Pace Of Cord Cutting Continues To Quicken

from the ramping-up dept

While we've discussed cord cutting before, it seems like the entertainment industry has been slow to respond to it. It was only recently that Nielson seemed to acknowledge its occurrence, for instance, and even once television stations faced the facts and attempted to embrace internet streaming, they did so with the kind of guile and tact you'd expect out of a drunken giraffe. Lots of time delays, restrictions, and barriers to entry that will turn away the kind of person who is likely a cord-cutter. In other words, they're doing it wrong.

And they had better start learning to do it right, because the pace of cord cutting is ramping up. This from Moffett Research's Craig Moffett, former offerer of terrible broadband infrastructure advice and someone who previously indicated that cord cutters were "poor nobodies."

Moffett Research founder and analyst Craig Moffett said mid-day Tuesday that evidence of cord cutting has become more apparent in the latest set of figures...For the second quarter, publicly traded pay TV companies recorded a combined video subscriber decline of 380,000, "about the same as last year," Moffett said. "Household formation, however, was better than a year ago, meaning that the change in pay TV penetration was worse."
In other words, the pool of potential customers has risen with no correlative rise in subscribers. That's an indication that more households are foregoing cable television entirely and, what with the ever-growing interest in entertainment from the public, that had better represent a huge concern for the industry. Television providers have done a horrible job of making their content available in the way customers want it, when the customers want it, and they result has been a declining subscriber base.

What's more, the crowning jewel that keeps much of that pay-TV revenue coming in has been live sports entertainment and if you look at the flagship station for that kind of thing, ESPN, the ratings hits have been massive. Couple that with a clearly stated goal by Google and others to expand sports streaming over the internet and you have a recipe for the decimation of cable TV.

All this, rather than giving customers what they want, how they want it, and when they want it -- and, hey, welcome to the reality party, Craig! Why don't you stick around awhile this time?



Reader Comments (rss)

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    Marak, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 8:13pm

    With hulu, nexflix and others gaining popularity what do they expect.

    Hell hulu launched in japan recently and almost every gaijin(foreigner) i know has it now. Although there is room with improvement( subtitles for non-english for one).

    In Aus i was paying a ton for cable, here i get hulu for Au $5.

     

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      akp (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 9:11am

      Re:

      I still don't count Hulu as a reasonable alternative. I won't pay for it, because they still include ads even if I do.

      On top of that, even if I pay, I can't predict how many or which episodes are even available for a given show. Can I get previous seasons? Maybe. Can I get all the episodes from this season? Maybe. Will I get the most recent episode the same week it's on TV? Maybe. Screw that.

      They're another example of not buying in to streaming and giving subscribers what they want.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 8:19pm

    Hey I'm good with cord cutting. I cut it better than a decade ago and no longer own a tv and don't want one. I am totally out of the market for pay tv.

    I originally went to pay tv to get away from the commercials and ads along with better programming. All of that went south. When it finally hit me that all I was using pay tv for was back ground noise and 4 or 5 shows a month at best I was interested in a month, it was no longer worth paying for. I can get background noise out of a radio at no cost.

    Paying the high prices of today, getting constant reruns, poor programming choices of shows, along with the ads is not a formula that will ever bring me back. I can live without their services and have for considerable time now. When the numbers start stacking up that other people feel the same way, I some how doubt that pay tv will survive without changes over the long haul.

    What pay tv has forgotten is that their material is not as valuable as they think it is worth. There's been a continual long term recession going on and guess what is the first thing that leaves when it comes down to what to cut to make ends meet?

     

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      The Real Michael, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 5:30am

      Re:

      When cable first came out, its big draw was that it was commercial-free with more and better programs. Now there's an onslaught of commercials and hardly anything worth watching despite there being hundreds of channels.

      Someday, all the sports-lovin' folk will figure out how to stream their favorite sports directly from the internet onto their TV and then realize how much money they could be saving without that other box in the room.

       

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        Rich, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 9:26am

        Re: Re:

        Only the "cable-only" channels, like HBO, were commercial-free. All the network channels still had commercials.

         

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          PRMan, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 9:52am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Not true. All the cable channels had no commercials, not just the premium ones like today. I remember when ESPN showed a commercial and my buddy was ticked... (My city didn't have it yet.)

           

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    Rich Fiscus (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 8:28pm

    This is exactly why market leaders don't see disruption coming. The process itself is basically the viral spread of ideas. It starts so small as to seem inconsequential and in the beginning it spreads so slowly as to look completely non-threatening.

    But it's basically a viral process. An idea spreads from one person to 2 or 3 friends. Each of them spreads it to another 2 or 3 people. They each spread it to another 2 or 3 people, and so on. Eventually it reaches critical mass and it's spreading to 2 or 3 thousand people at a time and then 20 or 30 thousand.

    By the time the legacy players realize what's going on a single snowflake has turned into an avalanche that buries their entire business model.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 8:44pm

    In late 2012, my 53" widescreen rear projection HDTV (1080i) went bad. I had had it for 10 years and I was holding on to it for as long as possible. When it went bad, I felt it better to replace the old tech with new rather than fix the old and I ended up with a 55" (1080p) with internet connectivity built in.

