Oh Look, More Cord Cutters: Time Warner Cable Loses 155,000 TV Subscribers

from the that-river-in-egypt-keeps-growing dept

Back in August, we wrote about a NY Times article insisting that the cable companies had beaten the internet and the idea that people would "cut the cord" and get their TV from the internet was something of a myth. The centerpiece of the story was a single anecdote of a guy who tried to just watch TV on the internet, but went back to cable. Because, you know, a single anecdote must represent a trend. We noted the irony that the day after that article came out, reports broke that cable TV had suffered its first ever decline in subscribers.

And since then, the evidence of cord cutting has only grown. We noted recently that Comcast had lost 275,000 video subscribers, which they tried to explain away by blaming "the economy." Of course, the economy was a lot worse last year. And, now, Time Warner Cable has released the news that it's lost 155,000 TV subscribers. But cord cutting isn't real, right?


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    Andy (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 3:26am

    Anecdotes

    I saw a great comment elsewhere pointing out that the plural of "anecdote" is not "data". Even if this would be based on the evidence of more than one anecdote, it would still not be proof.

    I am surprised we can figure out what these companies are trying to claim. You know, given that their heads are buried in the sand!

     

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    Jaqenn, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 3:48am

    Hulu started showing full episodes of Good Eats last month.

    I don't have cable, but that killed the last reason that I might have picked it up.

     

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      Shanoboy (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 5:03am

      Re: Good Eats

      Thanks for the heads Jaqenn. If they're all in HD, that may be incentive enough for me to buy Hulu premium!

       

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        JEDIDIAH, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 8:26am

        Re: Re: Good Eats

        It's cooking show. You really don't need the HD. All you'll get is higher fidelity on all of Alton's new post-diet wrinkles.

        Sometimes, lower resolution is actually better.

         

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    Rob, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 3:56am

    I still have DirecTV, and I still like having it, because it's nice to have a DVR and live TV on certain occasions. But more and more, I find myself turning to the internet for TV. But not to Hulu or Netflix or network sites - to torrent sites. Why? Because DirecTV doesn't carry AMC in HD, so if I want Mad Men or Breaking Bad or The Walking Dead to look decent on my HDTV, I need to get it from torrents. And when I go to Hulu, it's hit-and-miss as to whether it will have the content I want. And trying to figure out which show is on which proprietary network website streaming (ie ABC, The Daily Show, etc) is a pain in the ass. On torrent sites, every show I want is right there, downloadable in HD, instantly. THAT'S ALL I WANT, and I WOULD PAY FOR THAT. But since content providers can't agree on any method of delivery that gives me EVERYTHING in HIGH QUALITY, I will continue to steal it. I'm an ounce away from giving up my DirecTV, and the internet offers no legal alternatives to it. If content providers could get their shit together and offer me a legal HD solution that had EVERYTHING I wanted to watch, I'd pay for it in a heartbeat. But for now, it's way too fragmented.

     

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      Richard, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 4:47am

      Re:

      I could not agree with you more

       

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      Hephaestus (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 4:55am

      Re:

      Try Clicker.com to find stuff online

       

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      Shanoboy (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 5:06am

      Re:

      Rob is right. The Torrent route is TV heaven, and until someone is offering that up as a pay service, legally, I'll keep on seeding.

      I will check out the Clicker site though.

       

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      Richard Lloyd (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 5:08am

      Re:

      In my household we have not used satellite or cable tv in over a year! We watch what we need through the internet. We do not miss what we do not know about or have not watched. To us cable or satellite tv is just a waist of money. Especially when it comes to the premium channels. I could watch a premium channel for one month and the same stuff will be on again for the next several months. I am not going to pay an additional amount just to watch some series. Now if they allowed you to actually pay for a package that only included the channels you actually watch that would be great.

       

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        Greevar (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 5:58am

        Re: Re:

        Not even that. I don't like every show on the networks I watched, but I like some on several. I'm much happier just downloading the shows I like and not have to bother with those which I don't.

         

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        Hephaestus (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 6:36am

        Re: Re:

        " I could watch a premium channel for one month and the same stuff will be on again for the next several months."

        Go Beast Master !!!!

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 7:01am

      Re:

      And therein lies the question I've yet to see anyone even attempt to answer from the providor side. That kind of attitude is expanding more and more as technologies once the purview of a handful of geeks and nerd (and yes I will stick my hand up and count myself among that class) become "windowised"* - nicely pointy-clicky and available to the least tech-savvy consumer.

      "This is the age of consumer electronics and personal 'choice of lifestyle'" they cry, "where's my gadget that does what I want not what someone else tells me it should? Where can I buy that gadget?"

      NOT as 'the other side' often has it "I want stuff for free!" for this group of people, but instead "I know what it's worth to me and have a [perceived] notion of what the exact thing I want costs to acheive- and no I don't want those extra things YOU think I should have".

