believe that I don't want "free" cable. I tell them I get everything I need over the internet and down't want cable. If they offer it to you, don't take it. It'll just prolong the life of an obsolete business model. I can only assume Comcast will eventually take the next next step and *require* you to have cable if you use broadband. If and when that happens I hope there is a firestorm of lawsuits...

  • Ad supported Netflix (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Galestar (1473827)
    I know this is going to rub a lot of people here the wrong way, but I've always thought that Netflix needs to have some shows that are ad-supported. If they do not do this, I doubt they will be able to secure the licensing rights (or they will cost an arm and a leg) for tv shows as soon as they come out. For most people the appeal of streaming services is the ability to watch what you want, when you want it. If someone wants to watch the latest episode of X show, they are forced to either rely on basic c
  • TV sucks now (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @08:17AM (#39583231)
    Everyone seems to be forgetting how terrible TV is now-a-days. Reality TV is awful. They have shows about parking meter attendants? Pawn Shops? Random slutty women that marry rich and then spend their days gossiping about each other? How many carbon copies of "Star Search" are they going to make? The only decent TV is on AMC, HBO and Showtime. All of which you can get on DVD/Netflix after the seasons over. Network and cable TV is doomed.
  • In 2004 I got fed up with the commercials, the repeats, the mindless blather and the realization that sitting in front of a TV was a consummate waste of time. It wasn't entertaining - one rarely sees "entertainment" of any value. It wasn't informative - "if it bleeds, it leads" being the editorial policy of "news" programs. The movies were limited in availability, always way behind the current theater showings, and rarely good enough to sit through. I gave my TV to a shelter for women, canceled cable servi
  • Once again, MBAs and their lack of understanding of the real world of technology and how it impacts competition. They see their products and services as a fixed value (with adjustments for inflation) and little else. They can't handle the notion that as cheaper alternatives come out, they need to adjust the perceived value of their products and services in some way.

    Cable and other TV service providers have not adjusted their pricing structures. What's more, while they continue to rake in lots and lots of

  • Yeah it seems that there are a lot of companies trying to steal a piece of cable's pie but speaking as a cable employee I really don't see a huge drop in customers. Competition is good for everyone so I say bring it on.
  • 1. Three types of companies: pipe providers, content providers, device providers. No one company covers more than one of those areas.
    2. Pipe providers using a price structure that has a fixed component (affording a certain amount of "free" bandwidth) then charges per-byte-transferred above that limit. Separate prices for "in-network" and "out-of-network" bandwidth since the former is cheaper than the latter. Other than in-network vs. out-of-network for the purpose of billing pipe providers are complete
  • No company has tried to claim that piracy is killing cable. Why not? I expect better sleezyness from the media industry these days. They disappoint me.
  • by Paul Slocum (598127) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @01:21PM (#39587701) Homepage Journal
    I'm planning to cancel Netflix in favor of cable. I'm sick of too many choices and poor quality of content in Netflix streaming, and I like the curated, premium-quality content of the movie channels. I also like commercials -- I think it's interesting and weird to see what giant companies think that we think is "cool". Additionally, the technical quality is much better on cable -- everything is full HD with no waiting.

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