Why Cable TV May Be a Dying Industry

Post by Sharon 

In the past decades, we've seen broadcast TV have an almost insurmountable challenge to compete with cable TV. But, at the same time, we saw Blockbuster stores closing down in response. Then, the film industry ran into the very real fact that most folks can stream movies ahead of their release on DVD (which is often months after the film was in the theater). Who wants to go sick in a theater with people cough, talking, and using their cell phones, paying huge sums to do so when the films being released just aren't enticing enough to need to see on a huge screen? With the advent of streaming, cable, and independent films, studios should be shaking in their boots, but perhaps the next giant to fall might be cable and satellite tv....

My son was the first one to point out the insignificance of cable TV. 

He and his then fiancee in 2010 decided against cable tv as a young couple just out on their own the first time. I thought that was smart of them and also unusual. What did one do without all the newest shows? His answer was simple - they show the shows on streaming, just a bit behind the season. Nothing lost.

But, as they moved into marriage, successful careers, and a beautiful home with a newborn child, they decided to continue to not utilize cable television. 

They were not only both busy but raising a child and they wanted the TV to be purposeful. If it was turned on, it wasn't to provide background noise (as those of us who grew up in the 60s, 70s and 80s regarded it). 

They had a gaming system that allowed for streaming. They utilized local PBS channel, their vast DVD collection, and YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime and endless streaming offerings.

When I found myself too busy to use cable, I realized that slowly I had quit following shows. Either they were bounced around on their scheduled nights and times or I simply found myself not that engaged to need to see the show the very night it was aired. People around me talked about certain shows, I had never heard of them. I knew I was truly out of that loop. And not seeing commercials or watching Hollywood's miserable offerings was a bit of a relief. It was kind of like leaving a marriage when it was long-dead.

I got a Roku device and later a Roku TV and I had more than I could ever need to watch. I utilized Roku channel, Netflix, Prime Video, and endless free channels. 

Even the streaming channels now have channels you can pay for a la carte style which means just get the channels you use. I always felt horrible paying for CSPAN, sports channels, and other things I would never utilize. I tended to watch the same 4-5 channels all the time.

This is where cable tv is missing out - the option to just pay for the channels you want. They could charge you 20 bucks a month for 4 channels or perhaps 50 dollars a month for 10. But, they are losing lots of people with high cell phone bills, Starbuck's habits, long gas-guzzling commutes. With most folks already on Amazon Prime and Netflix, and capable of using digital rentals and purchases, as well as unlimited streaming channels to see the cable shows on later, we are missing nothing. 

I quit watching news of any kind several years ago given that news is no longer nonbiased. It is not informative, but influential. I am shocked at what reporters are allowed to say these days as if their opinion is vital to our interpretation of what is going on. And, what is considered news had nothing to do with my day to day life except to upset and scare me. I have missed nothing at all not watching news. The best decision I've made since my divorce! 
S Anyone who needs news can find it on local broadcast channels as well as online.  

As great as cable has been for lots of people, so was VHS and Blockbusters. Times change, needs change. A smart industry moves on with it. 

The only cable I utilize is for my wifi internet access. And I'm so happy not to be paying any longer for hundreds of channels I never watch. 


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