      This is where I somewhat dissagree with the "infinite goods" argument often made here - I think you can directly make a profit out of an "infinite good" and sell it to people. I do agree you can't sell it for much whether you try and artificially force the price or not.

      I think the first company to work out a business model to use all these technologies and use concepts like micro-payments (also mentioned here a number of times I've noticed) successfully will make a fortune. Probably a bigger fortune than trying to charge people for non-agile or personal "packages" they don't use 3/4 of for prices the increasingly value-savvy users know are inflated. And as an added bonus I think it would do far more to reduce "piracy" than increaingly draconian laws and ever more ridiculous DRM that doesn't work and "Bundling" of junk to try and increase percieved value.

      /rant

      *what an appaling word... am I allowed to make them up like that?

       

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        Transbot9, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 7:53am

        Re: Re:

        Business calls it "micropayments" - consumers call it being nickled and dimed.

        There is a psychological aspect to price points, which is why you see TV ads for items in $5 increments (minus $.01), with $19.99 the most common. Granted, they make up for it with "shipping and handling" - but that isn't what makes the sale. The smallest increment of the pattern is $.99.

        Granted, there are exceptions to this rule of thumb, but these price points have shown to sell the best.

         

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      hegemon13, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 8:49am

      Re:

      Check out Boxee. It's software, not a site, but it does a good job of collating a whole lot of online sources into a single, searchable media library. I'm not sure that it helps much with shows like The Walking Dead that aren't really streamed through any legal channel, but it certainly helps eliminate the issue you mentioned above about having to figure out which proprietary site hosts what show. In fact, if there are multiple sources, it selects the highest-quality stream by default, but lets you see and choose the alternative sources if you are so inclined.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 8:54am

      Re:

      On torrent sites, every show I want is right there, downloadable in HD, instantly. THAT'S ALL I WANT, and I WOULD PAY FOR THAT

      Rob, if that is truly the case, I would like to recommend the Roku box for you. I gave up TV subscription for the first time in 29 years 2 years ago, and never looked back; the exact specific example (Mad Men in HD) is available through the Roku box @ $2.99 per episode ($1.99 for SD), and each episode is available the night after it airs.

      Picture is crystal clear, sounds is excellent, and buffering the episode takes less than 1 min to get started.

      I have yet to find a program from any major provider (besides HBO) that is not offered through the Roku-Amazon-on-Demand program. It's really cool, and now that you know about it you can make good on the fact that you would rather pay for content than pirate it! Hope you enjoy it.

       

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        TPBer (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 9:15am

        Re: Re:

        He does not want to pay those ridiculous prices, it's free...

         

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        BigKeithO (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 9:46am

        Re: Re:

        $2.99 per episode is insane.

         

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          PRMan, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 10:04am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "$2.99 per episode is insane."

          If you pay $80 per month, that's $20 per week. If you watch 10 shows per week (that would be high in my family), you are paying $2 each for them. It's about the going rate, and a la carte does cost a bit more.

           

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            TPBer (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 10:10am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I pay for an 18Mb connex only, you go ahead and keep burning your $80 /month on free content, they love you for it.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 2:25pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Well, that sorta goes against what he said in his post - wherein he says he would LOVE to pay for the content if it was available in a manner that he desired.

              My post pointed out the fact that it is indeed available in the format that he wants. While I've been running around on the tubes here for a decade and a half, I've done my fair share of entitlement arguments (Fuck the record labels, I already paid for this album in vinyl/cassette/CD, no reason I should pay a fourth time! etc)

              I still believe those people to be myopic bullies as they try to litigate business models, but I also have grown up a bit and recognize that your own attitude "lolz yuo are teh n00b for paying for content zomgwtfbbq!!11!1" is also inherently "wrong" in not actually paying for something that you enjoy consuming when you have the ability to do so.

              Paying for an 18Mbps connection has nothing to do with paying the asking price for a TV episode. One of these things is not like the other. You also paint yourself with a rather unpleasant brush when you espouse an irrelevant 'point' in a discussion that you weren't a part of (again, the OP mentioned that he would indeed pay for content if he could do so. He can.)

              I award you no points, and may god have mercy on your soul.

               

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                nasch (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 3:06pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I also have grown up a bit and recognize that your own attitude "lolz yuo are teh n00b for paying for content zomgwtfbbq!!11!1" is also inherently "wrong" in not actually paying for something that you enjoy consuming when you have the ability to do so.

                Why? Other than it being illegal, why is it wrong? Or is that the only reason (your use of the word "inherent" sounds to me like legality is not what you have in mind)?

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 9:40am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Point taken - wrong feels loaded, you're right, but at some point I feel like it's a very unrealistic argument to say that people can't/won't/shouldn't (another loaded word) get paid for shit they create. I mean...the money to pay the actors & directors comes from somewhere, right? The money to build a realistic 1960s version of NYC? It strikes me that - while I agree wholeheartedly with Mike's CwF + RTB ideas in general - someone ultimately has to pay actual real money to build actual real shit here in the world.