    I immediately resubscribed to Netflix streaming and for the next couple of months I did that while keeping cable TV. But, as I watched more and more Netflix I watched less and less cable TV. So, beginning of this year, I upgraded my internet speed (30/5) and canceled cable TV and bought a Mohu Leaf indoor antennae for broadcast channels. Shaved over $100 off my cable bill each month and I don't miss it. At all.

    I'm one person but my story isn't unique. Every time a new article comes out about cord cutting, this story is often repeated several times in the comments.

    Cord cutting is real. Cord nevers are just as real. The entertainment, cable and satellite companies better learn this lesson.

    RIGHT NOW.

     

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      fogbugzd (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 9:29pm

      Re:

      The cable folks should be most concerned by the poor performance in new households. That means young households. The cable industry lost an entire generation of viewers and they are not likely to get them back using the old formulas.


      Big league sports may be collateral damage. Cable and sports are locked in a deadly embrace. As cable has lost young viewers so have major league sports.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 12:22am

        Re: Re:

        Sports "stars" are paid way too much anyway, its about time they were taken down a peg or two.

         

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        art guerrilla (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 7:39am

        Re: Re: spot on, fog

        yep, exactly...
        wife and i are medium sports fans, for a variety of sports, from nfl, college football, gymnastics, track and field, volleyball, tennis, etc...
        that has been the only thing that tied us to our dish network; but service has gotten crappy, and we've gotten to the point where mostly-shit teevee is not 'worth it'...

        even though they rig their stupid bundles such that we won't save a lot, that is almost beside the point... they pissed me off a long time ago, but she has probably gotten even more pissed off than me in trying to deal with them recently...

        so, we got an antenna, we got hulu+, and we are waving bye-bye to dish/cable/etc...
        couldn't happen to a nice bunch of blood-sucking parasites...

        art guerrilla
        aka ann archy
        eof

         

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        Hephaestus (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 8:12am

        Re: Re: I can see it now

        News flash 2021 - The fall in cable TV subscription due to cable cord cutters, once thought a myth, has caused the bankruptcy of all the majority of sports teams. As a result the teams are renegotiating their contracts with players.

        Talk about the potential for serious disruption.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 9:53pm

    From the deadspin link on ESPN's ratings hit

    For reference, ESPN is Disney’s largest asset accounting for an estimated 45% of total company OI.

    That made me lookup "Operating Income". Ended up on a wiki page on "Earnings before interest and taxes".

    In accounting and finance, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT), is a measure of a firm's profit that excludes interest and income tax expenses

    When you consider the 45% pre-tax figure of their profits is from a "diversified multinational mass media corporation" that has subsidiaries such as ABC, ESPN, A+E, and some movie studios, there's only one word: Yikes!

     

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    DB, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 9:56pm

    I didn't know that 'cord cutting' was still "a thing".

    My retired parents find computers awkward. For them cable TV is easier to use, even though the cable company can't seem to get them anything but a low-def converter that outputs on channel 3.

    I pretty much assumed that they were the only kind of person still relying on cable TV. Along with a whole bunch of people that are locked into a contract, or that just haven't bother to cancel cable service. Much like those people still renting a phone from the phone company.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:06pm

      Re:

      It's only a matter of time and as bandwidth continues to rise the only logical choice will be the internet. I cut my shit in 2001 and never looked back.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 12:16pm

        Re: Re:

        I cut the cord almost ten years ago and don't miss TV at all. Don't get me wrong, I still watch my favorite shows, I just get them through other legal avenues when available.

        There are also side-effects to cutting the cord. I noticed during the last presidential election that my coworkers were all complaining about all the political ads and I could honestly say I hadn't seen one of them. To a certain degree, I am more free without cable. Free of the brainwashing associated with the main stream media and a constant bombardment of advertising.

         

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      PaulT (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 1:58am

      Re:

      There's products that I'm starting to see here in Spain targeted at less tech savvy people that will allow them to stream British TV channels over the internet. They're being sold as easy replacements for Sky satellite boxes as there's a probability that upgrades will move Spain out of coverage range, and even (especially?) the most computer clueless don't want to risk losing their soaps and English entertainment.

      Assuming that they work as advertised, I don't see why such streaming boxes wouldn't work for your parents. If the interface is similar, the question of whether it connects to a cable or the internet is irrelevant. If all that stops them from cutting is that they don't want to use a PC, the cable companies are doomed.

       

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      The Real Michael, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 5:50am

      Re:

      You know what's funny? Their customers are already paying for access, yet cable has the audacity to put up another paywall for their "on demand" programming.

       

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      Curt, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 6:26am

      Response to: DB on Aug 7th, 2013 @ 9:56pm

      For the most part what cable provides is convenience. Most programming can be consumed in other ways, but not all will be found with one remote. That's why some will never switch.

       

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        John Fenderson (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 1:35pm

        Re: Response to: DB on Aug 7th, 2013 @ 9:56pm

        Really? I associate cable with pretty major inconvenience. You have to watch the shows on their schedule, not yours. You have to put up with advertising. You can't pause. Etc.

         

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      DannyB (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 6:34am

      Hey you kids, get off my lawn!

