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Television Businesses The Almighty Buck The Internet

Are Cable Subscribers Subsidizing Internet-Only TV Viewers? 223

Posted by Soulskill
from the enjoy-it-while-it-lasts dept.
waderoush sends a tongue-in-cheek open letter to cable TV subscribers from somebody who has cut the cord in favor of streaming shows over the internet. "Dear Cable TV Subscriber: I don't think I've ever told you how grateful I am. I haven't paid a cent for cable television since 2009. Yet I have on-demand access via the Internet to a growing cornucopia of great shows like Game of Thrones, Homeland, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad, at reasonable à la carte prices. And it's all because you continue to pay exorbitant and ever-increasing monthly fees for your premium cable bundle (around $80 per month, on average). After all, your money goes straight to the studios and networks that produce and distribute all the expensive first-run programming that I'm perfectly happy to watch later at heavily discounted prices. So in effect, you're subsidizing my own footloose, freeloading, cord-cutting TV habits. I don't know how to thank you!"
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Are Cable Subscribers Subsidizing Internet-Only TV Viewers?

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  • Mod question... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shoten (260439) on Friday October 18, 2013 @06:14PM (#45170335)

    Is it possible to mod an entire Slashdot article as "Flamebait?"

  • by mythosaz (572040) on Friday October 18, 2013 @06:16PM (#45170353)

    ...just as soon as they're not the best internet provider in town.

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Friday October 18, 2013 @06:28PM (#45170433) Journal

    The cable TV model is broken. You know what, TV isn't that important. Screw them.

    It'll probably have to crash and burn until something reasonable emerges. We've had direct-to-DVD for awhile, and we're starting to see direct-to-streaming-services. There may come a time when big expensive TV shows can't be produced anymore, but that model is broken too. Screw them also.

    I suspect that things will transition to something new, and the studios and networks and content providers that refused to evolve will die. And that's fine. And if TV devolved to public access, that'd be fine to. Sometime last century we were trained to believe that TV is essential. If the entire broadcast/cable TV system collapsed with nothing to take its place (which I think is unlikely) at very least, we'd find out that TV really isn't essential after all.

    So yeah, the last of the "tv generation" is paying the exorbitant salaries and production costs for three-and-a-half men. Serves them right.

  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Friday October 18, 2013 @06:55PM (#45170629) Homepage Journal

    People are not willing to delay viewing.

    Some people aren't, so they pay the premium. The producers of the content know that they want it so bad they can charge huge margins.

    Over here, we only watch a few shows, but some of them are delayed a year on Netflix. They're just as enjoyable.

    When I did have pay-tv service, I used to watch NFL Primetime - all the games of the week condensed into a half hour, which contained most of the plays that actually went anywhere. I don't watch it anymore, since we just have Netflix now - it was interesting, but I don't really miss it much.

    I'm much happier to use the delta in cash for RL activities.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 18, 2013 @06:55PM (#45170635)

    The cable TV model is broken. You know what, TV isn't that important. Screw them.

    If dealing with Comcast was half as pleasant as dry Greek, I'd probably subscribe to cable. Things they need to do to capture my dollar:

    1) Stop encrypting the over-the-air content. I neither want nor need a fucking cable box for every TV.
    2) Stop hiring idiots and liars. If I get transferred more than twice during a call, you lose a customer. I don't have time for that.
    3) Stop playing price obscurity / bait & switch games. Fuck your "$39.99 / 3 months, $whothefuckknows for the next two years" offers. Prices up front.

  • Actually... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mschaffer (97223) on Friday October 18, 2013 @06:56PM (#45170645)

    Cable subscribers are subsidizing sports.
    Comcast owns sports teams. The teams ask ridiculous amounts of money for broadcast rights. Comcast passes the cost on to their customers.
    And then their's ESPN....
    I often wonder what cable would cost if I didn't have to subsidize the sports franchises.
    The same goes for my local taxes.
    Imagine if the sports teams had to pay for their own stadiums?

  • by similar_name (1164087) on Friday October 18, 2013 @07:02PM (#45170673)
    My own opinion is that cable subscribers shouldn't be paying for the shows through their cable either. They should be paying the cable company for distribution of content. Seperately, the content should be paid for either by the consumer, advertising, something else or some combination. If they were more separated they might focus on making money with better distribution and better content rather than locking the two together.
  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Friday October 18, 2013 @07:19PM (#45170797)

    "Thank you streaming subscriber for subsidizing my torrents. Sorry to sound like a snide dick, but once you got things rolling I decided, why not? Reply to This Share"

    I have to wonder why OP thinks his "heavily discounted" prices are in fact heavily discounted, anyway. The fact that other people may be getting gouged with a backhoe doesn't mean you're not being gouged with a pitchfork.

  • Re:Mod question... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Friday October 18, 2013 @08:31PM (#45171213) Homepage Journal

    You haven't heard of the firehose? If you didn't vote against the story don't bitch about it being posted.

Programmers do it bit by bit.