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.

The Atlantic takes a look at what it dubs “cord-nevers” (as opposed to “cord-cutters”) — those people who will choose to never get cable or satellite TV in the first place.

Pointing to data that shows flat growth rate in new cable TV subscribers, coupled with increased new subscriptions to Internet service, the report theorizes that a larger portion of that group of Americans who would normally be ordering cable are instead going Internet-only.

“These cord-never numbers matter more than the cable-cutters because the people who tend to not ever sign up for cable are young — and the youth is the future,” writes The Atlantic’s Rebecca Greenfield. “The broke twenty-somethings who survive off of Hulu, Netflix, bootleg streams of their favorite shows, and stealing each others’ HBO Go passwords now, might get used to a life without paying for cable, causing a generational shift in the way Americans consume things. That’s what the cable companies should worry about.”

Though it’s not mentioned in the Atlantic piece, one can see clear parallels between the cable-to-Internet migration and the massive shift that occurred about a decade ago from landline-to-mobile.

Mobile phones were initially a businessperson’s luxury. Then prices dropped remarkably in the late ’90s and more people began seeing them as affordable add-ons. And once reception and rates dropped to reasonable levels, folks began cutting their landline cords.

But it was that younger generation — those who are now in their mid-20s — who got their first cellphone as a teen and never saw a need for landlines.

It’s unlikely we’ll see the cable industry going the way of the landline business (or at least not as rapidly), simply because streaming video is not yet at the stage to offer the variety and convenience of having a few hundred HD channels at your fingers.

Rather, it’s more likely that more and more of these niche TV channels — the ones that seem to be points of contention in these all-too-common carriage fee disputes between broadcasters and cable companies — will be the first to go online-only, and that this will begin a trend toward a more TV-like experience on the Internet.

Ultimately — and not in the distant future — there will be no visible dividing line between TV and Internet, much in the same way that the line between phone and computer has been blurred.

The folks that need to worry about this the most, it would appear, are satellite providers. Whereas cable biggies like Comcast, Verizon FiOS and Time Warner Cable are also providing Internet access to their customers — thus making the ultimate blending of the two services into one that much easier for consumers — DirecTV and Dish Network lack that weapon in their arsenal, and there are no signs that satellite broadband will ever catch up to cable or fiber.

They currently both have marketing deals with various DSL and broadband providers to offer companion services. But what happens when people no longer want two separate services for TV and Internet? We’ve just seen DirecTV announce its first ever net loss of customers. Only time will tell if this is just the beginning of a trend.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Joedragon says:

    Satellite tv for sports is way ahead of what cable / indemad has for that even more so for out of market stuff.

    • Oh_No84 says:

      That is because they directv had exclusive deals.
      Cable TV has more bandwidth for channels, thus they could always beat satellite if they wanted to.

      I canceled my cable in January when they doubled my bill for SD tv from $50 to $100.
      It literally said $60 for cable and another $40 in 6 line itemed BS fees like “Fiber fee” “Satellite fee” etc. I called asking them to remove these BS fees and they refused so I canceled.
      I use amazon video and torrent sites and an OTA antenna.
      I never even considered going back to cable.

  2. dush says:

    How do smart phones with data for over $100 a month compare to the first mobile phone plans?

    • flychinook says:

      According to the CTIA, the average mobile phone plan in Dec 1988 cost $98.02

      Adjusting for inflation (Neither the chart nor article say that such adjustments have been made), that would be about $170 today.

      And (this is partly speculative) I’m thinking a 1988 mobile phone plan included just a few hundred minutes (or less), no sms, no data, and very little coverage.

      Oh, and the 1988 price for a Motorola DynaTac phone (aka the “Zac Morris phone”) was $2500 ($4382 adjusted for inflation). It had one hour of talk time on a full battery charge.

