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Businesses Television Entertainment

Cable Providers Still Have No Answer For Netflix As Cord-cutting Accelerates (bgr.com) 247

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from BGR about the rapidly shifting roles of cable companies and streaming media providers: While cable providers over the past few decades have grown fat off of exorbitant cable packages that overcharge and under-deliver, the rise of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video are finally righting the ship and shifting the balance of power towards the consumer. Clearly, the cable industry is in the midst of a transition. Netflix in particular, with its ever-growing stable of original content, has proven to be a particularly painful thorn in the side of cable providers who are increasingly struggling to keep subscribers from cutting the cord. Now comes word via The Wall Street Journal that cord cutting isn't just on the rise, but is accelerating rapidly. Citing data recently compiled by eMarketer, the Journal relays that the number of households with cable 'will fall at an accelerating rate for at least the next four years, reaching a 1.4% decline in 2019, eMarketer estimates.'
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Cable Providers Still Have No Answer For Netflix As Cord-cutting Accelerates

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  • shocker... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ritz_Just_Ritz ( 883997 ) on Sunday December 13, 2015 @01:42AM (#51108517)

    You mean consumers aren't willing to keep paying more for an increasingly ad-laden pool of mostly forgettable reality programming? Wake me up when it's over.

    The only reason I have any relationship at all with the cable company is that they're the only supplier of broadband Internet in my area. If that wasn't the case, I'd drop them tomorrow. Until then, I'll "subscribe" to their lowest tier programming because it would otherwise cost MORE to buy internet service from them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      You mean consumers aren't willing to keep paying more for an increasingly ad-laden pool of mostly forgettable reality programming?

      Actually, they are willing. They love that stuff. Don't fall into the "people on slashdot represent the average US citizen" fallacy. Most Americans are content with the nanny state. Even the so called troublemakers are so passive, they hardly exist. Anonymous? Give me a break. Back in the 60's and 70's people BLED for what they believed in, and were willing to go against the government, and the status quo populous. Until you are willing to throw flaming gasoline bottles at police cars while be tearg

      • Back in the 60's and 70's people BLED for what they believed in, and were willing to go against the government, and the status quo populous.

        Bullshit! In the 60's and 70's nobody would have bled for this. What people bled for in the 60's and the 70's, was civil rights. Not every cause is important enough to bleed for.

      • by fnj ( 64210 )

        and were willing to go against the government, and the status quo populous

        Populace, not populous. Words with completely different meanings.

      • Re:shocker... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Sunday December 13, 2015 @07:36AM (#51109193)

        Actually, they are willing. They love that stuff.

        Come on, man. I know reading the article is hard work around here, but the entire point of this story is that people are increasingly getting annoyed enough to cut the cord and so cable companies are losing customers at an alarming rate (at least from the cable company's point of view). Even if they're only losing a net 1% of customers per year, say, that's still a huge amount of lost profit both in direct revenues from subscribers and in the long run through diminishing ad revenues as well.

      • Back in the 60's and 70's people BLED for what they believed in, and were willing to go against the government, and the status quo populous.

        Oh FFS, get a grip. No one is willing to BLEED for fucking cable television.

        Bleed for civil rights is totally understandable, and commendable. Bleeding for ESPN or the Disney channel is just fucking idiotic.

        You might want to step back and take a long, hard look at your priorities.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by KGIII ( 973947 )

          Anything can be termed a civil right today. No, no I'm not entirely sure when the change occurred. I was probably high and missed it. At any rate, if you don't have it and you want it then it is your right - and it should be subsidized by others who have money because, fuck them, they've got money and it belongs to the person who has invented a new civil right.

          Also, property... You don't have a right to that. You don't have a right to the output of your labor. That doesn't belong to you. Just because you ca

    • by Trepidity ( 597 )

      That's probably true of a number of people on Slashdot, but I think not that common among the general public. Sports especially are one thing keeping people on cable; a huge percentage of Americans watch live sports, and webs of TV contracts make it hard to get them otherwise, at least if you aren't internet-savvy enough to find pirated streams.

