Skip to comments.Cutting Cable: Companies Losing Customers
Posted on 02/09/2009 4:28:16 AM PST by Zakeet
Porter McConnell gave up on pay TV last summer after noticing that monthly rates kept creeping up.
Now with no satellite or cable TV, she watches her trusty old TV set with an antenna or she goes online to catch her favorite programs. Once in a while, she buys shows from Apple Inc.'s iTunes service. McConnell also upped her subscription to Netflix Inc.'s movies-by-mail service so she gets two DVDs at a time instead of one, for $15 a month.
"Part of it is, I've got to economize," said the 30-year-old Washington, D.C., resident who works at a nonprofit.
McConnell is the kind of consumer who makes cable and satellite TV operators lose sleep. While a weak economy invariably makes people pinch pennies, this is the first time that viewing shows online has become a viable competitor to pay TV, making cutting the cord easier.
Cable operators are starting to notice. Glenn Britt, chief executive of Time Warner Cable Inc., voiced his concern Wednesday in a quarterly earnings discussion with analysts.
"We are starting to see the beginning of cord cutting," he said. "People will choose not to buy subscription video if they can get the same stuff for free."
(Excerpt) Read more at cbsnews.com ...
Hmmm, but one still have to have a high bandwidth conduit to the computer. DSL sucks (when it works), leaving either satellite links (expensive) or - cable.
One can still get DVDs by mail, I guess......
“We are starting to see the beginning of cord cutting,” he said. “People will choose not to buy subscription video if they can get the same stuff for free.”
Now that’s the remark of a Ted Turner inspired genius.
Prices on a few other things have gone up again, lately, too. Some people get a little scared during times like these and do the supply and demand thing a little backwards.
Mine doesn't. It's as fast as I need it to be for anything and is very reliable.
I occasionally have to watch “24” on line, and have found that Fox has it available WITHOUT COMMERCIALS, and very good quality.
What really sucks is a lack of competition, due to government fiat.
I have to have HS Internet for work. I haven’t been able to use cellular broadband, due to spotty coverage in my area, but more to the point, the latency involved (also a problem with satellite) plays hell with my VPN connection. And I’m too far from my CO for DSL.
So I’m stuck with cable... It wouldn’t be so bad if I had a choice: My aunt had a choice of 3 carriers, and because of that, she was paying $49 a month for 1st tier cable, HS Internet and phone service. In the city where I live, Time Warner has the monopoly, so I pay $72 a month for 1st tier cable and HS Internet. And I’ve been waiting YEARS to finally get my cable buried in the back yard. They did finally put it up along the top of the fence after the 3rd time it was cut while mowing the yard. Gotta love that service.
I’m considering doing the same thing after the NCAA Men’s and Women’s basketball tournaments. First I have to watch my UConn Men’s and Women’s teams win their NCAA tournaments!
Same here. Beats the heck out of dial up!
If you are happy with just TV you can get through an antenna and have broadband, the little box above and $8.99/month will get you unlimited movies.
I’m sure there is a bailout on the horizon for the cable companies. Just imagine their distress over decreasing revenues! Gasp! (sarc off)
DSL varies a lot by location and provider. I had great DSL service in Alaska.
What do you do when there's no extras to cut?
Low Budget Ping
Now look for legislation to put an end to the free stuff.
My DSL service (AT&T) has been great without hickups for years. Also watch hi-def TV shows online without a problem. “Life On Mars” is one of the better new TV shows and looks great online - even with full screen display.
We cut off DISH and Cable a few months ago. We discovered that we could find what we want online for free (except for the HS internet access of course).
I downloaded Star Trek “The Doomsday Machine” as an experiment. Not only was the quality great, but someone re-did the special effects, they were outstanding as compared to the original. The Enterprise tumbling end over end, really cool phasers, a much more animated mutant ice cream cone from h$ll. Who did this? Anyone know?
CBS streams the NCAA men’s basketball tournament online for free (not sure about women’s.)
Where I live I pit the DSL provider against the cable internet provider and they give discounts to retain you (evil grin) That would be BellSouth vs Comcast
Cut my cable over a year ago. How much TV did I watch? And what was I really watching?
News Channels (Fox) for an hour or so in the evening.
One or two primetime programs per week.
After that? Not much else...at $50.00 @ mth. it wasn’t worth having.
I use my computer for almost everything else. Free Republic is great for getting truly breaking news and then the links to live coverage.
My biggest fear, the Fairness Doctrine and how they might try to implement it.
Wasn’t it Senator McCain who was pushing the ala carte cable bill a few years ago?
What happened to that?
Extended cable here has about 65 channels. Subscribers subsidize those they don’t watch. Out of the 65, I watch maybe 25-30 occasionally. If I could drop 35-40 (my choice) and pay less, I’d jump for that.
The main reason I keep cable is for the highspeed Internet. However, some of the wireless providers are entering that market.
My cable advertises “free HD programming”. To get that ‘free’ programming, however, I have to switch from the analog to digital ($$11.95 monthly for service and mandatory tier) and and HD receiver ($$5.95 monthly). So, at a minimum that “free HD programming” would add about $19.00 plus tax per month.