      • myconsumeristname says:

        Until 2010 I was a partner in a company that was one of the first cellular resellers in the Pacific Northwest. In 1988 there was no such thing as a package plan. We were selling airtime at $.29 per minute, while the carriers (only two then) were selling airtime at $.50 per minute. Fast forward a couple of years and we had a waiting list for used Motorola 750’s (the brick phone) and we were selling them for $1000…used. I remember weekly phone calls from customers, checking in to see if one had come in. No text. No data. Eight numbers in speed dial. And I thought the idea of carrying a gazillion pound phone in my handbag was “portable”. Back in those days the only people with cell phones were real estate agents, contractors, lawyers and a few of the 1%.Even doctors still had pagers. I never fathomed we would be tagging our kids with iPhones.

  3. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    “That’s what the cable companies should worry about”

    See, that’s the same false attitude cable companies have now that are going to kill themselves. It’s not what they should be “worried about.” It’s what they should be planning ahead for. The cable company that plans ahead for this is the one that will triumph and survive. The rest will die. And we will all cheer for the “loss.”

  4. lyontaymer30 says:

    Once my contract eneds which is soon, I might just stick with the basic basic cable plan. Because all I watch is a few network shows and sports. Having showtime is pointless for me.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      I’m the opposite, I want HBO and/or Showtime, nothing more. Sadly, this is not an option. Too bad HBO!

      • AzCatz07 says:

        Almost every show I watch is on HBO, Showtime, or Starz. There are a couple of TNT and USA shows I watch. I have Extra Innings, but I won’t be renewing it next year, and I’m not renewing Sunday Ticket this year.

        I can’t think of anything I watch on network TV, except for the occasional sporting event.

  5. JEDIDIAH says:

    Having hundreds of channels is not all that it’s cracked up to be.

    • Lyn Torden says:

      I can only watch two at a time.

      • JEDIDIAH says:

        The real problem is that most channels are dreck that contain nothing of interest to you.

        The Viacom blackout was a real eye opener in this regard.

    • flychinook says:

      I have DirecTV, and noticed recently that there are about 30 stations (maybe more) that show nothing but infomercials. Channel 111 is a 24/7 Lexus advertisement. All day, every day. Who the hell watches this on purpose?

      And that doesn’t even include the HSN and QVC-type stations (Again, why? It’s like a guided tour of a Skymall catalog).

      • Powerlurker says:

        You aren’t paying for those channels (or the televangelist ones). They actually pay the satellite company to be broadcast.

        • flychinook says:

          Interesting. That makes me feel good and bad at the same time.

          Good for possibly lowering my Sat TV bill.

          Bad for my decreased faith in humanity, knowing that enough people have bought RonCo products to keep a whole TV station afloat.

  6. longfeltwant says:

    It’s the end…and I feel fine.

  7. borritille says:

    “And once reception…dropped to reasonable levels…”
    I used to hate walking around and having so much reception that I could literally feel myself walking through it…

    I used to spend much of my freetime during youth watching TV. But as a 20-something “cord-never,” I enjoy watching all my TV shows online on my own schedule. Even if the shows never made it to the web, I don’t think I could bring myself to be enslaved to the networks broadcast schedule; most of my show-watching occurs in the afternoon hours. DVRs are of no use as they lack in mobility (can’t take the DVR with me to watch a show between classes).

  8. LastError says:

    They have great reason to be fearful. I’m my 40s and have already dropped the landline. We just acquired a second Roku box to go with the WDTV Live and PS3 we already had. The TVs in my house are wired and online and loving it. Roku is so good, I’m just waiting for the hammer to fall and kill it. Nothing good like this gets left unmolested for long.

    But meanwhile, when I look at my DirecTV bill and look at the channels and see what seems like 40 channels selling knives, lawn trimmers, cheap jewelry, vacuum cleaners, or the latest thing: induction hot plates (holy hades, who invents this junk?), I want to do something with that dish. Like melt it down for scrap. Maybe WITH the induction hot plate.

