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Cutting Cable: Companies Losing Customers
CBS News ^ | February 8, 2009

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 ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cable; cabletv; economy; msm; satellite; television
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TV providers are alarmed because a flood of TV shows and movies have become available online, and the video quality has gotten better.
1 posted on 02/09/2009 4:28:16 AM PST by Zakeet
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To: Zakeet

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......


2 posted on 02/09/2009 4:30:36 AM PST by Da Coyote
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To: Zakeet

“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.


3 posted on 02/09/2009 4:33:09 AM PST by anton
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To: Zakeet

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.


4 posted on 02/09/2009 4:35:00 AM PST by familyop (combat engineer (combat), National Guard, '89-'96, Duncan Hunter or no-vote, http://falconparty.com/)
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To: Da Coyote
"DSL sucks"

Mine doesn't. It's as fast as I need it to be for anything and is very reliable.

5 posted on 02/09/2009 4:36:32 AM PST by KoRn
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To: Zakeet

I occasionally have to watch “24” on line, and have found that Fox has it available WITHOUT COMMERCIALS, and very good quality.


6 posted on 02/09/2009 4:40:19 AM PST by Fresh Wind (Hey, Obama! Where's my check?)
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To: Da Coyote
I don't know about that,but I have dsl connected to a router and run three computers on the net at the same time and have very good speed on it. I have even watched a couple of movies in HD Format right off the internet and they were excellent.Not one burp.
7 posted on 02/09/2009 4:41:48 AM PST by puppypusher (The world is going to the dogs.)
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To: Da Coyote

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.

Mark


8 posted on 02/09/2009 4:41:54 AM PST by MarkL (Do I really look like a guy with a plan?)
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To: Zakeet

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!


9 posted on 02/09/2009 4:42:00 AM PST by Man50D (Fair Tax, you earn it, you keep it!)
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To: KoRn

Same here. Beats the heck out of dial up!


10 posted on 02/09/2009 4:42:15 AM PST by seatrout (I wouldn't know most "American Idol" winners if I tripped over them!)
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To: Zakeet

http://www.roku.com/default.aspx

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.


11 posted on 02/09/2009 4:44:14 AM PST by IamConservative (Dems: "Do as we say, not as we pay.")
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To: Da Coyote

I’m sure there is a bailout on the horizon for the cable companies. Just imagine their distress over decreasing revenues! Gasp! (sarc off)


12 posted on 02/09/2009 4:46:11 AM PST by REPANDPROUDOFIT
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To: Da Coyote
DSL sucks

DSL varies a lot by location and provider. I had great DSL service in Alaska.

13 posted on 02/09/2009 4:47:21 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: Zakeet
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.

What do you do when there's no extras to cut?

14 posted on 02/09/2009 4:48:50 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: autumnraine; WorkerbeeCitizen; DYngbld; Just Lori; TornadoAlley3; PGalt; OB1kNOb; goodnesswins; ...

Low Budget Ping


15 posted on 02/09/2009 4:48:52 AM PST by jenk (If there must be trouble,let it be in my day,that my child may have peace. --Thomas Paine)
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To: Zakeet
"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 look for legislation to put an end to the free stuff.

16 posted on 02/09/2009 4:49:35 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: metmom

Donner party.


17 posted on 02/09/2009 4:49:43 AM PST by Richard Kimball (We're all criminals. They just haven't figured out what some of us have done yet.)
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To: Da Coyote

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.


18 posted on 02/09/2009 4:51:15 AM PST by newfreep ("Liberalism is just Communism sold by the drink." - P.J. O'Rourke)
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To: Zakeet

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?


19 posted on 02/09/2009 4:53:40 AM PST by lafroste (gravity is not a force. See my profile to read my novel absolutely free (I know, beyond shameless))
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To: Man50D

CBS streams the NCAA men’s basketball tournament online for free (not sure about women’s.)


20 posted on 02/09/2009 4:56:15 AM PST by Overtaxed
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To: Zakeet

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


21 posted on 02/09/2009 4:56:24 AM PST by dennisw (Archimedes--- Give me a place to stand, and I will move the Earth)
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To: Zakeet

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.


22 posted on 02/09/2009 4:56:57 AM PST by EBH ( Directive 10-289)
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To: Overtaxed
CBS streams the NCAA men’s basketball tournament online for free (not sure about women’s.)

Thanks for the info but it has to be both!
23 posted on 02/09/2009 4:57:22 AM PST by Man50D (Fair Tax, you earn it, you keep it!)
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To: Zakeet

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.


24 posted on 02/09/2009 4:57:48 AM PST by TomGuy
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To: Zakeet
TV providers are alarmed because a flood of TV shows and movies have become available online, and the video quality has gotten better.

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

25 posted on 02/09/2009 5:00:05 AM PST by dennisw (Archimedes--- Give me a place to stand, and I will move the Earth)
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To: Zakeet

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.


26 posted on 02/09/2009 5:01:25 AM PST by Puddleglum (this space for rent)
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To: Da Coyote

DSL may not be instant, but it does work. I usually wait for my show to fully download before watching it.