      This happens with every generation of new tech. Older people are not interested in new tech. (There's nothing wrong with that, it's just that they are a minority.)

      Why would anyone need electricity in their home? I lived my life just fine without it!

      Why would anyone need a telephone? Soon, nobody will be able to write letter!

      Why would anyone need a radio? Before you know it everyone will be too stoopid to read a newspaper!

      Why would anyone need a television? The radio is perfectly fine thank you!

      Why would anyone need cable TV? My TV gets free programming out of the air just fine.

      Why would anyone want a calculator? Soon people won't be able to do basic arithmetic anymore.

      Why would anyone want a computer in their home? What possible use could it be?

      Why would anyone want a digital watch? My mechanical watch works just fine. I get it cleaned every once in awhile. Keep it wound up. Reset it to the correct time from time to time. And it works fine.

      You kept explaining this spreadsheet thingy to me, and I looked at it; but I cannot possibly see how anyone could find that useful? I've got a perfectly good calculator.

      Why would anyone want this gooey thing on their screen? I can read the green text on my monitor just fine.

      Why would anyone want this intarweb thingy? My computer has always worked just fine without it. I just click my moose on whatever icon I want to launch.

      Why would anyone want internet TV? My cable TV works just fine.

      Hey you kids - get off my lawn!



      Some people, not all, do this over a lifetime. They now use what they once complained about. They just cannot embrace change.

      Many people as they age stop embracing change and want things to stay the same forever. These people are always in a minority and their numbers go down by attrition.

      So the number of older people who cannot use current tech will go down by attrition. They are not the ones I want to spend time trying to convince to see the benefits of the new tech. If they don't want it, I let them be and move on. I do not need to evangelize them.

       

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        akp (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 9:17am

        Re: Hey you kids, get off my lawn!

        I can't wait til I'm old enough to say

        "Why would anyone want the internet streamed into their head? LCD screens are fine!"

        I'm already getting that way with Google Glass

         

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          PRMan, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 10:00am

          Re: Re: Hey you kids, get off my lawn!

          I'm already that way with Facebook. I'm a programmer and learn new things all the time, but why would I go on that spy-happy pointless waste of time?

           

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      John Fenderson (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 9:39am

      Re:

      I suspect that this is a good point. This is purely anecdotal (and therefore meaningless), but nearly all of the people I know who still subscribe to cable are my (middle) age or older. Amongst my adult children and their friends, I can't think of any who subscribe to cable.

       

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      PRMan, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 9:58am

      Re:

      I like college football and hockey. There's no easy way to DVR games without cable or satellite.

      I could do the NHL OK, but I would need to lie about where I live and stream through a VPN service ($10/month).

      And many of the football games are on ESPN3, but Time Warner won't pay ESPN so I can't get those without someone else's password or something. And other games aren't on at all.

      And even so, except for ESPN, all the other games (CBS, NBC, etc.) are live only.

      So, if you like sports and work for a living, you are pretty much tied to cable/satellite.

       

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        ECA (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 8:48pm

        Re: Re:

        WELLL,

        There is a way..
        Look up CABLE CARD..
        AND you can buy your own box..or even use a computer..

        Something to KNOW.
        CABLE cant charge you a fee for the BOX..unless you can BUY YOUR OWN.
        MOSt companies will send you a CARD to use your OWN box. but they change encryption and you might have to buy a NEW box.

         

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          pixelpusher220 (profile), Aug 9th, 2013 @ 9:30am

          Re: Re: Re:

          CableCard still requires a cable subscription.

          And, oh yeah, the Cable industry is right now fighting to get the CableCard requirements (they don't offer them out of the goodness of their hearts) removed.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:05pm

    I imagine that at least some people in the television industry understand the cord-cutting phenomenon, and are doing their best to negotiate the complex and delicate ecosystem of agreements and proclivities of many independent agencies involved in making a for-profit television entertainment venture work. The content providers. The advertisers. The distributors. The cable companies. What's saddest is that everyone in the industry is too stupid and/or (probably and) corrupt to do anything about it.

    The good news is that Tim is smarter and nobler than everybody (individually and collectively) in the television/entertainment industry. The solution is actually perfectly simple: the only concern is customers and what they want. The rest of the situation - e.g., all the other parties involved in actually doing that - is not real and can be safely ignored; it is not part of the "reality party."

    I don't really know what it's like being the smartest guy in the room every time I step into one. Haven't had that experience. It must be kind of awesome, but also frustrating knowing that everyone you meet is orders of magnitude stupider than you are, and yet they are in charge and you aren't (has to be corruption, systemic incompetence, etc. - no other reasonable explanation).

    When the job offers start pouring in for Tim, I'm sure he'll have Disney/ABC/etc. turned around in a week or two, and then he can go on to save the recorded music industry also.

     

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      Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 3:52am

      Re:

      "The good news is that Tim is smarter and nobler than everybody (individually and collectively) in the television/entertainment industry. The solution is actually perfectly simple: the only concern is customers and what they want. The rest of the situation - e.g., all the other parties involved in actually doing that - is not real and can be safely ignored; it is not part of the "reality party.""