    Sports? I don’t give an induction hot plate about sports, perhaps except F1 racing. I would be thrilled to never see another ad from DirecTV hawking their stoopid expensive sports packs. This is where targeted advertising could really be a boon: they get to target their ads to people who want to see them, and I never had to see an ad for something I will never buy. Win-win. But I digress.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      You forgot about the endless stream of Pawn, Picking, Ice Road [insert name of activity here], and Law & Order reruns.

      • lyontaymer30 says:

        Law and Order reruns are always welcomed by me

      • kittyvillage says:

        L&O and Star Trek are all I ever want to watch! I can now watch ST on Amazon anytime free with my Prime membership. When I can watch L&O free on Amazon, Comcast may go bye-bye.

        • Wyldemusick says:

          Hell, if you want to cut costs on watching Law & Order repeats, go with the option of cutting the cable out and putting the money towards the DVD sets, or season download packs. Shop right and you could pick up two or three seasons a month and still save money over the cable TV. The greater part of Law & Order that I’ve seen has been via DVD sets. Same with CSI regular — I looked for the best deals I could get on sets, and when I got tired of the episodes, I sold the sets on. Another plus is that the episodes aren’t cut.

          I quite cable TV some time ago. I’m happy enough with DVDs (including what I can borrow from the library), what’s available streaming via Hulu and various others. I have easy access to way more than I can watch in a given day, and that’s without factoring in the books I listen to, which sucks away yet more potential viewing time.

        • 401k says:

          For $8/month Netflix will stream you all the Law and Order Episodes you can handle

  9. Blueskylaw says:

    By the time a child today becomes an adult of tomorrow, I’m betting the cost of cable (assuming they’re still around after THE GREAT AWAKENING) will be in the range of $800 – $1000 dollars per month. These high monthly fees, of course, will be blamed on everything from current economic conditions, to our viewers desired it (?), to keeping up with infrastructure,
    to the Transit of Venus, to my neighbors dog barking at night, etc. – everything but THEIR OWN FUC*ING GREED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Velvet Jones says:

      Yeah, what has happened to History and Discovery channel. I use to spend hours watching real documentaries. I loved when Discovery use to run the docs on Russian military hardware. Now both are nothing but reality TV crap and pseudo-science dribble. Only one of those shows I find even remotely entertaining is River Monsters, and even that is over the top with the silly production.

      • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

        This. I get so sick of the crap on the “history channel” when they talk about UFO’s and aliens for hours at a time, usually on Sunday morning.

      • Weekilter says:

        Almost none of the “names” on cable whether it’s History, Bravo or TLC have anything to do with what they were when they started. Many of them just run “reality” (reality hah!) TV programming because it’s so cheap (and the programming is cheap in more ways than just cost.) As Marshall McLuhan supposedly wrote that TV is one big wasteland.

  10. Fred says:

    Speaking of those who have to worry, are the millions of us who have no access to broadband that would allow us to watch tv and movies online.

    • JEDIDIAH says:

      Buy some DVDs.

    • thegashlycrumb says:

      What part of the country are you in? I’m in Alaska, and the internet situation up here is really rough, pretty much a monopoly of one srevice provider and none of the national providers have any infratstucture up here yet, so we’re stuck. For now. Still, I fork out the high costs of high speed internet, and pay overages when we go over limit, and it’s still cheaper than buying a cable subscritpion. Espcially considering I would want the internet anyway so I can work from home, game on-line, stay in touch, and all the other great things the internet can do.

      I hope that the infrastructure where you are gets built so that you can get access to the broadband internet soon. This needs to be a priority for cities and states to encourage this sort of development.

  11. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    My daughter is 26, and lives in an area with a lot of OTA channels. She has rabbit ears on her TV, gets about 27 or so channels just with them, and a Roku box. In her mind, why should she pay for cable when she can get the local channels and subchannels free, and watch whatever else she wants through the Roku box with Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon Prime?