      That will probably eventually change. The major sports leagues periodically re-run the numbers on whether it'd be more profitable to just sell direct streaming subsc

      • That will probably eventually change. The major sports leagues periodically re-run the numbers on whether it'd be more profitable to just sell direct streaming subscriptions to the public, rather than sign exclusive deals with TV networks.

        I think it's already changing. We may have reached the upper limit of the sports TV contract insanity. I'm thinking about how the Cubs had to scramble back to WGN last year because they couldn't get the amounts they were demanding to broadcast their games, and they are

      • Re:shocker... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Sunday December 13, 2015 @10:11AM (#51109609)

        ...Sports especially are one thing keeping people on cable; a huge percentage of Americans watch live sports,...

        30% of the people who receive ESPN watch ESPN.

        .
        Less than 10% of the people who receive YES channel watched 25% or more of the ballgames broadcast on it, and this was during the lead up to the playoffs.

        ESPN is having significant layoffs because of the people cutting the cord and not continuing to pay ESPN, running counter to what you assert. Some say they are cutting the cord because of the ESPN fees.

        I agree that sports are very popular, but sports channels should not be paid for by the people who do not watch them. The high sports salaries are being paid for by high sports channel monthly fees that everyone has to pay because ESPN is part of basic cable.

        • by AK Marc ( 707885 )

          The high sports salaries are being paid for by high sports channel monthly fees that everyone has to pay because ESPN is part of basic cable.

          You and I define "basic" differently. Basic cable is the $10 or $20 per month package that gets you the local channels and a few shopping channels that pay the cable company to include them in "basic". Then "standard" is 50 or so channels. It used to have Discovery and SciFi, but those got popular, so "standard no longer has the popular things. Even AMC has outgrown "standard" in some places. USA, TNT, and the news channels are "standard". Separate again are "family" and then "sports". You have to pa

          • you have to know it exists and order it directly and explicitly to get it, as they are signing up people for "standard" who ask for "basic". So maybe that's where your confusion comes from.

            That might be because in some areas, the $10 to $20 package is called "limited basic", and the $50 package is called "expanded basic".

            • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
              https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/... [fcc.gov] "Basic" is defined by the FCC. Some may break the law and call it "limited basic" and "enhanced basic" but I go by law, not marketing departments. Nearly all have a sub-$20 basic. And that gets you in the door for Internet, phone and the other services. If they mess with basic, they fuck with FCC law.
              • by tepples ( 727027 )

                "Basic" is defined by the FCC. Some may break the law and call it "limited basic"

                From the page you linked: "Cable systems generally are required to offer a 'basic tier' of programming".
                I'm aware that the page you linked is no substitute for the text of the regulation But the wording presented on this page ("a 'basic tier'") implies to me a requirement that at least one tier of TV service has a channel set and price regulated by local government. Section 76.901(a) [ecfr.gov] defines the "basic service tier" for purposes of the FCC regulation. I don't see how it forbids offering other tiers also bra

                • It is very interesting to me that the FCC requires such a basic tier of service. When I called a couple years ago about getting such service I was told that they don't sell such a service at all. The lowest tier they would sell sounded and was priced what is here described as Standard.

                  I suppose though that my local government could have colluded with the cable providers such that the requirements for basic actually matches standard.

        • Your response is a different point than the poster you responded to, and I think both points are valid:
          1 - Posters point: Cable offers the various channels and packages that have exclusive contracts with various sports leagues/teams etc. Not just ESPN but other channels also. I'm not sure how easy/hard it would be to get these channels today via other services like Netflix but traditionally it's been an issue.

          2 - Your point: People should be able to choose the content they want to pay for instead of pu
    • You mean consumers aren't willing to keep paying more for an increasingly ad-laden pool of mostly forgettable reality programming? Wake me up when it's over.