      Yes! You FINALLY got the point of all these articles I write. It's a banner day for you, sir, now that you know all of this actually just says "I'm smarter than fucking everyone, and I have a big dong too!"

      Kudos to you sir. You've reached the second level of Geignerology. To get to level three, however, requires a $1000 donation for some educational material and an auditing of your go fuck yourself....

       

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        Rich, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 9:35am

        Re: Re:

        You should run for office. I think being announced as "President Dark Helmet" would be full of win.

         

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          PRMan, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 10:06am

          Re: Re: Re:

          He's from Chicago... And we've all seen how having a Chicago politician in the White House turned out... ;)

           

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        cpt kangarooski, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 10:23am

        Re: Re:

        The good news is that Tim is smarter and nobler than everybody (individually and collectively) in the television/entertainment industry

        That's not really such a challenge, is it?

         

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      John Fenderson (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 9:42am

      Re:

      the only concern is customers and what they want


      But this is correct. It's called the "free market."

       

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    ECA (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:26pm

    to much to cover

    1. it used to be that corps installed Giant antenna's to get us to watch TV...it was FREE..

    2. Cable came along and promised alot, and delivered little. It was PAYING for Tv channels..more TV channels, and (generally) a better picture.

    3. SAt came around and sent signals to CABLE stations as well as adding THEIR OWN system, and we PAID MORE..

    So, we started free, and had a few LOCAL stations, from 4-20.
    went to 50 and paid for it..
    WENT to 200 and WE PAY MORE for what we dont watch..(most people dont watch more then 20 select channels..)

    REALISM:
    TV was free, and you had local news..CABLE/SAT isnt.
    Can you afford $50-100 per month for 75% of the channels you dont watch?
    Figure 100 channels(BASIC CABLE), and you watch 20.. and pay $50..thats about $0.50 per channel.. isnt $10 a better price for 20 channels?

    IF the Channels REALLY wanted you to watch TV..
    How many Antennas around the country would they NEED?(this isnt cheap) 10,000? 5,000?..(only good for about 40 miles)
    WOULDNT a SAT dish be a Cheap way to have Full nation wide coverage?
    since SAT is so cheap to compare, WHY AINT IT FREE??

    NOW look at the net..
    HOW many service want to CHARGE YOU to watch SHOWs you would like to watch? MOSt of them. If you can find the channels online, they want you to jump hoops and PAY them..
    HIGH speed services have CAPS...Watching many movies is going to Kill you Bank book.

    Internet could be used to send Movies to anyone wishing to watch. and could be monitored BETTER then ANY rating system. you are not Blindly broadcasting shows, as with antenna or Sat.
    The problem is BANDWIDTH.
    Bandwidth enough to cover you WATCHING TV, and your KIDS playing games at the SAME TIME. anyone for a MAJOR overhaul of the WHOLe internet..AGAIN??

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:52pm

      Re: to much to cover

      1. it used to be that corps installed Giant antenna's to get us to watch TV...it was FREE..

      And it still is, only it's digital and you can get the same channels you used to, plus a couple more. By antenna.

      2. Cable came along and promised alot, and delivered little. It was PAYING for Tv channels..more TV channels, and (generally) a better picture.

      Yes, and that's still available. I'm sure that you could get some contrarians around here to complain that the old UHF stations were better than what you can get on basic cable today (because hating the cable companies is fashionable), but that's objectively not true.

      3. SAt came around and sent signals to CABLE stations as well as adding THEIR OWN system, and we PAID MORE..

      Consumer satellite television became economically viable as Hughes had a production line that could churn out fairly capable satellite buses on a regular basis, but didn't always have a payload to go on them when the bus was ready and tested. So satellite TV became a way to "soak up" the "extra" buses. But you were basically looking at a very small economy of scale subsidized by the government, who were buying many of the rest of the payloads.

      So, we started free, and had a few LOCAL stations, from 4-20.

      Still got it.

      went to 50 and paid for it..
      WENT to 200 and WE PAY MORE for what we dont watch..(most people dont watch more then 20 select channels..)


      No, but each person watches 20 different channels, and so the more popular ones subsidize some of the little ones. This is why "a-la carte TV" sounds so great in theory and is hard to implement in practice. Perhaps of the 20 channels you desperately want, 10 of them aren't economically viable unless packaged with other channels you're not watching. So you can cheapen up your cable package and lose 10 of the channels that made you want cable in the first place.

      REALISM:
      TV was free, and you had local news


      Still is.

      ..CABLE/SAT isnt.

      Never was, still isn't, not sure what you're complaining about.

      Can you afford $50-100 per month for 75% of the channels you dont watch?

      Yes, and a lot of people do - that's why cable and satellite TV stay in business. The 75% of the channels I don't watch are watched by somebody else. I am subsidizing some of the not-so-viable channels I don't watch by paying for channels I do, and other people are subsidizing some of the not-so-viable channels I do watch by paying for other channels I don't.

      Figure 100 channels(BASIC CABLE), and you watch 20.. and pay $50..thats about $0.50 per channel.. isnt $10 a better price for 20 channels?

      Not how it works in reality. It's not 50 cents per channel. The reality is more like that 10 of the ones you watch are probably $4.00 each, and so you could save $10 by losing 90 of the 100 channels you get.