                  I guess I meant that it is "wrong" not to pay the price that is being asked for a good/service/content when you have the ability to do so. Going back to the OP, he indicates that he WANTS to pay, and clearly the AMC folks WANT to be paid...doesn't that garner a sense of "wrongness" with you if, given those parameters, someone decides that they are exempt from paying and takes what they want with no compensation? I dunno...seems like a lot of food for a lot of thought, and that there really aren't going to be any easy answers for any of us.

                  As for the dick hole who didn't get the Billy Madison reference, grow up, go outside, and learn to be an adult. Religion IS ridiculous and stupid in my opinion as well, but could you REALLY think of nothing better to do with your time than to be pedantic on a message without contributing anything relevant or helpful to the discussion? Go help your mom do the dishes or something instead next time.

                   

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                    nasch (profile), Nov 9th, 2010 @ 12:37pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    I feel like it's a very unrealistic argument to say that people can't/won't/shouldn't (another loaded word) get paid for shit they create.

                    Yeah, nobody is saying that.

                    the money to pay the actors & directors comes from somewhere, right?

                    Yes! However, it doesn't have to come from selling copies of digital files. And probably shouldn't, because that business has a limited future.

                    I guess I meant that it is "wrong" not to pay the price that is being asked for a good/service/content when you have the ability to do so.

                    OK. Why? Just poking you to examine your opinion, not trying to convince you you're wrong.

                    doesn't that garner a sense of "wrongness" with you if, given those parameters, someone decides that they are exempt from paying and takes what they want with no compensation?

                    If he's not depriving anyone of anything? Not really. I don't do it myself, but I don't feel someone is doing something wrong if they download something they wouldn't have bought anyway.

                    seems like a lot of food for a lot of thought, and that there really aren't going to be any easy answers for any of us.

                    The controversy will continue for a time. My understanding is that people under about 20 see absolutely no problem with downloading everything they consume without paying. If that's true, the future is already written, and it's just a matter of who wants to read it and get ready for it, and who wants to ignore it (or scream about it).

                     

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                    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2010 @ 1:46am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    I guess I meant that it is "wrong" not to pay the price that is being asked for a good/service/content when you have the ability to do so.
                    Well I sort of know what you're getting at but the argument is flawed. By that rational, if I charge Sir Alan Sugar 500 to wash his car it would be "wrong" of him not to pay what I ask - he can afford it right?

                    The missing bit is "value". In theory in a capitalist market on average the customers are supposed to set what they are willing to pay for an item or service, based on how they "value" it - the old theory "the customer is always right". What media and/or cable companies do is use artificial monopolies to try and force the price higher but as technology makes it easier and easier to see the falseness of the scarcity they are less willing to pay the monopoly pricing.

                    That's not to say I think media should necessarily be free, but the price should be based somewhere near reality rather than "this is what we've always been able to charge". And no I don't think there's any "obligation", moral or otherwise to pay for something ephemeral. To play devil's advocate for a moment, you could turn it around and suggest that media companies are "wrong" not to give content away for free - copies don't cost anything and it's "for the public good", right?

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2010 @ 8:31am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Interesting perspectives from both of the fellows who replied - thanks for your perspective and for keeping it civil, rather than devolving into typical message thread bullshit.

                      To the guy who said that the future may already be written by the 20-somethings, that's a spot-on perspective...but I also think that people's points of view change as they get older as well.

                      You're also exactly right (in my opinion) that the content providers are panicking and hoping to use ridiculous/draconian/archaic/borderline-illegal methods to prop up their failing business models, and I wish those companies long and painful deaths as the rest of the world moves forward towards the future.

                      Finally, I also agree that just because "we always have" priced things that way, it's no guarantee that it "should" or will continue to be priced that way. However, the market for Hollywood productions has *already* been established - and while the occasional independent movie can provide far more entertainment value for my dollar (think smaller Jason Reitman-style productions compared to Michael Bay), I don't personally see a way for a show like Mad Men (the original example and one that I love) to make ANY money if they gave away every episode and never charged anyone anything for the viewing of the show...you know? I mean, I guess they could sell MM branded apparel like a band, but I really don't see them able to sustain a high-quality show like that if they gave away everything. Do you? I'm not trying to be inflammatory - it's an honest question...and I'm sure there IS an answer, I've just not heard one I put much faith in as yet.

                      Here's another dichotomy I struggle with...as criminal as I think media companies attempts to legislate their business models to relevance are, it seems to me that the signal-to-noise ratio of "excellent" content vs. "garbage amateur production crapola" is massively high now...so high that unless a "maven" points me to something clever or entertaining on youtube, I'm not about to spend countless minutes/hours slogging through the tripe to find the filet. As much as I want to argue against it, there seems to be some value in concept of a 'gatekeeper' that filters out the shit.

                      Oh, and as long as we are all dreaming, I'd like a pony...