27 posted on 02/09/2009 5:01:51 AM PST by TaxRelief (Walmart: Keeping my family on-budget since 1993.)
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To: Zakeet

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.


28 posted on 02/09/2009 5:04:34 AM PST by TaxRelief (Walmart: Keeping my family on-budget since 1993.)
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To: IamConservative

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).


29 posted on 02/09/2009 5:06:26 AM PST by ClaudiusI
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To: Richard Kimball

Food isn’t extras.

Yuck....


30 posted on 02/09/2009 5:07:15 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Zakeet
...well when you consider what happens to their customers..
Recently I lost 16 HD channels, because the Provider and Cablevision couldn't come to an agreement. I asked about what they planned to do as far as reducing costs to the customer which was met by silence, or replacing the channels that were omitted.....again silence.
Cablevision seems to have lost a bundle with Madoff recently..I guess recovering assets has little to do with customer satisfaction or good business
31 posted on 02/09/2009 5:07:34 AM PST by Doogle (USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
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To: metmom
What do you do when there's no extras to cut?

As the wallet becomes empty more and more things that were necessary become luxuries. Suddenly heating all the rooms in your house isn't worth it so you close off the vents in the basement. Or you put that ugly shrink wrap over the windows to save a few bucks a month on the gas bill. Then you walk to the corner store instead of driving. Or you buy Budweiser instead of Sam Adams..... Well OK I wouldn't go that far but you get the point.
32 posted on 02/09/2009 5:08:19 AM PST by GonzoGOP (There are millions of paranoid people in the world and they are all out to get me.)
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To: lafroste

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.


33 posted on 02/09/2009 5:09:10 AM PST by relictele
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To: Zakeet

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?


34 posted on 02/09/2009 5:09:30 AM PST by reagan_fanatic (Dissent Is Patriotic!)
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To: Fresh Wind

http://www.hulu.com
http://www.fancast.com
http://www.veoh.com

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.]


35 posted on 02/09/2009 5:09:37 AM PST by TomGuy
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To: GonzoGOP

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.


36 posted on 02/09/2009 5:12:27 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Zakeet

The market in action.


37 posted on 02/09/2009 5:13:27 AM PST by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (Nihil utile nisi quod honestum - Marcus Tullius Cicero)
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To: reagan_fanatic

That’s for sure. I’ve noticed that there’s no better selection with 50 channels that when we had three.


38 posted on 02/09/2009 5:13:49 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Zakeet
About a month before the election I was so sick of all Obama all the time that I joined Netflix and since then very seldom turn on the TV except for the weather and sports.

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.

39 posted on 02/09/2009 5:16:11 AM PST by when the time is right
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To: Zakeet

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?


40 posted on 02/09/2009 5:18:29 AM PST by clee1 (We use 43 muscles to frown, 17 to smile, and 2 to pull a trigger. I'm lazy and I'm tired of smiling.)
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To: clee1

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.


41 posted on 02/09/2009 5:28:18 AM PST by Richard Kimball (We're all criminals. They just haven't figured out what some of us have done yet.)
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To: KoRn
Mine doesn't. It's as fast as I need it to be for anything and is very reliable.

Same here, although the speed depends greatly on the time of day. Early mornings it's plenty fast. Evenings not so much....

42 posted on 02/09/2009 5:29:03 AM PST by Thermalseeker (Government is not the solution to the problem. Government IS the problem - Ronald Wilson Reagan)
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To: Zakeet

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.


43 posted on 02/09/2009 5:30:09 AM PST by Leftism is Mentally Deranged (liberalism = serious mental deficiency)
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To: clee1

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.


44 posted on 02/09/2009 5:32:32 AM PST by Boiling point (If God had wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates.)
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To: metmom

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.


45 posted on 02/09/2009 5:37:33 AM PST by MrB (The 0bamanation: Marxism, Infanticide, Appeasement, Depression, Thuggery, and Censorship)
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To: reagan_fanatic

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.


46 posted on 02/09/2009 5:39:03 AM PST by MrB (The 0bamanation: Marxism, Infanticide, Appeasement, Depression, Thuggery, and Censorship)
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To: Da Coyote
Hmmm, but one still have to have a high bandwidth conduit to the computer.

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! :-)

47 posted on 02/09/2009 5:42:32 AM PST by MamaTexan (If you don't think government is out of control, you're not looking hard enough)
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To: Zakeet
I know you can get TV programming on-line, I've done it, but its always compressed for a small display.

Is it possible to download programming that is digital or would at least look good on my 42” widescreen?

Anyone know? Bueller? Bueller?

48 posted on 02/09/2009 5:44:10 AM PST by SampleMan (Community Organizer: What liberals do when they run out of college, before they run out of Marxism.)
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To: Zakeet

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!


49 posted on 02/09/2009 5:44:38 AM PST by Scotswife (GO ISRAEL!!!)
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To: lafroste
I would imagine it was Paramount. I watched an old one the other day online at Netflix, and the description said they had been remastered.

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.

50 posted on 02/09/2009 5:46:27 AM PST by MamaTexan (If you don't think government is out of control, you're not looking hard enough)
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