      IF the Channels REALLY wanted you to watch TV..
      How many Antennas around the country would they NEED?(this isnt cheap) 10,000? 5,000?..(only good for about 40 miles)


      Well, lots, but they already exist...that's where your digital over-the-air TV comes from.

      WOULDNT a SAT dish be a Cheap way to have Full nation wide coverage?

      I'm not sure if you understand this, but satellite dishes require satellites...in orbit...in space. The dishes (which, yes, are cheap) aren't talking to each other directly. Satellites are just about one of the most expensive things to produce and maintain that you can possibly imagine.

      since SAT is so cheap to compare, WHY AINT IT FREE??

      As I said, satellites are extraordinarily expensive to build, launch, and maintain. Consumer satellite TV exists largely because of this very strange micro-economy-of-scale created almost accidentally because Hughes' satellite bus production capability outstripped the ability of the government's ability to produce, pay for, and launch payloads.

      HOW many service want to CHARGE YOU to watch SHOWs you would like to watch? MOSt of them. If you can find the channels online, they want you to jump hoops and PAY them..
      HIGH speed services have CAPS...Watching many movies is going to Kill you Bank book.


      Yes, uh, people do generally want you to pay them for expensive things that you get from them.

      Internet could be used to send Movies to anyone wishing to watch. and could be monitored BETTER then ANY rating system. you are not Blindly broadcasting shows, as with antenna or Sat.

      Statistically, there comes a point of strong diminishing returns with the ability to monitor end users once you have enough of them. It's about statistical sampling and significance.

      The problem is BANDWIDTH.
      Bandwidth enough to cover you WATCHING TV, and your KIDS playing games at the SAME TIME. anyone for a MAJOR overhaul of the WHOLe internet..AGAIN??


      Yes, and the Internet is not a broadcast medium (especially with the failure of multicast routing and protocols). So, broadcasting shows to end-users doesn't scale like true broadcast technologies (e.g., antennas and satellites, which are just another kind of antenna). Once you set up a broadcast antenna, you can add receivers without adding more broadcast capacity. Not so with the Internet.

      So, the challenges on the Internet are different - not necessarily fewer. I don't understand why everyone expects things to get magically cheaper "because the Internet."

       

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        Rich Fiscus (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 11:00pm

        Re: Re: to much to cover

        I don't understand why everyone expects things to get magically cheaper "because the Internet."

        How about because prices are artificially inflated "because one sided technology-driven monopolies."

         

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          PRMan, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 10:10am

          Re: Re: Re: to much to cover

          Because they don't have to maintain the cable infrastructure, which is expensive to do. Producing shows is also expensive, but not THAT expensive, so the cost should really come down.

          Yes, launching satellites is really difficult and expensive and only because DirecTV has so many subscribers on 2-year contracts would they even attempt to launch new satellites.

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2013 @ 11:21pm

        Re: Re: to much to cover

        You may not understand why everyone expects things to get cheaper "Because the Internet", but that's not really the problem. People do expect things to get Cheaper with the internet and failure to meet those expectations results in dissatisfied consumers, Consumers who will then see no reason to continue consuming if they are dissatisfied.

        You can either try to understand why people expect things to get cheaper and address the issues, or you can not and then complain when people don't continue throwing money at an inferior product. Only one of these solutions will have a future, I'll leave you to guess which.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 12:58am

          Re: Re: Re: to much to cover

          You can either try to understand why people expect things to get cheaper and address the issues, or you can not and then complain when people don't continue throwing money at an inferior product. Only one of these solutions will have a future, I'll leave you to guess which.

          Or you can not understand the issues at all (let alone addressing them) and start a blog making fun of/bitching at everyone who is not solving problems you do not understand fast enough for you and assuming the only possible reasons are that they are dumb and/or corrupt.

           

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            PaulT (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 2:39am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: to much to cover

            As opposed to shrill anonymous attacks on other peoples' blogs rather than listening to what their opinions actually are?

            It doesn't matter what your reasons are. If people don't find your product valuable enough to pay what you demand, they'll find other ways to get said product.

            Channels themselves are an outdated concept, necessitated by the technology when they first appeared. People dislike paying for channels full of 90% crap, re-runs and filler to get the shows they want almost as much as they dislike paying for hundreds of channels they never watch.

            Filtering out the dissenting opinions just because you don't like the status quo being changed doesn't affect the fact that people are moving away from that outdated concept - whether you agree with their reasoning or not. Ignoring this and pretending that high priced bundling has to happen will only put you in the same position as the idiots in the music industry who whined about piracy, not realising that unbundling was their biggest threat.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 6:04am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: to much to cover

              ...you don't like the status quo being changed...

              This right here.

              Every company that has ever been disrupted in their chosen business model has done everything in their power to stop that disruption, including buying more laws or through stupid lawsuits. The spend so much money and effort fighting to retain their power, when they should be spending money and effort ensuring they remain relevant at all.

              They insist on giving all kinds of excuses why something can't be done instead of trying to figure out how to do it. And along the way they totally miss a very important point. Consumers don't care about your excuses.