                       

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                        Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2010 @ 1:17am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        I don't personally see a way for a show like Mad Men (the original example and one that I love) to make ANY money if they gave away every episode and never charged anyone anything for the viewing of the show...you know?
                        I'm not totally sure I do either, but I'd imagine that for example a micro-payment model might work. It might work even better if, as a content providor who is probably a broadcaster too, you don't have to support a large and expensive distribution infrastrucure but instead just a large pipe to the internet and let it do the work for you. It might also improve if you (not you them of course) stop the rather silly restrictions of where you can get it - as a brit if I want to watch content from say the FX site on line I'd have to get myself a US proxy, and the reverse for you if you want to watch iPlayer on the BBC. Remove that restriction and you have 2 billion people who might make micro-payments for an episode. If 0.5% of those people pay 10p an episode that's 1mllion or $1.5million. You can't make good TV for that?

                        Oh, and as long as we are all dreaming, I'd like a pony...
                        I think I'd hold out for more than 25 quid if I were you..... at least a monkey.

                         

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                    nasch (profile), Nov 11th, 2010 @ 3:14pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    I'm replying up here so it doesn't start getting too narrow.

                    I really don't see them able to sustain a high-quality show like that if they gave away everything. Do you?

                    No idea! However, I do think over time people will make high quality entertainment, and get paid for it. Maybe not the same people who are doing it now. Probably nobody will make the huge quantities of money the top earners make now, but they'll make enough. Many people will try and fail, because they don't figure out how to give the audience something they're willing to pay for. But I think others will succeed, and all we need to do is keep the current incumbents from getting in their way.

                    It may sound pie in the sky, but two things I'm basing this on: 1. lots of people want to make the content (TV, movies, music, everything) and many of them are good at it, and 2. millions, if not billions, of people want good content, and a big percentage of those have at least some money they can spend. Put those two things together, and it's just inevitable (IMO) someone will figure out how to make the content and get the money.

                    Here's another dichotomy I struggle with...as criminal as I think media companies attempts to legislate their business models to relevance are, it seems to me that the signal-to-noise ratio of "excellent" content vs. "garbage amateur production crapola" is massively high now...there seems to be some value in concept of a 'gatekeeper' that filters out the shit.

                    Yes, but that should be your own personally-tuned filter based on what you like, not a corporate overlord gatekeeper deciding what everyone gets to see based on what he thinks will get him the most yachts. Clearly we're not there yet.

                    Oh, and as long as we are all dreaming, I'd like a pony...

                    I want a really fast car, but to each his own.

                     

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                TPBer (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 3:46pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                There is no GOD, and paying for only the connex is the point, the content is free, you just choose to pay, and may the flying spaghetti monster visit you tonight.

                I do not need any points, I will just fill up on 1s and 0s, that's all they are.

                I just love it when religion crops up into the matter, like it really means something.

                 

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 12:27pm

      Re:

      While they're at it, removing region restrictions would be a good idea too. I've been watching a lot of UK and a few Aussie shows myself, which if it wasn't for torrents, I wouldn't have any access to (aside from DVDs possibly, but I'm sure those have region restrictions too).

      Networks need to come to the realization that nobody care about their shitty network or their meaningless time slots. They want specific shows whenever they feel like watching them. Regions, times, networks, etc... all that is meaningless these days.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 12:33pm

        Re: Re:

        Oh, and one more thing you forgot... commercials. You're paying $40+/mo for the right to watch commercials. All my torrents come down with in hours of broadcast (automatically, of course) completely stripped of all that time-wasting crap. And I pay nothing.

        I WOULD pay for the service if I could do the same thing legitimately though, just to be clear; I already send donations to a few torrent sites for their service...

         

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      Jay (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 6:26pm

      Re:

      They just decided not to turn down G4 programming and licensing.

      Now I have a 32' paperweight while my laptop is used for school and entertainment.

       

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    TomMctech, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 4:25am

    Just cut the cord last night

    Although my wife was a little nervous, we just cut the cord from Cablevision last night. For the amount of actual TV we watch, it made no sense to continue to pay 200.00 per month. We basically live off of xbox 360's now. I have access to netflix, hulu and podcasts via playon, and if there is anything that I really miss, there's also zune marketplace and amazon on demand. I think a lot of people will continue to follow.

     

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      vastrightwing, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 12:04pm

      Re: Just cut the cord last night

      Don't worry. You'll be fine in a week. Your habits will change immediately and by next week, you're going to be upset you didn't do this much sooner because you won't miss it!

       

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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 4:51am

    "which they tried to explain away by blaming "the economy." "

    Denial and rationalization ... gotta love them

     

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      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 5:19am

      Re:

      Now they're in denial.

      Next comes anger. You don't have cable, you must be a pirate. You don't have a TV, oh you must be a pirate. You want to cut off your service, expect a call from our lawyers.

      Then comes bargaining. I'll pay you $10,000 to add a cable requirement to ACTA.

