• More Consumers “Cutting the Cord”

    by  • October 27, 2016 • Cable Choice • 2 Comments

    Needlenose Pliers Holding a Piece of Wire

    TV viewers are rejecting the hundred-channel cable bundle.

    For decades the entertainment cartel has held American consumers hostage, forcing cable and satellite subscribers to pay for hundreds of channels they never watch and don’t want, just to get a few they do. But with the rise of programming being streamed over the Internet, more and more people are “cutting the cord” – getting rid of their pay-TV subscriptions (thereby saving almost $100 a month, in some cases) and watching shows on the Internet.

    A recent article in the New York Times noted that, while over 80% of homes have some form of pay-TV, it is estimated that by the end of the year nearly 5% of those will “cut the cord” and go to viewing TV purely via Internet, or over-the-air with an antenna. This is an increase over last year, when almost 4% of viewers did the same. The industry is also faced with the rising phenomenon of “zero TV homes” – largely young people who, when they move out on their own, never do get a cable or satellite subscription to begin with, and who rely entirely on the Internet for their television.

    While 5% seems like a small number, it will only increase as ever more tech-savvy young adults move away from the pay-TV model of spending $100 a month on shows they never watch. If the industry offered viewers ala carte, in which people would only pay for what they want to watch, it could survive and even thrive. But the industry appears intent on clinging to its outmoded model of forcing people to pay for something they don’t want.

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    About

    Christopher Gildemeister is the PTC’s Head of Research Operations. He began as an Entertainment Analyst at the PTC in 2005. From 2007-2016, he was Senior Writer/Editor, responsible for communicating the PTC’s message to the public through newsletters, columns, and the PTC Watchdog blog. Dr. Gildemeister holds a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America.

    2 Responses to More Consumers “Cutting the Cord”

    1. Robert
      October 27, 2016 at 10:44 pm

      Congrats on the engagement Christopher!

    2. October 28, 2016 at 8:41 am

      Christopher,

      Feel free to use this or any part of it. My real name is John Stewart and I had the privilege of meeting your colleague Melissa Henson at the 2015 anti sexual exploitation summit in Orlando in 2014. Please tell her not to get discouraged by the negative posts. Think of this, why would someone who is not a parent even visit your site? They are paid operatives and they are scared. You guys are more powerful than you think. At the summit there were 300 leaders and if you added their members they would be about 70 million strong. I am working on a “Social responsibility in advertising” campaign which labels companies who disregard children as “Family Hostile” . Feel free to use these phrases if you like them. The only way to kill this beast is economic warfare. I personally have had about an 80% success rate getting companies to pull ads from smut for kids programming. That is how we ended Apartheid. I even had a CEO of a major corporation call me at my house to apologize personally. I am going to make a donation now.

      Keep up the good fight.

      By J. Dolan October25, 2016
      I cut my cable and watch anything I want with no monthly fee?

      I can remember when TiVo was as essential for most guys as food and water . I enjoyed my cable for years until I had kids. I’m no prude, in fact I was a sailor, but the programing they run on just basic cable is so depraved I had to cut it for my kid’s sake. I went back to antenna tv which is almost like cable except it is “40 stations and nothing on” instead of “400 stations and nothing on”. My kids missed cartoon network and I missed FOX news.

      Then I heard about streaming. Like everyone I got NETFLIX but that still limited my viewing. Then one day I started Googling and found out that virtually everything we watch is streamed on the internet for free. I started making copies of URLs on a word document and collecting my favorite stations. I watch FOX news all the time and my kids can watch any cartoons they want for free. I found one web site that lets me watch tv all over the world. Sometimes I watch the news from my home town.

      The cool thing about streaming is that when you find that show you like, all the episodes are out there so you don’t need to record them. Also, kids love to watch the same cartoon over and over and with streaming they can. TiVo and cable have gone the way of the cassette tape. Here are some of the streaming sites I found:
      News Junkies – Fox http://vaughnlive.tv/newzviewz CNN http://www.zahitvstation.com/watch-cnn-usa-live .
      Cartoons – Cartoon Network URL, http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/video/unlocked/sadies-song-episode.html?atclk_vp=unlocked_Steven_Universe_Sadie's_Song

      Sports – If your local TV station isn’t covering the game you want to watch, watch a station in the city that is covering it. I have included a site that has perhaps thousands of stations from all over the world by region, nation, state and city. I live in Florida and sometimes watch channel 13 out of Albany NY, my home town. Of course you can always subscribe to ESPN without the content you don’t want. Check out Free Streaming http://streema.com/tv/ . This is where I get the BBC as well.

      I was able to watch the debates without being interrupted by anchors telling me what I just heard. I Googled live debates and just picked a source.

      Connectivity – All you need is an HDMI cable and a PC or other streaming device. Plug one end of the HDMI into the device and the other end into the tv. Young people don’t watch cable, they stream, and we can as well. I’m 59 and I do it. There are a number of streaming devices out there like Chromecast or Roku but the best streaming device for me is the dBox. I bought mine from this website http://www.dboxtv.com/JS9185. What I like best about it is that you can set up favorites; a list of content you know is ok for your kids. There is no monthly fee and it frees up my laptop for other things. For local channels I just use an antenna. There is really no need for cable. All you need is Wi-Fi and I pay $40 a month for that.

      About the author; J.Dolan is an information technology executive with 30 years of experience. He has degrees in Finance, Business Administration and Information Technology. He holds several information technology certificates and is a Certified Microsoft Professional. His interests include broadband communications and media. He is also an advocate for protecting children against trafficking and pornography.

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