              Adapt or die.

               

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                PRMan, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 10:12am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: to much to cover

                And, almost inevitably, they get replaced.

                And the harder they litigate instead of innovate, the more likely they get replaced.

                 

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            Rich Fiscus (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 8:00am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: to much to cover

            Yes clearly the people who have been predicting exactly what's happening now are the ones who have no idea what's going on.

            It can't possibly be the people who just acknowledged it 5 minutes ago after spending the same period of time making up fairy tales to explain how nothing had changed.

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 12:26am

        Re: Re: to much to cover

        "the Internet is not a broadcast medium "

        It has the ability to be at a much cheaper cost than cable, that is why people expect it to be cheaper.

         

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        ECA (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 2:20am

        Re: Re: to much to cover

        dear ac..

        No, but each person watches 20 different channels, and so the more popular ones subsidize some of the little ones. This is why "a-la carte TV" sounds so great in theory and is hard to implement in practice. Perhaps of the 20 channels you desperately want, 10 of them aren't economically viable unless packaged with other channels you're not watching. So you can cheapen up your cable package and lose 10 of the channels that made you want cable in the first place.
        -----------------
        NOT REALLY..The most expensive channel is SPORTS..ESPN. 1 channel is $4..and it used to be an EXTRA..
        the list has been posted here..and MOST of the channels cable gets are less then $0.50 each..(what they pay for them)
        OLD SCHOOL TV, the adverts paid for the programming..
        NEW SCHOOL, cable pays for the programming, THEn the customer pays CABLE/SAT.
        My question is IF' they want OUR BUSINESS why are we paying them for it.
        ======================
        IF the Channels REALLY wanted you to watch TV..
        How many Antennas around the country would they NEED?(this isnt cheap) 10,000? 5,000?..(only good for about 40 miles)

        Well, lots, but they already exist...that's where your digital over-the-air TV comes from.

        NO they dont exit in the number needed to broadcast 200 channels..
        ======================

        As I said, satellites are extraordinarily expensive to build, launch, and maintain. Consumer satellite TV exists largely because of this very strange micro-economy-of-scale created almost accidentally because Hughes' satellite bus production capability outstripped the ability of the government's ability to produce, pay for, and launch payloads.

        Yes, but you should see what they pay for an Antenna on the ground..Power failures, CARS/TRUCKS run into them, storms, weather conditions change signal patterns.. and adding enough for 100-200 channels to be broadcast nation wide, it horrendous.

        Look up FREE TO Air on google..There are already FREE to watch sat channels..and MORE in other countries then in USA.. takes $200-300 for a box to watch.

        SAT is cheap in the long run then installing more Antenna stations to broadcast. you should look it up.

         

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          zan, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 2:47am

          Re: Re: Re: to much to cover

          Here in UK we have FREESAT which provides many channels for free including all the main uk terrestrial channels.

          £80 for a satellite dish including fitter.
          £60 for tv card that plugs into pc or a more expensive set top box for the less tech savvy.

          multiple free hd channels from then on.

           

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        John Fenderson (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 9:49am

        Re: Re: to much to cover

        And it still is, only it's digital and you can get the same channels you used to, plus a couple more. By antenna.


        If you are one of the lucky ones who live in an area that can receive these transmissions. A byproduct of the digital switchover is that a lot of people who used to be able to get OTA television can no longer do so.

        I don't understand why everyone expects things to get magically cheaper "because the Internet."


        I think, primarily, because it could allow people to avoid this:

        I am subsidizing some of the not-so-viable channels I don't watch by paying for channels I do, and other people are subsidizing some of the not-so-viable channels I do watch by paying for other channels I don't.

         

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    ECA (profile), Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:30pm

    ps..

    aT $50 Per month? $600 per year.
    At $100 per month? $1200 per year..

    that could buy a good amount of groceries..

     

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    FM Hilton, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 1:57am

    Price

    I haven't watched cable TV in about 5 years-or any TV. For the amount of money one pays for it ($100 or more a month, Time Warner Cable), it really isn't worth it. What original programming is on it?
    Reality shows featuring UFO's and Big Foot-the History Channel and it only gets worse.
    Real quality stuff there-totally not worth paying out for. The cable companies only have themselves to blame, and I'm not in the mood to feel sorry for them.
    TV used to be free, until the idea of 'monetizing' it came into existence.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 3:27am

    I can afford it...but I won't

    I stopped paying in 2001, and have been strongly encouraging friends, family, colleagues, etc., to do the same.

    There is very little value in cable or satellite TV. Because they've stupidly clung to the ridiculously outdated idea of "channels", we end up paying for all kinds of things we never watch. "The Jewelry Channel" (24x7 commercials for overpriced crap)? Really? You want us to PAY for that?

    Once upon a time, there was history on the History Channel and science on the Learning Channel and so on; now it's 24x7 shit. And I do mean "shit": it's disgusting filth, an insult to the intelligence of anyone with a room-temperature IQ. Really? You want us to PAY for that?

    And it just gets worse from there. There is no point enumerating all of it, it's been done elsewhere (including on this site) and the ignorant, stupid, lazy, worthless bags of pus who call themselves "television executives" are just not listening. They're not going to listen. They're going to whine and complain and try to get money from the feds and blame other people and do everything but look in a mirror and realize that they are failures.