    I think the demographics for cable will start to slide toward older people, like 60’s – 80’s, who just want to hit the on switch and watch TV, like my parents…who are in their 70’s and can’t imagine not having all those channels to scroll through. But for those of us who can figure out other ways, cable companies are going to have it tough. The only saving grace for them will be that we still need broadband.

  12. giax says:

    Why should anyone worry about someone not getting a cable TV?

    When I grew up (and I’m not that old – never got myself landline either if that helps as I didn’t see the point of getting that either), the TV my parents had had 3 channels. And nothing to watch – now that my husband has cable, we have many more channels, but nothing that’s of interest. If we ditch the cable, it’ll be cheaper to get all the shows we actually watch (Futurama, Restaurant Impossible and about 3 other shows in total) from iTunes. Since the TV is never on for background noise anyway, most likely we’ll finally get rid of the cable in the next few months. Should the cable companies also worry of the people who had cable but won’t have it any longer? Sure, find better packages… and maybe there are people who just don’t get a benefit of an expensive data package for mobile phone (I can live without that too)/landline/cable.

  13. thegashlycrumb says:

    I completely agree with this posting, however I saw something from AllThingsD this morning called, “The Truth about Paid TV: It’s Still Not Shrinking.”
    So, which truth is the actual truth? Has it not be shrinking, but is expected to be completely gone in 18 years (when someone born today would consider getting cable for themselves)?
    I get upset when current TV is not available on HuluPlus or iTunes. I pay the subscription cost on HuluPlus, and I watch a lot of shows on it. I also have Netflix, which is good for old TV that I want to watch again, or didn’t get to see the first time around. Then, I pay the premium of about $30 to iTunes a show (for HD) when there’s a show not available on-line that I want to watch. The upside of that is that they still become available the day after it broadcasts, and I get to keep it! No buying the box sets anymore! Fantastic.
    I can’t see a future where this isn’t what everyone does all the time. I expect it now, and when a network, like NBC tries to tell me that I MUST HAVE A CABLE SUBCRIPTION to be able to watch their content, like the Olympics maybe, I just say, well I guess I can’t watch that. Because really, why are they limiting who their audience can be? It just doesn’t seem to be a sensible business practice for an entertainment industry. Then again, they say it’s been working out for them, so maybe I’m just wrong.

  14. bben says:

    65 here – no landline phone or Cable TV.
    People today don’t remember the promises cable made – NO commercials, see every game for your favorite team, no matter where you live. A channel for any interest. Ballet anyone? All for just $20 a month. Today we get bombarded with many entire channels of nothing but commercials – who watches that crap? Local cable shows about 60% of my local NFL home team’s games. If I happen to like a team somewhere else – fat chance on cable. I could maybe see three or four of my college football games on cable. Other sports? Unless its NASCAR racing – not even available at all. Then the channels that really once upon a time had real content History, A&E, TLC – they have gone to the worst trash non reality shows yet. No longer worth watching. Do the cable execs really think I want to pay at least $60 a month minimum for a package that includes HBO? If so they need to pull their heads out of that dark place in their neither region.

    I cut the cable some time back. I have a $20 antenna for OTA reception and get around 20 local channels. Including a dedicated local weather and news loop on one. Anything else I want to see is from the internet.

    • Smiling says:

      This. I remember back when there were basically no commercials on cable. It was totally worth the money to pay for commercial free TV. Now, the programs are 50% commercials. Why should I have to pay so much money to watch TV with commercials? I think if cable wants to stay in business, they are going to have to have something unique to offer. Commercial free TV is all I can think of that they could do uniquely. Stations who want to keep commercial revenue, may have to go Hulu style and offer their content for free on the net, or bundle quite a few channels up for streaming like Hulu Plus and charge a low fee.