      The only reason I have any relationship at all with the cable company is that they're the only supplier of broadband Internet in my area. If that wasn't the case, I'd drop them tomorrow. Until then, I'll "subscribe" to their lowest tier programming because it would otherwise cost MORE to buy internet service from them.

      You summed it up perfectly.

      I have internet (FIOS) but no TV. The crap-laden packages full of worthless channels that I have ZERO interest in watching simply cost more than I can justify.

    • The channels with the reality programming are inexpensive compared to the more than $6 per month that each basic subscriber pays for ESPN whether they watch it or not.
    • The cable companies aren't run by idiots. They know they have a monopoly and that NetFlix is disruptive; the problem is that their business model is found on an archaic principle:

      Cable: Push - until DVR came along, programs get scheduled to you -- take it or leave it
      Netflix: Pull - watch what you want, when you want.

      The long term problem is that none of the cable companies know how to be economical profitable as they transition from a hardware to a service orientated business -- just look at their own lack

      • this is a huge issue WRT to how advertising and licensing works which ironically everyone knows the Neilson ratings are complete bullshit -- but they [Neilson ratings] are so ingrained that no one wants to switch to a different model.

        They seem to be making the mistake of trying to cling to the advertising model. The problem is that it's now not only technically possible to track individual views and either bill based on that or distribute subscription money based on that, but semiconductor miniaturization has made it almost trivially inexpensive to do so. There's no need to have single-payer television any more, and it will eventually fall aside to a more market-based environment.

        How long it takes that to happen will depend on how hard

  • by mlookaba ( 2802163 ) on Sunday December 13, 2015 @01:55AM (#51108563)
    Obviously the business model needs to be changed eventually, but this number doesn't seem like anything to be terribly concerned about in the short term. Especially since those who aren't willing/able to change will probably endure more price hikes. See: AT&T.
    • by Nutria ( 679911 )

      this number doesn't seem like anything to be terribly concerned about in the short term.

      Exactly my thought, too. Get back to us when it's a consistent 3% decrease.

    • Think big picture here. Especially with the population always rising, it should be a given that the number of subscribers increases or at least stays the same.

      If more people are growing into "pay for cable" age and the total number of subscribers goes down, that's cause to start panicking. A 1% loss turns into millions of dollars a year in lost revenue, and that's a large enough number that shareholders start thinking thoughts that are bad for board members.

    • by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Sunday December 13, 2015 @03:41AM (#51108763)

      That's only 3 years, and the pace is accelerating. They'd be really worried if they weren't also the guys who sell you broadband internet.

      The people who should be worried are the cable-only content providers. When all TV content is available for streaming, will anyone watch the Travel Channel, or the Food Network, or the Golf Channel, or Court TV, or TNT, or any other similar networks? Why aren't we already talking about these shutting down in 5 years?

  • by Todd Knarr ( 15451 ) on Sunday December 13, 2015 @01:57AM (#51108575) Homepage

    The cable companies won't find a solution until they accept that they're in 2 businesses:

    1. The network provider business, where they supply the basic pipes that connect their customers to the world at large. This business doesn't deal with content except as streams of bits, and it lives or dies by it's ability to handle data to and from anyone anywhere. Users won't buy connectivity from a network provider that can't connect them reliably to whoever they want to connect to.
    2. The content provider business, where they supply content that users view. This business can't care who it's customers buy connectivity from, it has to be able to deliver content to anyone, anywhere. Again, users won't buy from a content provider who can't deliver the content they've bought unless they have no other options (and yes, pirated content is always an option).

    If the cable company limits it's content-provider customers to only it's network-provider customer base, it won't be able to take advantage of the scale of customer base of content providers like Netflix and Amazon. It won't have the customer base size to use as leverage to get licensing terms, and a smaller base means fewer customers to spread costs across and a higher per-capita cost. If they use their position as a network provider to try to force customers to their content, they're going to face even more of the backlash they're already seeing in support for network neutrality and for municipal broadband and other alternatives to their network access monopolies/duopolies. If they lose that monopoly position, they're done for.