    But they're not getting any more of my money. On those rare occasions when I actually want to see something, I find other ways. But those are turning up less often every year -- in a few more, I doubt I'll even bother.

     

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      PRMan, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 10:15am

      Re: I can afford it...but I won't

      I think you got that wrong. The "room temperature IQs" are the only ones who like the disgusting filth.

       

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    Akari Mizunashi (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 3:32am

    "And they had better start learning to do it right, because the pace of cord cutting is ramping up."

    They are doing it right. Every day, I see news about cable distributors and stations blacking out content which only affects customers.

    This is a step in the right direction.

    How? Because the more this occurs, the more customers get pissed off, and cut the cord.

    When those industries, heavily reliant on cable fees, start to fade into obscurity, this allows those with better innovation to deliver content to billions of people without emptying wallets in the process.

    tl;dr: out with the old, in with the new.

     

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    Gunntherd (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 3:32am

    Got a Roku last year and now sit and wonder why I waited so long!! I will never, ever pay for cable or satellite again, hooked up with the Playon app, between that and Netflix and Hulu I actually have too many awesome choices of what to watch but dam does it feel great that I'm not paying out all that money every month!! (Playon onetime lifetime cost $50, Netflix-$8 a month)

     

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    Ninja (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 3:54am

    It's idiotic to reserve tons of bandwidth for some programming set in stone when you have the Internet. Offer shitloads of bandwidth and deliver custom tailored content through it. There will always be space for channels with specific programing that's for sure but not as they are today.

    I don't think the industry will simply die overnight and probably it won't die at all. But if they stepped into the next level without having to be dragged kicking and screaming they'd suffer less losses and would impose less or no damage to the public.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 4:09am

    BBC - America's Poor Kids

    Great documentary about poverty in the US.
    Even though what is called poverty in the US would be viewed as middle class elsewhere, it shows some heart breaking moments.

    I am lucky, I cannot be poor, I know I will not endure famine, if money is tight I know how to make my own clothes, shoes, socks, food, soap and shelter, maybe is time to pass that knowledge to others.

    A lot of people can't afford to have it, others just realized it is not worth it and a lot of people found something else.

     

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    ECA (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 4:15am

    Something special

    For those that dont get it...

    What would it take to UPDATE tech to the point of using 2-3 fiber cables to bring...
    POWER
    TV, 200+ channels. and any channel from around the world.
    Phone
    Mini cellphone system that give ALL cellphones access as well as a Wireless phone you can use anywhere in your area.

    tons of pissed off corps. and a WHOLE rebuild of the cable/phone infrastructure..
    corps dont like change. and the gov is the only one that would build it.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 5:05am

      Re: Something special

      Or a corp who has a lot of money and is interested in either taking out the current corps' systems or pushing them to do more *cough*google*cough*

       

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    Foxy News, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 5:02am

    Fox

    If I could get Fox national news some other way I'd cut the cable right now. My guess is most others would too.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 5:04am

      Re: Fox

      ....if you really want, I can probably find some places on the internet which will lie to you and scare you into not following your own self-interests, if that's the only thing holding you back.

       

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      pixelpusher220 (profile), Aug 9th, 2013 @ 9:50am

      Re: Fox

      Glenn Beck offers you a nice online subscription for your conspiracy fix.

       

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      Relic, Nov 17th, 2013 @ 10:12am

      Re: Fox

      RE: Fox News.... Since I assume you have internet, else you wouldn't be posing here I have one word for you.... ROKU. Get one and you can download Fox News, (and literally hundreds of other channels), for free. Then kick cable in the head.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 5:02am

    Cut the cord about 5 years ago, never been happier

    A combo of over-the-air, streaming, and downloads takes care of everything for me. And I'd say about 90% of it is automated at this point. Funny thing is, it wasn't even price that drove me down this road. It was service.

    The last straw was when DirectTV, who I had been paying a LOT of money to, dropped G4, a channel I had watched probably more than any other at the time, didn't give a crap about what I had wanted, and wouldn't let me out of my contract without a giant fee. At least those last few months gave me time to set up/test everything while still having cable.

    So, congrats, DirectTV, for driving away a potential customer (well, set of customers, as I do have a family as well) for....well, unless something changes drastically, forever.

     

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    Generic Name, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 5:22am

    cheaper + easier

    With all the dirt cheap and fast android boxes coming from china and devices like Ouya coupled with android apps for netflix, xbmc, etc. the rate of cord cutting is going to increase rapidly.
    Neilson better figure out how to get numbers of watchers for streaming very quickly or else the only shows not cancelled are going to be ones watched by luddites and sports watchers (i.e. cable subscribers).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 6:36am

    Sports are the key. Were it not for the inability to get pro and college football and basketball, I'd be gone too.

     

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      Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 6:55am

      Re:

      "Sports are the key. Were it not for the inability to get pro and college football and basketball, I'd be gone too."

      Um, you can totally get that stuff, you know. It won't be in HD, but it would be watchable....I hear....

       

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        PRMan, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 10:19am

        Re: Re:

        Yeah, but then my kids walk by and wonder why I have 24 porn windows up in the background. And I also wonder how secure my computer really is. It's a little bit awkward, to be honest.

        I reserve it for the times when they absolutely won't show me something.

         

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    limbodog (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 7:22am

    Good

    First off, some of my best friends happen to be giraffes, and what's wrong with them enjoying a drink or two?

    Second, what I am desperately hoping this leads to is an ISP that is not, in any way, a content provider. I currently have no CATV nor landline, but I am still forced to use Comcast for my internet access. They literally have a monopoly where I live.

    So maybe if they are weakened by cord-cutters, we will see alternatives come along to eat their proverbial breakfast.

     

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    Kev (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 8:24am

    What would prevent the hybrid ISP/content providers like Comcast from just slapping caps on their customers? Netflix and Hulu are viable because, for the most part, users have unlimited data for a monthly fee. What happens if that gets replaced with all the limits mobile providers are slapping on their customers these days? I'm not so sure this is going to be the bloodbath everyone expects.

     

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      PRMan, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 10:20am

      Re:

      It's already happening to a lot of people. Thankfully, Time Warner Cable has no business relationship with Time Warner Studios anymore.

       

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    DigitalGrrl, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 9:13am

    Who needs Pay TV?

    In '06 my TV died. Being the pay cash, not credit type, I wanted to save the $ up to buy the TV I really wanted. When I had the $ a few months later, I realized I really didn't miss the boobtube. I didn't miss the obnoxious programming, the constant advertising, or the volume inconsistencies. I didn't miss my kids freaking out over the latest must have toys, or running in on me in the bathroom freaking out over whether or not I have life-insurance, because the TV said it was really, really important.

    So I didn't buy a new one, and with that, I cancelled my cable subscription. I took the money I'd saved for the TV and took my kids on vacation instead.

    Today we use Netflix, Hulu, and the occasional broadcast network website to watch what ever it is we're interested in. We torrent whatever we can't find through legitimate channels. I have a pocket HDMI projector that I can hook up to my computer, my laptop, or my phone. We've done movies in the park with it by throwing a sheet over a volleyball net.

    In short, I found a lot of freedom when I cut the cord. We don't watch much, but what we do watch is stuff we want to watch, when we want to watch it, and where we want to watch it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 9:44am

    To use television on demand from AT&T there are commercials...you can't fast forward....only one episode back is on demand.

    Worst way to give your customers options. I had a episode on my AT&T on demand but I downloaded it instead so I can have control over how I view content!

     

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    identicon
    Adam, Aug 8th, 2013 @ 3:00pm

    A la carte pricing

    Thanks to the State of the Media .org and the TV Newser websites, I ran some numbers on what news channels would cost in the coming a la carte cable world. MSNBC costs $210 million annually to operate (380 M revenue minus 170 M profit). On Wednesday night, at best, they coughed up 176 K viewers. So, if those viewers really wanted to keep MSNBC in the future, it'll be $100 a month, and that's with commercials.

    For our Fox News viewer/commenter, the numbers are worse...at a whopping $690 million annual cost (1.47 B revenue minus 780 M profit) and the not-that-great 370 K viewers that O'Reilly pulls in, Fox News viewers would have to pay $180 a month...that's a real hit out of that Social Security check.

    In summary, this system is horribly inefficient, especially in today's economy. I welcome a world where people have the choice whether to pay $30 a month to the Kardashians, $40 to ESPN for another lousy Lakers or Yankees game, $10 for Duck Dynasty, or even $25 a month for their local sports teams. The alarm bells, especially with the recent CBS/TWC spat, have got to be going off in the industry. Less crap, much less cost, much less "me-too" programming, and less going after the same small set of viewers, have to be Priority One. Obviously, huge swaths of channels will disappear, and some of your favorites will go too, but the days of the Entertainment & Sports industries vacuuming $100+ a month from 80% of the country's households are over.

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Aug 8th, 2013 @ 3:42pm

      Re: A la carte pricing

      Obviously, huge swaths of channels will disappear, and some of your favorites will go too


      Well, not mine. I sortof* cut the cord about 15 years ago, and couldn't be happier about it. If cable TV vanished completely, I wouldn't miss a thing.

      * I say "sortof" because my only option for broadband internet is Comcast, and with Comcast, you pay more for internet-only service than you do for internet+basic cable service. So I get basic cable, but I haven't hooked up the converter box or TV to it.

       

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    identicon
    Relic, Nov 17th, 2013 @ 9:56am

    A La Carte

    One thing the cable and satellite companies might do to staunch the flow of outgoing customers is to allow people to subscribe to and pay for only the channels they want to watch instead of ramming unwanted channels down a customer's throat with overly priced packages. I don't give a rats for sports, shopping or cars and I don't care about having hundreds of music streaming channels either, nor do I speak Spanish. So why does my cable company force me to subscribe to (and pay for) all this superfluous garbage? Stop feeding us a line about not having the technology to give us channels A La Carte. Give me only those channels I want at a decent price and I'll stay. Keep refusing to do this and I'll join many other customers in heading for the nearest exit and I'll be taking my wallet with me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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