      • JEDIDIAH says:

        Nonsense. There were always commercials on cable. The original cable channels were little more than out of market stations with a strong following like TBS or WGN. Even early dedicated cable networks like CNN still had commercials.

        It’s mostly the ala carte movie channels that were commercial free and they remain so.

  15. SilverBlade2k says:

    I think in order to compete with the offerings of the internet, cable companies must begin to offer a la carte programming for every channel. The longer they put a strangle hold and say “Nonono, we can’t offer that!”..the more customers they will lose and have no chance of getting them back.

    Some channels will totally vanish, but those channels deserve to die if they are being kept alive solely based on subsidies from other networks.

  16. Cerne says:

    I have cable, but only to watch sports and wrestling.

  17. Overman says:

    I started cord cutting when AT&T began rolling out broadband and p2p was better than on demand.
    Cable company still gets their $1k a year.
    Why should they care?
    Advertising is a Network problem.
    All Comcast has to do is prove the Networks’ licencing fees are too high by declining viewers,
    while making billions off of broadband migration.
    Its a win/win in their minds.

    • Smiling says:

      No, they want money from cable AND broadband. Without double digit expansion, in their minds they are a failure.

  18. servo90 says:

    I’m 25, and I don’t have cable. I would if they let me pick and choose specific channels rather than that bundle crap.

  19. LilBambi says:

    When I grew up, we had tube style television with rabbit ears, black and white only. We watched StarTrek:ToS, Outer Limits, the shocking assassination of our beloved JFK, Lassie, My Favorite Martian, The Andy Griffith Show, McHale’s Navy, and a bunch of other black and white shows like Bonanza, and Wagon Train. And we only got to see a little here and a little there. it was not an every night thing. And sometimes we would be awake till after the shows were over for the evening, and we would listen to the National Anthem and then if we were really bored, we could watch the ‘really boring Indian movie’ (if you know what that is, you are as old as I am). ;-)

    My Dad would take the box of tubes to Western Auto and test them to make sure he had good replacements for when he needed them quickly to get it working again.

    It looked similar to this:

    I still only had a 13″ black and white TV that we would turn on once in a while to watch Dr. Who on PBS, or some shows on WOR New York, when my own children were growing up. And my Dad already had his first color TV by then.

    It is amazing how much can change in a lifetime. There were no home computers when my children were young; at least not IBM or IBM compatible computers. A friend’s family had a Commodore and when we visited we would play Miner or ‘Fire Fire” (not the real name) sometimes when my kids were toddlers, and up to early Elementary School.

    We had our first computer in ’86/’87. A Christmas gift from my Jim. A CoCo from Radio Shack.

    I am sure things will be just as different again to our grandchildren when they get to be adults and have children of their own.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      Some of my favorite memories are going with my Dad to town when the tubes in our TV went bad. Dad always had some replacements, but invariably it turned out to be on we didn’t have. He’d put the errant tube in his hat to carry it into the store, and while he was testing it and getting a new tube, I got a free pretzel and cold drink from the water fountain.

      Yes, I know what the boring Indian movie is :) Plus, I bet there’s many people who are unfamiliar with horizontal or vertical hold. That was always fun to adjust.

    • Fleiki says:

      Oh-mah-Lord! The first people I knew to have a colour TV were my best friend Annie’s oldest sister and her family. It was such a momentous occasion that we actually went over there to watch it being installed, yes it had to be professionally installed – and hopefully to watch a coloured TV show. I think there were 3 of us watching the “installer,” they hadn’t come up with “technician” yet. He adjusted this and tweaked that.

      But the thing I remember most is that he made us turn around when he turned the machine on or off because he didn’t want us to be blinded by the harmful rays that would come from the TV during those functions.

      You know, sometimes I wonder how we managed to live this long.

  20. Overheal says:

    Does that kid have a deadpool shirt on?

  21. Smiling says:

    Cable Sucks. We cut the cord in order to help pay for our astronomical rent increase at our new place. We watch Netflix, get discs in the summer, and Hulu Plus and have more than enough to watch. What is terribly sad is that when I go to the gym to work out and have access to cable, the channels I loved when I had cable, like Food Network, are showing the same shows and episodes I was watching a few years back when we had cable for the most part.

  22. necrosis says:

    Here is the thing. When cutting the landline phone one had tons to gain. Walking around with small computers always connected. No need to be home to get in contact with someone.

    On the other hand cutting cable has everything to lose. Mostly because cable companies are run by these old farts that don’t want to get with the times. Tons of channels that still require a cable account of some sort. HBO, NBC with the Olympics. The list goes on. Not to mention the pathetic internet you get today with bandwidth caps and stupidly expensive speed plans.And until that changes I do not see people in mass dumping cable.

    When it came to cutting ones phone line most of that decision was in the hands of the user. When it comes to cable its in the hands of big business.

    • luxosaucer13 says:

      My reply to those big businesses is as such:

      “Fine, you want me to have to subscribe to your cable or satellite channel to get your internet streaming service? Then I don’t need your sh*t programming anyway. Buh-bye.”

      My cost for their crap programming = zero.

      The satisfaction that I’m not having to pay for it anymore = priceless.

  23. Daniel Fletcher says:

    I just turned 31, and I have very few friends with cable. And they are all usually aged 40+. It’s not even a lack of ability to afford it. Starting around age 28 or so we all started having children and starting familes, and cable TV is incondusive to it. More so to development of the children, family coherency, the healthy effects of sitting around the TV all day. So everyone with kids has cut the cord even successful ones where $100-$200 a month wouldn’t really matter. When they do want to watch TV series, it’s Netflix and public library rentals.

  24. dukeofurl says:

    The Cable lack of growth is not about lack of interest due to the Internet, I like television, and I like good reception, again it’s about money. I (and most people I know) can’t afford to pay close to $100 a month for a halfway decent channel package. Now if we could have a-la carte channel packages, that’d be a different story, but that’ll never happen because as I learned in one of my upper-division communication classes, for any given package of channels, the popular channels subsidize the existence of non-popular channels.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      If you had a-la carte cable I am betting that there would be no savings to the consumers in the end anyways. Everyone thinks they will save but trust me the cable companies will find a way to give us only the channels we ask for at the same price we are paying now for package deals with many channels! In the end you will probably end up getting less channels than you get now and you will pay the same. They aren’t going to let you subscribe to one channel for $3 a month…

      My household has cable but that is because we have 4 people living here and its always in use, having ala carte cable for this situation would be annoying as one of us is always finding something to watch on TV. I use my TV guide app on my iPod touch to find shows to watch on a variety of channels.

      • JEDIDIAH says:

        I’ve computed my own likely “cable bill” under a pure ala carte system based on current streaming prices.

        It works out to about 1/3rd of what I currently pay for cable.

        The reruns that make up much of the bulk of cable programming are already cheap or free in many cases.

  25. macemoneta says:

    “It’s unlikely we’ll see the cable industry going the way of the landline business (or at least not as rapidly), simply because streaming video is not yet at the stage to offer the variety and convenience of having a few hundred HD channels at your fingers. ”

    That’s right; there are no ‘channels’. Literally any content, past or present, from any country, is available “at your fingers”. Kids growing up today don’t see a need for cable TV, because it’s an ancient, slow, serial, severely limited delivery system for entertainment. All the wishing and hoping by the cable companies and content industries isn’t going to change that.

  26. jerrycomo says:

    My haouse had no cable since 1990.

    In 2008, I built that chep coat hanger antenna from video instruction online and I’ve been getting up to 24 free local channels off-the-air with 12 of them showing HD at best pic quality possible, all FOR FREE. But I’m lucky to be in a great location for my antenna.

    All the rest, I view online.

  27. dicobalt says:

    You get cable tv if you want to watch commercials.

  28. Carlos Spicy Weiner says:

    Sounds to me like it’s just how you slice up the pie…people are still gonna eat the pizza. Who provides the HS Internet people GET their content from? The Cable Company (or the cellphone company, of which there are really only 2 left). Who is slowly buying up some of the content creators? The Cable Company. No, they won’t make as much money if people stop subscribing to all 1000 “channels of shit on the TV to choose from”, but they ain’t going away.

    The whole problem is the world has lost it’s business diversity and competition. The laws that allow companies to gobble each other up under the guise of remaining “competitive” are killing us.

  29. kathc says:

    I do see it as a problem for the cable companies. My son & his wife have never had a landline or cable in the 6 years they’ve been married and have no intention of getting either. They have Netflix, and internet and it seems to serve them well. I have both and every month I feel like I’m being hosed when I write the checks but I have elderly parents here who are not tech savvy at all so I keep a landline and cable mostly for their benefit. I recently spoke to a relative who works for one of the cable companies who said that they are moving more to a la carte plans, where we can choose what channels we want and that we should be expecting to see more of that coming up in the future, so we’ll see what happens there.

  30. joerdie says:

    Good Riddance. So many companies were unwilling to change their business model when the internet came about and are now crying into their Wheaties because no one cares about them anymore. Let them die.

  31. rayray5884 says:

    Unless I completely missed it, is there a reason you never linked to the Atlantic article?

  32. DoktorH says:

    I cut the cord years ago. I get a better variety of programming off of Netflix than i did from my cable package, and the internet has other ways to fill in gaps for anything Netflix doesn’t have (or doesn’t have as soon as I’d like).

  33. aja175 says:

    No, they shouldn’t be worried about it. They ARE worried about it, but the cable companies should be working with those people to figure out how to deliver the programming they want in a way they want it to be delivered.
    We want what we want, we’re willing to pay for it as long as we can view it the way we want to.

  34. rdclark says:

    We pay for their Netflix Streaming and HBO Go. They pay for our Social Security. It all evens out.

  35. triana says:

    The price of cable needs to come down. I have the second cheapest package, and I only watch about 6 channels regularly. Every time money gets tight, we downgrade, or threaten to cancel and get a discount for a while, but I can’t cut the cord just yet. If you’ve never had cable, I can see why you wouldn’t start now. It’s not worth it unless you watch a variety of channels…or, like me, you’re just used to it and are unhappy with the alternatives.

  36. regis-s says:

    People are happy now because they can download just about any program they want, whether legally or illegally, for free. I wonder what they’re going watch when producers decide there’s no money in television production because so few people are paying for it and just quit making new shows.

    • beep says:

      You are basically thinking along old lines. Something will happen; I’ve no idea what. But the ways that we have been looking at content are either dead or dieing. I think we are on the cusp of something very new, something that will take time (and hopefully not, as in the past, blood) to solidify. Right now is a perfect time to go read (or re-read) Bruce Sterling’s ‘The Hacker Crackdown’. He points out that the phone, as you know it, did not have to have developed in this way. The book is freely available on the net. Bruce planned it that way. Even then he was thinking of the future :)

    • victo291 says:

      Easy, we will watch the same shows. Only money will come from product placement within the show itself, and not advertisement.
      Industry adapts.

      Cable will survive only if it can offer other services, besides just watching TV shows.

    • bravohotel01 says:

      There will always be a market, it is just that the garbage ladled out daily will now have competition from anyone who has talent and a video/YouTube account.

      • Revanche says:

        Exactly. Today’s producers may not find it profitable to try and continue with the buggywhip method of consumption, but smaller entreprenuers will be more than happy to make a profit off the newer and forthcoming models.

  37. ancientone567 says:

    Cable is a Dinosaur. Cut the cord!

  38. IGNORE says:

    Enter text…Just a test

  39. Cerealmom says:

    Once they see subscriptions decline, they will be forced to lower their rates for those of us who they bend over every month for ever-increasing bills.

    • SasquatchM says:

      I find it interesting that you apparently consider cable or satellite TV a necessity that you apparently have to pay for much like electricity as opposed to an unnecessary luxury item that you elect to buy. By being willing to pay the price you currently you pay you are already saying that you do not thin the bill is too high or you wouldn’t have it in the first place.

    • bravohotel01 says:

      If history is any guide, they will follow the Newsprint industry by

      1) laying off more worker-bees,
      2) raising prices,
      3) reducing new content, and
      4) increasing executive compensation/bonuses

  40. Clever_Innuendo says:

    I’m 23. I got my first cell phone when I moved out of the house (I was 17), and have never paid for cable or a landline phone. I got cable free with one apartment I lived in, but I don’t really feel like I’m missing out on much. There are only a few channels I really enjoy watching, so having 200+ channels seems like an unjustifiable luxury, and the price just keeps going up, too.

    The internet, on the other hand, I can justify for many reasons. Everything’s online now. And internet service is much cheaper than cable (my half is $10 a month). On top of that, I can watch Hulu for free, and my roommate and I split the cost of Netflix, so I pay less than $5 a month for entertainment. So, all told, with internet and Netflix, I spend less than $15 a month. Obviously, cable/satellite just can’t keep up with that.

  41. mulch says:

    Make all shows available legally, as soon as they air on TV and watch illegal downloads drop. I want to see Person of Interest, durn it!

    • Aquila76 says:

      I want to see ANY CBS programming available legitimately on-line. HULU: nope. Netflix: nope. Torrent: YUP! Even CBS’ own website only has a handful of current season’s episodes, and NONE of the previous seasons.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      Yes – I’d love to rewatch LA Law, but I can’t find a legitimate outlet for it. Not sure what the problem is.

      • Revanche says:

        Just asking: it’s not out on DVD/Netflix mail?

        • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

          Not here in the USA yet. According to Wikipedia (that I take with a grain of salt), Seasons 1 and 2 have been released in the UK Region 2. It’s not on Netflix Streaming and the DVD’s don’t show up either. I have no idea when/if it will be released here.

  42. Abradax says:

    The big problem is that the cable companies own the networks, so for instance, Time Warner owns HBO, where is the incentive for offering an affordable way to obtain the programming?

  43. bill14224 says:

    I’ve been saying this for several years. The future of cable is internet service and nothing more as far as I can tell. I still have DSL and have no plans to change as I’m happy with it. We have Netflix built into our new TV and we love it. There are other services available as well so cable and satellite TV face ever-increasing competition in the coming years. This is good for the consumer. Cable monopolies no longer matter much. Competitors are using the internet to go around them.

    Here’s another thing. If your cable or satellite company is holding-out against pro sports networks in contract negotiations they’re not just trying to help themselves, but you the consumer. Don’t switch from one TV service to another just so you don’t miss a few games. You’re shooting yourself in the foot when you do that. You are telling sports leagues and networks they can charge whatever they want.

  44. O-Dog says:

    Thanks for making the distinction that it isn’t about choice a or choice b anymore, just a huge gap between where we are and where they(TV, cable companies) are.

  45. soj4life says:

    When the co founder of foursquare isn’t smart enough to know how to hook up his macbook to his hdtv to stream the olympics, the fear is still small. As for hbo go, time warner will crack down if they see the behavior of people giving our their usernames. Satellite is still going to be around for those in the country that are not able to get affordable broadband at speeds of 15 or 25 mbps down.

    • bravohotel01 says:

      That can’t be right, can it?

      MacBook + $100 apple tv + $5 HDMI cable = stream from MacBook to TV.

      • JEDIDIAH says:

        Or you can just jump to MacBook + HDMI cable with perhaps a dongle in between.

        Apple loves to have oddball video connectors.

  46. