Cable Companies Keep Adding Channels, But We’re Not Watching Any More Of Them

Pay-TV providers have added more than 50 channels since 2008, but the average household still only watches about 17 of them.

If you’re one of those TV viewers who knows exactly where on their vast channel list to find the few stations you watch regularly, or who frustratedly skims past screen after screen of channels you not only don’t watch but don’t even know the names of, you’re not alone. In fact, a new report confirms that the average TV watcher only looks at fewer than 1-in-10 of the channels that come into their homes. [More]

Verizon Offers 2-Year Price Guarantee To New FiOS Customers, Doesn’t Mention New Fee

Verizon Offers 2-Year Price Guarantee To New FiOS Customers, Doesn’t Mention New Fee

UPDATE: A rep for Verizon has reached out to Consumerist to clarify that the $50 activation fee is only required for customers who order FiOS service offline and that this fee varies from market to market. Additionally, the $5/month router rental fee has not yet started. It will begin Feb. 16 in all markets except New York State. [More]

U.S. Consumers Paying More, Getting Less For Internet Than Europe & Asia

U.S. Consumers Paying More, Getting Less For Internet Than Europe & Asia

While numerous telecoms in Europe and Asia are acknowledging that it’s becoming cheaper and easier to provide TV and high-speed Internet service to consumers, many U.S. providers are continuing to charge high prices for a mediocre product, according to a new report from the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute. [More]


Netflix Now Has More Paid U.S. Subscribers Than HBO

All that binge-watching at the swipe and a click of the mouse has proved successful for Netflix lately, as the company revealed yesterday in its letter to investors that it’s hit 29.3 million U.S. subscribers. Without even taking into account its trial customers, that’s a hop skip and jump over HBO’s last reported total of 28.7 million subscribers. Cord? What’s a cord? Something to be cut? [More]

(Videodrome Discothèque @ OBERON, Harvard Square)

Video On Demand Finally Enjoying Cool Kid Status In 60% Of TV Homes

A scream of rage goes up, a long howl filled with frustration. You forgot to set the DVR to tape the latest episode of Breaking Amish: L.A. But there’s hope yet for cable and satellite customers, as video on demand programming has been improving through the years, and is now available to 60% of American TV households. [More]

DirecTV Installer Starts House Fire, Family Now Watching Cable In A Hotel

DirecTV Installer Starts House Fire, Family Now Watching Cable In A Hotel

There are six words that you never want to hear from someone who’s doing work on your home: “Do you have a fire extinguisher?” That’s what an Ohio family heard from the man installing DirecTV in their house this week. Turns out that what they thought was drywall dust was smoke, and the installer had hit the house’s main power line while drilling in the garage. Oops. [More]

(Tom Simpson)

A Cable Outage Is Not An Emergency That Rates Calling 911

Look, it doesn’t matter how important it is to be up to date on the latest happenings on “Dexter” or “Breaking Bad” before you get to the office on Monday. When your cable goes out, the proper reaction is to wait for a few minutes, then (perhaps) to call your cable company to make sure it isn’t just you. That is not how the good people of Connecticut reacted last night. [More]

(funny strange or funny haha)

Report: Google Interested In Providing Cable TV On Internet Channels, But It Won’t Be Easy

The still waters of the cable TV industry might run deep, but if companies like Google keep splashing around in them, we might see an alternative to the traditional bundling model — but it ain’t gonna be easy. A new report says Google is entertaining the idea of possibly offering cable channels over broadband Internet connections, something that would likely meet with a major pushback from cable and satellite providers. [More]

Do images like this make the idea of cancelling cable so unpleasant that some people are keeping their service rather than facing the hassle? (photo: honeylamb)

Do Cable Companies Deliberately Make It Hard To Return Set-Top Boxes?

One of the most frequent complaints we receive from readers is cable companies making it difficult to return equipment (or claiming equipment was never returned in the first place). Most people chalk this up to the cable industry’s ingrained ineptitude, but what if it’s a deliberate attempt to make customers weary of returning their equipment — and thus staying with their current provider? [More]


Almost Half Of Adults Think Cable TV Is A Waste Of Money, Probably Pay Anyway

Yeah, cable television isn’t a necessity, and it isn’t cheap. But according to a new poll by our friends over at Coupon Cabin, most American households pay up anyway, even if they acknowledge that cable is kind of a waste of money. [More]

(Click to enlarge)

Comcast Offers Broadband So Fast, The Promotional Price Ends 6 Months Early

Where are six months and twelve months basically the same thing? At Comcast, of course. The cable company/ISP/overlords of all media want to show us all that they have a poor grasp on math. We can laugh it up all we want, but the joke’s really on reader Bubbicito. It doesn’t matter how confusing he finds the deals in Kabletown, because he doesn’t have any other choices for high-speed broadband. He can still vent at Consumerist, though. [More]


Cable Company Caps Data Usage, Tells Customers They Should Watch On-Demand Movies Instead Of Netflix

A number of cable companies and Internet service providers have soft data usage caps of around 250 GB, where customers who cross that threshold repeatedly will receive warnings. Some are more strict, like the small cable provider in Pennsylvania who charges $1/GB over that 250 GB limit, and who wants you to cut back on the Netflix. [More]

Ugh, paying for cable just to see one show?

HBO Exec Says There’s Maybe Kinda Some Hope For Standalone Broadband Offering

For those TV viewers who perhaps only want cable service when their favorite shows are on, say Game of Thrones or if you’re struggling with the meaning of city life in your mid-20s, Girls, it kind of stinks to buy an entire cable package. So if HBO does end up cutting the cord and offering a standalone broadband service, plenty of customers will have reason to celebrate. [More]

Charter Ends Twitter And Facebook Customer Support

Charter Ends Twitter And Facebook Customer Support

People who are unable to get help from Charter’s regular customer service have always had another, social media-riffic option: contacting the dedicated Facebook and Twitter representatives. We’ve heard pretty good things about Team Twitter over at Charter, which is why we’re very sad to hear that they’re killing off the helpful accounts and re-assigning all of the team members. [More]


Cable Industry Claims Next Generation Of Set-Top Boxes Won’t Use More Electricity Than Refrigerators

Billions of dollars are spent every year providing power to the nation’s cable boxes, much of it consumed when the boxes aren’t being actively used. A group of 15 cable companies and box manufacturers have agreed to changes that will — eventually — save around $1.5 billion each year in electric bills, but some say it’s all just a lot of hot air. [More]


Bright House Customer Now Has His Football In Glorious HD

A few months ago, we shared with you the story of Tim, a Bright House cable customer who signed up for the company’s most basic package because the company’s website created the appearance that high-definition channels were part of it. After we published Craig’s story, the person at Bright House whose job it is to fund unhappy customers venting on the Internet and make them happy again contacted us, wanting to help Tim. This person agreed that the online listings were confusing, and upgraded Tim’s cable at no cost. [More]

A friendly notice from TWC

Time Warner Cable Tells Customers “Oh, By The Way, You Now Have A Monthly Modem Rental Fee”

Time Warner Cable is irking an awful lot of customers, who recently opened their mail to find out that they are now going to be assessed a $3.95 monthly fee for renting the modem that is already in their home. [More]

Cable Companies Should Be Worrying About Kids Who Have No Plans For Ever Getting Cable

Cable Companies Should Be Worrying About Kids Who Have No Plans For Ever Getting Cable

For many adults between the ages of 20 to 45, cable TV was a staple of everyday life — and something that a lot of us automatically purchased for our homes when it came time to make nests of our own. But for the younger folks who have no memory of a world without widespread access to broadband Internet, cable could be looking more and more like a relic of an older world. [More]