      I don't know what comes after stage three, none of the old media outlets have reached it yet.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 6:31am

        Re: Re:

        Chapter 11 many of them already reached that point.

         

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        Hephaestus (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 6:41am

        Re: Re:

        They will probably do what some electric companies have done. Charge for having the line connected even if you are not drawing power. The power companies did this in response to people going renewable and cutting the power cord.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 12:37pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Seems excessive, much easier to do what my cable provider has been doing; just raised their cable Internet rates. They can get away with this due to lack of competition, DSL/Fiber here is a joke (ie. slower and more expensive than cable).

           

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    WG (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 5:01am

    I've had a Cox digital bundle for some years now. It's becoming more and more frustrating to have to pay $130+ just to watch five favorite channels that are increasingly loaded with commercials. All I really want is my high-speed internet, and HGTV, Speed, History, Spike, and the Music Choice channels (101-948). Anyone know how I can accomplish this? I could probably give up the music channels and just find internet radio stations, I guess; but, I'd like to keep the aforementioned channels. I haven't cut the cable - yet, but I get the feeling it won't be too long before it happens.

     

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      Michael, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 5:51am

      Re:

      ...and there is the problem...

      You have a situation in which no LEGAL product will actually give you want you want. Torrents? Yup - everything you want would be available - mostly in HD.

      Of course, you will still need to get an internet connection (I recommend the AT&T dsl right now - $20 per month if available in your area). This is till the biggest problem in the US - if you have more than one option for high-speed internet, you still only have two. I lived for a decade in an area that only had Comcast - I couldn't even get a basic DSL. What were my available options for competition? Yup - dial up or a capped $150 per month wireless account.

       

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      Steve R. (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 6:26am

      Where is the Subscription Money Going?

      WG wrote: "increasingly loaded with commercials". Not only that but we have cable channels that are now devoted to PAID programming. Clearly these are sources of revenue for the cable companies. Of course the cable companies have to pay to obtain entertainment content and to build the infrastructure. Nevertheless, I still wonder why the cable bill continues to go up for the consumer when these other sources of revenue are available to the cable companies. One could even argue that based on these sources of revenue, that the cable bill should decline. After all, a lot of good content used to be available for free through broadcast TV. The logical explanation of course (for why the cable bill is not declining) is "monopoly".

       

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      bell, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 8:55am

      Re:

      For music try www.shoutcast.com

       

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    Jim, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 5:09am

    Another trend that may not be getting reported is cord-fraying rather than cord-cutting. I cut back to the $15 broadcast-only cable plan.

    This option, coupled with Tivo, is cost effective and uncomplicated. Add in Internet streaming and downloads for premium content and movies and you have a complete package for a very reasonable price.

     

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      Greevar (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 6:04am

      Re:

      I only have basic cable because with internet, the bill is the same either way. I do like having 15Mbps for downloading shows on Bittorrent though. DSL here is way too slow.

       

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    JohnForDummies (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 6:29am

    Even if they lose tv customers, they still win...

    Let's face it, the best bet for most users to get reliable broadband is cable internet service. FiOS just doesn't have the market penetration yet. So if I cut my cable tv off, but I'm still using cable internet, I'm typically going to be paying more for that single service. And with fewer cable tv subscribers, the cost of cable tv is going to go up for the remaining customers to offset the losses.

    No matter what we do, they win. They can even use these numbers to their advantage when they jack up the prices: "In light of losing 155,000 paying customers, we're going to have to charge more for our service so that you don't have to lose channels you were already getting..."

     

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      DS, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 6:50am

      Re: Even if they lose tv customers, they still win...

      This.

      I've tried to cut back on my channels from Time Warner, but if I reduce down to a standard tier, I'm paying more per month because I'm out of a bundled package. It's a lose-lose situation, as I'm not about to totally cut the cord.

       

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      Greevar (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 7:36am

      Re: Even if they lose tv customers, they still win...

      That would not work. If they raised prices in light of customers cutting out cable, they'll just alienate even more customers. The laws of economics don't allow you to raise your price as demand dwindles. On the contrary, if you raise your prices, demand will fall even more and you will lose customers. If they're smart, they'll lower their prices to increase the appeal to consumers. If they raise prices, they're just tying the noose around their own necks.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 6:44am

    Hmmm...people cut the cord but not the vice that will fuel problems into the future.

    The thing is I cut the cord a decade ago and recently stopped watching shows, I will respect those cable producers wishes and not pirate their shows is not a big deal anyways.

    That way I'm clearly saying f. you to them.

    And that was a good thing, I don't miss anything, I don't now what is hot on TV anymore, but I still find good entertainment.

    The road for freedom.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCPEBM5ol0Q
    The lesson of the video is that if you want freedom you need to work for it, it is time to start making our own entertainment and give it the respect it deserves even if it is crappier at the moment.

    More and more I find myself attracted to the DIY lifestyle.