I missed a 24 episode so the next evening I streamed it from the Fox website. From my computer onto a 32" LCD TV. It looked as good as the regular over the air digital broadcast expect for a few stutter motions
Most municpalities gave one cable company total control over an area, and they used it to charge excessive rates both to subscribers and to channels/networks. Now they will need a lean, mean model - unless they get bailed out, in which case it’s Edsels for everyone.
DSL may not be instant, but it does work. I usually wait for my show to fully download before watching it.
I seem to remember that the reason the cable companies got permission to offer internet was because they say the day coming when internet would REPLACE cable TV.
Of course, ISPs are going to start charging by volume pretty soon, which is going to kill the online move biz. Methinks there is a conflict of interest here, since most of them offer some sort of TV service (cable companies, and AT&T).
Food isn’t extras.
Numerous ‘Star Trek’ episodes from the original run were remastered (audio, video, new effects). The remasters were originally shown on Sci-Fi channel as part of another ST anniversary.
I only get basic cable because I have cable internet and basic was an additional $5/mo. Otherwise, there’s no way I’d pay what some of my friends are paying for their cable TV.
As far as I’m concerned, 90% of it is garbage anyway, so why pay good money for it?
Those are a few websites that stream many of the current and classic TV shows. Some have brief commercials (15-30 sec) occasionally during the stream. The quality is good, depending on the website and the ISP quality.
I use my HD TV as a monitor and stream full-screen via the laptop which is wired or wireless from the router. I am doing this more and more to catch missed episodes, etc. It is even better than dvd-recording, because the episode stream tends to have significantly fewer commercials.
[Speaking of commercials, I watched NBC’s XIII last night. Every 5 minutes, it seemed, they broke for commercials. I bet, when the whole 4-hour movie is broadcast and commercials removed, it will be about a 90-minute movie.]
We do all that already..... :(
(Except for the beer)
We also shop Salvation Army. Our local one has very high quality foot wear (they’re very picky about what they take) and we got my college daughter one pair of boots and a pair of shoes, both like new, for $8.
I have a garden and this year expect to make my own “organic” strawberry jam.
The market in action.
That’s for sure. I’ve noticed that there’s no better selection with 50 channels that when we had three.
I watch the only 2 shows I can stomach on CBS without commercials on my computer. I took the cheapest Netflix package and I get instant movies when I want and 2 others mailed to me every week...and no commercials and no Obama.
Remember when cable was (mostly) commercial free?
I’m damned tired of paying what I pay for a few decent channels (out of the 300 or so that I pay for), and STILL have to sit through the same pile-of-crap commercials.
Where is my pair of cable cutters?
I remember when cable first came out, the claim was that there would be fewer commercials because we were paying for the channels. American Movie Classics, HBO, and Cinemax were the examples. I’ve quit watching pro football now because quite honestly, with games stretching to four hours (a 60 minute NFL game typically includes a total of 12 minutes of game action if you only count from snap to whistle), that I’d forget who was playing and what quarter it was during the interminable 5 to 7 minute commercial breaks.
Same here, although the speed depends greatly on the time of day. Early mornings it's plenty fast. Evenings not so much....
Cable companies have enjoyed a government-enforced monopoly for too long. They are arrogant and charge too much. They force you to pay for channels that you don’t want. Most of all, they charge too much.
Ding ding ding ding ding! You got that right. The price should be going down as they infuse commercials into pay TV. I remember when cable came out and that was it’s big selling point. Now it’s the same as watching the networks, only we have to pay monthly as well.
From what I know of you, you may not, indeed have any “extras” to cut. I have read about, and found, that if you catalog ALL and EVERYTHING you spend money on in a couple of months, you just might find something.
90% of it was “brain poison”,
and I couldn’t let my kids watch even the “kids’ channels” because of the commercials and the worldly messages in those.
We got the 3 package [High-speed/phone/basic cable] deal from Time Warner a while back. Saw the ad on TV, told hubby we could have it IF it was under $100 total a month.
When he called, they tried to tell him the service in his area is $50 more than advertised. He told them "I saw it on my TV", "But sir, it's more in your area", they replied. "MY TV!!" he said again.
Needless to say, we got it as advertised and locked in a set price of less than $97 a month for the next 2 years. Between that and Netflix by mail and online, we never run out of things to watch.
You think DSL sucks? Try dial-up! :-)
Is it possible to download programming that is digital or would at least look good on my 42” widescreen?
Anyone know? Bueller? Bueller?
we gave up on cable years ago.
Then when we moved, it was too an area that didn’t have cable anyway.
So - next week we’ll probably watch our free signal go “poof” (local stations are still going digital next week).
I thought the prices of those little converter boxes would drop once all the coupons expired.
Whenever we visit someone with cable we say the same thing....Alot of channels - but there’s still NOTHING on!
Saw them done this way on analog TV a while back, too.
Good thing! Some of those shows had been run so many times, the soundtrack was getting warped.