    If they had the smarts, they could leverage their positions and their infrastructure into being real powerhouses. But they're too afraid of spending money and too locked into an MBA's focus on next quarter's results to do it, so eventually they're going to be wiped out by a combination of dedicated content providers like Netflix and Amazon and Google plus dedicated network providers operated as either public utilities or as an adjunct to a content provider who considers that aspect of their operation just a necessity for their content distribution and is happy as long as the network part pays for it's own operating costs.

    • The rest of the world, where internet providers and tv networks have been separate entities forever, says hi.
    • You forgot wireless. If anything will kill the cable companies it is the wireless providers. It is already feasible in some locations to use wireless for internet. As technology improves - and as more mini- or micro-towers are put up to facilitate demand - there will be far more people tempted to adopt a wireless-only connection. With the adoption of newer, lighter portable electronics there is even an advantage to using a wireless ISP - the cable companies will not be able to compete. Of course, this
      • by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Sunday December 13, 2015 @04:46AM (#51108907) Homepage

        Unfortunately the amount of bandwidth available for wireless is limited. It may work fine to some extent, but when too many subscribers shares the same space you will get problems.

        Of course - allocation of new frequency bands might work, but that will also come at a cost since the new bands will be above 10GHz which would require new equipment.

        • Unfortunately the amount of bandwidth available for wireless is limited.

          Hence the smaller towers - which are really just boxes installed along power poles designed to service a much smaller area. This greatly reduces the subscriber / tower ratio.

    • There are other short turn strategy available to cable companies: raise rates on bandwidth and degrade connections for streaming competitors. Note that they can use the same sort of illegal manipulations to achieve both ends. The goal is to force everyone to top tier (overpriced) service contracts. Since the internet is still does not have common carrier status it is much more difficult to prove wrong doing. I expect that this is nothing new, and it's been common practice for a long time already. It's not
    • by rcase5 ( 3781471 )

      This is, in part, why I refuse to subscribe to Cable Internet service. They are trying too hard to prevent one arm of their business from stepping on another arm of their business. This NEVER works! When you enter a market segment, you have to commit to it, and Comcast and the like don't want to do that.

      Sort of related to the above, but the other overriding reason why I refuse to subscribe to Cable Internet is their policies are so arbitrary. I run a business from my home, and I require high-speed Internet

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      The cable companies won't find a solution until they accept that they're in 2 businesses: The network provider business, where they supply the basic pipes that connect their customers to the world at large. (...) The content provider business, where they supply content that users view.

      They're in the business of "What value are we delivering and how can we convert that to profit?". I do have an economics degree, not an MBA though but I'd rephrase as follows:

      1) How can we leverage connecting consumers to services?
      2) How can we leverage connecting services to consumers?
      3) How can we leverage our unique content?

      Without network neutrality there's a ton of dirty tricks you can play using routing, QoS and quotas to sell "preferential access" which is a lot more profitable than being a basic ut

    • Comcast should sell off their Internet service business to municipalities to operate as municipal networks and focus on being a network neutral content provider business.

      Ultimately their dual-use cable network will be an albatross around their network, unable to provide competitive bandwidth and television channels on the same wire without significant and costly upgrades. They're already starting to feel some competitive pressure from other providers willing to string fiber (here in Minneapolis a local ISP

      • Comcast should sell off their Internet service business to municipalities to operate as municipal networks and focus on being a network neutral content provider business.

        You say that, but it would be a disastrous decision. They cannot continue to exist without sleazy tactics that basically force people to buy their products. It's much like how magazines send out shitloads of copies to people who don't even want them to inflate their numbers because advertising is sold on the basis of number of subscribers. We've been getting Rolling Stone for years without having paid for it once, I think because my lady went to the Grammys once (which she described as a low-rent prom in qu

        • by swb ( 14022 )

          The advertisers and their media buying arms are far smarter than just paying rates based on bulk cable subscriber numbers.

          I worked in advertising for 13 years and rating and demographic analytics are extremely deep for TV. The agency I worked for had a pretty successful business unit selling media campaigns to reach regional and even national audiences based solely on coordinating local broadcast and cable spots and doing it all to reach specific demographic and ratings targets.

          Even magazines have to coun

          • Even magazines have to count giveaway copies differently than paid subscriptions.

            Right, but cable companies don't have to count subscribers who don't watch TV and who are just subscribing to cable for a discount on their internet bill differently than people who actually do watch TV. There are ratings services which attempt to do that, but they by definition don't penetrate into households they attempt to reach
            via television, or households where they don't watch television and so simply don't respond to invitations to participate in surveys.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    DOCSIS is a nice spec, and can run rings around two wire twisted pair protocols, with the only thing faster being last mile fiber.

    With this in mind, cable companies can always look at going to on-demand providers. Since they are ISPs, adding CDN functionality is extremely easy. They can also add even more offerings, such as OpenStack, cloud storage, and many other niceties. But... they don't. If they add something it is ad servers.

    The core issue is that younger people don't give a rat's ass about TV. T

    • ISPs that are also cable TV providers, yes. Some of us are lucky to live in areas where there are telcos providing internet access that had to tack on some TV programming to compete with the cable TV ISPs when it was all the craze that you could get TV and internet from one provider for one "low" price.

      They never liked having to provide this service since it was usually something they had to buy from the cable providers in some roundabout way that cut into their profits. They are now GLADLY providing people

  • to fuck people over because you have enough money to purchase a monopoly from corrupt government officials.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Congratulations, you've said something stupid that is not relevant to the topic at all.

      • Sorry, a bit too subtle for you was it? You must be a regular here. Go and read about disruptive technologies and how they are upsetting the old business models
    • Compared to what I get living in a rural area of Europe bring that monopoly on over.
  • I beg to disagree (Score:4, Informative)

    by ruir ( 2709173 ) on Sunday December 13, 2015 @03:38AM (#51108755)
    They do not have an alternative, however they do have "answers"...enacting ridiculous data caps and not making advantageous to buy data-only packages. Here, I am paying 50 Euros for 100Mbps cable+TV, if I want it just Internet they sell me a 30Mbps package for 45 Euros. They also have a base package of 15 Euros only for business, which is shit, cannot remember from the top of my head, something like 2Mbps.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 13, 2015 @03:42AM (#51108771)

    Cox rep here.

    Our old solution: Flexwatch. It's a bundle that gets you starter cable, a free receiver, and HBO / Starz / Encore / Cinnemax for $26 a month for 1 year. That's basically $0.50 per premium channel for 1 year, and you get the on demand digital versions like HBO Go.

    The new solution we're moving to: Data caps that are low enough to nail cord cutters that will cost you about $30-40 a month in overage fees. They've gone live in Cleveland Ohio with plans on rolling them out in a few more areas to test, then nationally if enough people put up with it. Better: When you complain about the overage fees, we pitch you Flexwatch under the excuse that you'll use less Netflix that way.

    How is that not an Antitrust violation, given we're the only game in some of these towns? I actually think it is, but we'll see what the courts decide if we're ever sued.

    I don't recall the exact numbers, but IIRC it's $10 per 50 gigs over the cap. Which is why we vastly increased our speeds recently -- because Netflix, Hulu, etc will use more bandwidth if it's available, which will cause you to hit the cap faster, which with this new plan with make us more money.

    Oh, and if you ever have to call Tech Support, good luck -- we're now "Technical Sales" reps. Our entire job is to get you to buy Cable, Phone, or Home Security while fixing your technical problem -- the training of which amounted to "reboot your modem."

    • The trouble is that Internet has a crazy 97% profit margin. Google is already moving in to lay fiber. So is AT&T. AT&T did just buy direct tv so they might go the data cap route, but most of DTVs profit is from sports packages and pay TV, so they might not care as much about the caps if it means getting that money. Now, this does probably mean $100/mo for no caps, which will suck (99% profit margin anybody? Can I _please_ have municiple internet?). Then there's the possibility of 5G pushing people t
    • This is why T-Mobile's new free LTE for Netflix / Hulu / etc. is so interesting. For $10 a month I get 2 GB of LTE data for anything that is not streaming video, and unlimited streaming video from Netflix (and a number of other providers)

      And just like that the monopoly Cox has on interwebz disapears. Because let's face it, at those kinds of overage prices, a mifi is actually cheaper than cable (and significantly faster) :D

    • I love the "for one year" part. No one ever says what happens after that.

    • As a cable cutter of 2 decades because I am not a sports fanatic, I dropped cable when the commercial free channels went away (cable started as subscriber funded and add free for those old enough to remember) which was combined by rising prices, and better content removed and placed in even higher priced priced packages.

      In one channel, Netflix offers what cable dropped. Commercial free content at a reasonable price.

      If Netflix is paying attention, if they break their model they will loose customers.

      Cox, som

    • I don't recall the exact numbers, but IIRC it's $10 per 50 gigs over the cap. Which is why we vastly increased our speeds recently -- because Netflix, Hulu, etc will use more bandwidth if it's available, which will cause you to hit the cap faster, which with this new plan with make us more money.

      That was the most interesting sentence to me. Greater bandwidth has been easy to provide but was only made available when it became possible to screw your customers with it. I am guessing charging higher fees for greater bandwidth is not as profitable as penalties and forcing customers into tv channels.

  • In many respects, this is not much of a shift of power to consumers.

    Consumers have a limited choice in Internet service providers. The amount of choice is marginally better than the amount of choice in cable television providers.

    Once the consumer is online, the primary sources of streamed video are the broadcasters and a handful of other providers. They may be provide more traditional content, like Netflix, or content from alternative sources, like YouTube. Again, a marginal improvement.

    The problem with

  • They need to stop charging so damn much! I recently went shopping for Cable service to see what things cost nowadays. The prices are exorbitant and strange!

    For example, if I get a "Limited Basic" package, which basically includes just my local TV channels and a smattering of basic cable channels (most of which are home shopping channels), it's like $16/mo. I get one receiver for free, and I can hook up the other two TVs in my house for $2.65/mo each. So after all is said and done, I can get basic cable serv

  • by Registered Coward v2 ( 447531 ) on Sunday December 13, 2015 @06:58AM (#51109109)
    Data caps. If they lose revenue from cable cutting they will make it up by charging more for internet access. As long a they control the last mile to the user they will be simply change their revenue model. Those that own content as well will price the content to makeup for the shift in how it is delivered. The real losers will be the sparsely watch ed channels that, because eo fetch current revenue distribution model, make mor money than they would if the were priced separately.
  • by The Cisco Kid ( 31490 ) on Sunday December 13, 2015 @07:21AM (#51109159)

    Since a good portion of folks still rely on cable providers for their broadband Internet in order to use Netflix (and similar services) they don't need to do anything other than slowly raise their prices for broadband.

    Netflix doesn't scare them (and if they claim it does, they are lying)

    Projects like Google Fiber scare them. The FCC enforcing neutrality scares them. SCOTUS declaring anti-competitive bans on municipal/community fiber scare them.

  • Here's your answer (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Sunday December 13, 2015 @08:08AM (#51109267)

    Cable companies, here's your answer:

    1) Charge $1 per channel per month. That's what I'm willing to pay, period.
    2) Let us pick what channel(s) we want. Don't force any "bundling" or packages of shit-channels I'll never watch.
    3) No minimum number of channels. If I want 3 channels, let me have 3. If I want 50, let me have 50.

    Really...is this so hard to grasp? If you can't make money with this model, say "goodbye" and don't let the door hit you on the way out.

    • Internet service has a 97% profit margin, so they could drop the prices massively and still be profitable. IIRC the same is not true for TV because the content providers have a lot of power. People basically want sports, Disney and a few drama shows. The rest is just filler. But the filler's cheap. It's there to add value. If you just paid $5 bucks a month for the stuff you want you'd get more subscribers but you couldn't pay the content providers what they're demanding.
    • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

      This.
      They already know this is what people want. Trouble is, they will NEVER do it. not for anything that makes economic sense to the consumer anyway.
      Their closed-mindedness is directly the result of having had a monopoly for so long that the upper management of cable companies have literally no mental ability, even in order to stay in business, to grasp the simple concept of providing what most people actually want.

      • This.
        They already know this is what people want. Trouble is, they will NEVER do it. not for anything that makes economic sense to the consumer anyway.

        Well then, as I said, they better not let the door hit them on the way out. Because I won't play their game, period.

        They have two choices: they can either meet their customer's needs (or wants, or whatever), or they can go out of business.

        I don't really care which it is at this point.

        • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

          Agreed. I cut the cable and threw up an antenna a couple of years ago now.
          If anything the quality of service is actually better than cable. Significantly less commercials, all the channels are digital, and I can still use my mythtv box instead of having to pay extra monthly rent for some technically unnecessary set top box.

          • Agreed. I cut the cable and threw up an antenna a couple of years ago now.

            The cable companies are looking in a mirror, slitting their own throats, and wondering, "who is slitting my throat?"

            It'll be interesting to see which if any of them are still around in 10 years. Some of they may be able to adapt the way Netflix was able to, but I suspect most of them will wither away and then collapse like Blockbuster.

  • And let the cable companies have the death they so richly deserve. Better yet, let's pull some eminent domain on their infrastructure.

    We probably won't have a choice. They will increase their prices and impose data caps to make up for the loss of advertising revenue from cable television.
  • Give more and charge a lot less! If the cable companies did this they could prosper. Netflix offers a lot for eight bucks a month. What can cable do for you for eight bucks a month? Fat cats who are stupid get knocked out of business all the time.
  • Why would anyone willingly pay $100+ mo for shitty customer service and 15 minutes of commercials out of every hour? I think no commercials, on-demand service for 1/10th of a cost is a very logical and clear winner.
  • Cable may decline and restructure but it'll be a long slow death. They will still retain huge numbers of subscribers due to sporting events or other big current events that people like to watch.
  • To the best of my understanding of the industry, the providers (Comcast, Cox, Mediacom, DirecTV, Dish, etc) are pretty much restrained on how to offer the content based on their contracts with the content creators/networks. Often the networks require that channels be bundled which is why we don't see much "a la carte" choices out there.

    I'm stuck with providers like DirecTV for the near future (not that I really mind that) due to my obsession with sports.

  • Relatives of mine live in a rural area where local township has their own ISP. Pretty slick as this connects them to the internet independent of Comcast and ATT. My aunt cut the cable TV cord as they kept increasing rates, she has dish TV. But for internet (I don't think they do Netflix) they subscribe to this local ISP. I have read other municipalities try to do this but state regulations (promoted by Comcast and ATT) prevent implementation as grounds that local govt is competing with private businesses.

  • At least those of you in the USA can get HBO over your internet connection.
    Up here in Canada we have no choice but our local cable providers or satellite TV, and typically a bill over $100 a month for TV with HBO

  • I'm 28, I cancelled cable 2.5 years ago, and I refuse to watch another commercial as long as I live. I've hated them since I was 3 or 4 years old and cable did nothing. Fast forward and now how the hell do they think they're going to get around me times a fifty million or so aka everyone my age and younger? They shot themselves in the foot slowly and continuously by basing their business model on annoying the hell out of their customers with pointless, repetitive, low quality crap called commercials and

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