    I was watching the PBS-NOVA Absolute Zero on YouTube and about 30 minutes in it tells the history of the ice market and how it got destroyed by the refrigerator, well I think those companies will be destroyed by technology also and the last nail will be when internet company producers start to pop out left and right then nobody will want to watch what those old companies are producing anymore.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 6:49am

    Interesting read ... esp the comments

    One of the commenters mentioned churn. People leaving and going to other Cable providers. One really huge problem with that is the numberss for all the Cable companies are falling.

     

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    Paul, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 6:51am

    I had a cord to cut

    I move out from my parrents house many years ago, one item I managed to never get was cable.

    So not only do you have people cutting the cord, you have people like me who order internet only.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 6:55am

    Couldn't have happened to a nicer company. This is the payback for not giving us choices. We asked Congress to pass a law making the cable companies let us choose which channels we wanted and they fought it and sold us stupid packages. Later dudes! Have to figure out how to sell internet TV.

     

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    coward, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 7:03am

    cant cut the cable

    How do I watch the thursday night football game? or the Hockey playoffs?

     

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      Greevar (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 7:38am

      Re: cant cut the cable

      ESPN online streaming...

       

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        coward, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 7:44am

        Re: Re: cant cut the cable

        Thursday night football is on the NFL Network and Hockey is on Versus.

         

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          AW, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 10:22pm

          Re: Re: Re: cant cut the cable

          the NHL has a pay option to watch every single NHL game streaming on the other side there is justin.tv, which isn't legal, but which the nfl/nba/nhl/mlba would get together and create their own online streaming sports network. cut out the middleman and make it work for them.

           

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      Nah, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 7:26pm

      Re: cant cut the cable

      www.myp2p.eu is great for sports. You just have to learn how to use P2P streaming apps, although some of the sporting events can be viewed online as well.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 7:17am

    People, it's just a matter of time. Eventually, the industry will get it and make changes. It's a painful process, but that's the way it is. It's true that the majority of our problems are from the Studio Heads, and not the Cable companies. Apple has tried to work with them to create subscription services, but it's been a no go.

    I wanted to watch "The Walking Dead" the other night when it started, but it was only available on Cable T.V. (which I don't have) or I could pay $3 per episode on Itunes. No way. They finally put it on Hulu, and then stated that they wouldn't stream any more episodes there after the first one. Do these execs really think that they're making the right decisions? Do they really think that people are going to sign up for Cable just to watch this? Put it online and add commercials, I'll watch it. Charge 99 Cents to buy it and I'll buy it...create a subscription service for the networks and they'll make money from us. But no, greed abounds as usual.

     

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      Rekrul, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 9:14am

      Re:

      "I wanted to watch "The Walking Dead" the other night when it started, but it was only available on Cable T.V."

      You can easily get it off torrent sites, "cyberlockers" etc.

      Just search for;

      "The.Walking.Dead.S01E01.Days.Gone.Bye.HDTV.XviD-FQM"

      "The.Walking.Dead.S01E02.Guts.HDTV. XviD-FQM"

       

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    KellerMaverick (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 7:22am

    Mike, I enjoy your commentary, but I don't think cord-cutting is the only reason for TWC's loss of subscribers. Verizon gained 204k FiOS TV customers during the third quarter of 2010...a good portion of those must have been former Time Warner subs.

     

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      Greevar (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 7:41am

      Re:

      I hardly doubt that is the majority of cutters. FiOS is not that widely available and the last I heard, they aren't rolling out any more service in the foreseeable future.

       

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      Hephaestus (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 11:26am

      Re:

      Yes but total 650k people have left from the cable co's. The combined total reported from the cable co's is 500k and 150k estimated from Cox Communications. That still leaves about 450k people un accounted for.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 7:29am

    Some people may be jumping between cable companies to take advantage of incentives, but those eventually run out and higher prices set in. Eventually, the back and forth game will become too expensive for the industry to support and those incentives will not be as good.

     

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    Fushta, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 8:01am

    TimeWarner Cord-Cutters

    Could the drop in subs have been because of the latest "hostage" situation with ESPN (i.e. Corporate Disney)? I think people are tired of having their channels (and, in relation, their favorite shows) held hostage by mega-corporation negotiations. In our area, we have at least four choices of cable provider (TW, Insight, WOW, AT&T), and I think people may have left TW to go with another, more stable provider. I have Insight, and have never had to deal with the uncertainty.

     

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      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 9:09am

      Re: TimeWarner Cord-Cutters

      "and I think people may have left TW to go with another, more stable provider."

      That's exactly the knife the content companies are holding at the throats of the cable companies. At least in the markets where customers have more than a single option.

      Just wait until the next round of contract renewals. This time it was Cablevision. Maybe next it will be yours.

       

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      Free Capitalist (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 9:13am

      Re: TimeWarner Cord-Cutters

      I'll bet some did jump to a new TV service. At least in my area, the traditional cable provider is way behind on image quality for HD, not to mention very slow to change between those channels. Really bad customer service and poor pricing probably helped others make the jump. I see the AT&T vans working the residential areas every day these days (no FiOS here).

       

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    Rekrul, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 9:15am

    I'm lucky in that there's virtually nothing on live TV that I actually want to see. I don't care about sports, or awards, or music. I basically only watch scripted shows, which are easily available on the net.

     

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    Wesha (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 9:19am

    I still have TV service by Comcast. You know why? Because they offered "TV + 6mbps" package for the price of 3 mbps internet (for a year). Sure I'll take that! But when the cable guy came, I told him, "get the data flowing and get outta here, I don't care about the video signal". So in [less than a year], Comcast is set to have another "cable cutter" on their stats, hehehehe.

     

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    TPBer (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 9:32am

    Dog Food?

    At least the dog food tastes much better than the dog shit the cable cos will be forced to eat:)

    TWC deserves all the shit that comes their way, they participate in that MPAA threat letter nonsense, how's the shit tasting?

     

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    DanVan (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 9:47am

    I am at a loss for words with those people who want these major companies to control everything and anything

    These companies have time and time again shown that they want to screw the customers over anything and would prefer small caps, heavy penalties, and major price increases

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 9:51am

    It feels like AT&T has been marketing heavily in Charlotte recently and costing TWC some business. I noticed that TWC has recently improved their basic internet service. It used to be a pathetic 4.5mb download and .5mb upload. Now it looks like they've greatly increased their speeds in response to the AT&T uVerse package. Its funny how things work out for the consumer when there is actual competition.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 10:00am

    hey cable companies, what ever movie you show i can get, within hours of its time, for free, without commercials in HD; without the hassle of you fuckers...

    sorry cable, your almost obsolete, and if it wasn't for other, less internet savvy people in my house, there would be no cable, only the the internets.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 10:01am

    I'm about to drop TV altogether. What I want, they will not provide, so they kicked themselves in the balls for me.

    I wouldn't mind paying for HBO, etc. but out of ~200 channels of basic/extended cable I pay for as a pre-requisite to those channels, I watch exactly 2 channels. Discovery Science and Comedy Central. I get all my news online. There is nothing they have to say that I want to hear on FOX, NBC, CBS, etc...

    So I called and asked them when they are going to allow me to pay for the Sci and comedy channels along with the movie channels and drop the rest of the failed garbage they push on me... Answer: "We will probably never allow that. People would only have a few channels if we did allow it." My response: "Haha... if that's all they watch and all that they find value in paying for, maybe that says something important about the majority of that channels you carry."

    So yeah, when they figure out how to let us pay for what we want and drop the fail that we hate and don't want to support... they can call me back and I might bite if I haven't already downloaded everything I could possibly ever want to watch and negated the need for them entirely.

    I could buy a 1TB HDD/month and spend the other $100 on a dedicated fiber line and still be about $30 ahead of what I pay for cable TV/data right now from TWC. Oh wait. I guess I should just do that. Dinosaurs are meant to go extinct...

     

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      Hephaestus (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 11:38am

      Re:

      "There is nothing they have to say that I want to hear on FOX, NBC, CBS, etc..."

      Oh come on glen beck is amusing in a weird everything he says creeps me out sort of way.

       

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    Ryan Diederich, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 10:15am

    You Know...

    Off topic slightly, but...

    All of the cable companies' ads talk about how its perfect reception, even during the rain! Yes I'll admit that when I had DirectTV it was a little glitchy during a rainstorm.

    What they dont tell you, is that all of their main feeds are satellite fed, as all TV companies are.

    Without fail, at 1 in 3 climaxes in movies, the signal will glitch, and skip forward 10 seconds. Just long enogh to miss Optimus Prime tear off the face of that Deceptacon.

     

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      Andrew (profile), Nov 9th, 2010 @ 11:11am

      Re: You Know...

      You must live in a crappy area, I've never seen my cable drop out like that. At least 5 nines reliability. Maybe it's because cable companies have much heavier duty dishes?

      I've been in a room with a satellite TV and a cable TV during a bad thunderstorm, and only one of them had a picture, a perfect picture, whereas the other just had some box about trying to reacquire the satellite signal.

       

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    Josh Taylor, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 11:53am

    I predict that more subscribers will drop both cable/satellite and internet, go back to reading books, spend more time with family conversations at the dinner table, spending pleasurable activities outside (and I don't mean as in public sex), and going to church. Dropping their cable and internet would eventually end their addictions.

    The Entertainment media is simply going to die.

     

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    Markus (profile), Nov 8th, 2010 @ 6:35pm

    What about all the non-connectors

    I think one of the most interesting things about the situation that is not being discussed is the number of young folks that won't be getting cable at all, ever. This trend is quickly going to dry up the market of potential new customers to cable in general. I mean, time was, if you left one company, you found another more often than not, so this was more or less neutral to the industry. Now, myself and many others of my generation are out on our own for the first time, and discovering that the avenues of accessing content we pursued in college work just as well out of school. Nothing, not even the comfort of the known, would incentivise me to buy cable in the first place, much less be in a position to cut it.

     

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    darryl, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 9:29pm

    Its not the Economy 'stupid'

    Classic LOL..

    'It's NOT the economy STUPID'

    which they tried to explain away by blaming "the economy." Of course, the economy was a lot worse last year.

    Alot worse was it, and the ONLY reason why they cut their cables is because there is something better. Not because YOU KNOW, they might want to keep their house, or maybe buy some food.

    Or even save a bit of money incase they become on of the about 10% unemployed you have at present. !!!

    Maybe they might consider health insurance a little more important in this age, that cable TV !!!.

    But No according to Mike, that has NOTHING TO DO WITH IT..

    BTW, I guess you are 'sort of right' in Oct 2009 unemployment was just on 10% and now it is only 9.7% and not improving.

    But no it was not the economy, no it was all those people deciding that they wanted to spend their money on another service.

    Not that they wanted to keep some money just incase things kept GETTING WORSE, as it is in your country at the present time.

    To make the claim that it has nothing to do with the economic conditions in the USA, then that only shows me and others that you are VERY VERY out of touch with reality.

    Perhaps you should stop drinking your own cool aid, and you know, read a newpaper, and watch a news program once a year or so..

    You do yourself ZERO credit, not considering the economic conditions of your country when making such outlandish claims.

    Or are you in some kind of denial that there is a major crisis occuring in America, and that alot of people are suffering.

    And you're trying to cash in on that and gain some brownie points by attacking cable !!!.. Wake up Mike, or grow up..

     

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      AW, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 10:42pm

      Re: Its not the Economy 'stupid'

      Listen I hate being a grammar nazi but seriously if you're going to try to denigrate someone else take the time to use spell check.

      Your comments belie the fact that you have no knowledge of how humans work. Even during roman times the poor would go the the Colosseum for bread and circus because they were starving and wanted food AND entertainment.

      Here are some facts for you:

      Certain areas of the country, Texas and Massachusetts are actually creating jobs right now.

      I know math isn't easy for many people to get, but .3% of millions of people is a lot of people and jobs. Even during the great depression 3 out of 4 people were employed.

      This was a global economic crisis except for area where there wasn't an entrenched system already. China and South America which ignore IP or use open source options actually grew in their economies.

      I'd read a newspaper, but I can't seem to find one except for my local one. Maybe it's behind a paywall?

      I'm a Time Warner customer and cutting the cord is becoming increasingly popular through Netflix. We watch exactly 2 shows on TV and the network is changing one of the channels my wife watches to a channel she won't watch. That leaves exactly one show we watch....for $40 a month. It's a work out program, does that seem equitable to you?

      Also you missed the point entirely of what Mike was saying. He was saying that because the global meltdown has forced people to make cuts they have evaluated the worth they are getting from their services and found that they are able to get what they want for less money with less hassle on a service they already have. How does this ignore a financial belt tightening?

       

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    Rex, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 9:02am

    I cut the cord

    September 2010 I cut the cord.

    I had satellite TV since about 1997: DirecTV 1997-2001; DishNetwork 2003-2010. For a long time, I found interesting things to watch. However! Over the last several years I have found less and less to watch while the price kept going up. I had considered unsubscribing for over a year, but had not taken any action on it.

    In September My DVR harddisk bit the dust, thus disabling my ability to receive the satellite signal. I called Dish to ask about repair/replacement. They quoted me a price that, after shipping, would be close to $100. That sealed the deal for me. I unsubscribed.

    There was a short war with the "retentions" department, but in the end I said: "Turn it off!"

    What I have found since is that Netflix (physical media. I run Linux and there's no Netflix software for Linux) and just not watching anything resembling "TV" programming at all has given me some time back to pursue other interests. I'm happy I cut 'em off.

     

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    RT Cunningham (profile), Nov 9th, 2010 @ 9:19pm

    Cable TV in the Philippines

    I moved away from the US in 2006, cutting almost all ties. We have cable TV here, but I never watch it. My wife, a Filipino by birth, watches the Filipino dramas every day with it because there isn't any other reliable source. Of course, it's cheaper than cable TV in the US. Less than $20 a month (although I don't know the exact amount due to the conversion rate).

    The only American TV I get is via the Asian versions of HBO, Cinemax, etc. and a local provider called "Solar" which seems to be 3 or 4 weeks in showing current specific popular TV series.

    I find getting TV shows to be a lot easier via torrents - even if the same shows appear through other avenues because things like recurring brownouts prevent me from being able to see them using traditional methods.

    If it wasn't for the wife, the cable never would have been installed.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 10th, 2010 @ 12:25am

    We cut the cord about a month ago, saving now over $100 a month and have yet to run out of stuff to watch over the air, netflix and web.

    C ya Cable - Wouldn't want to be ya!

     

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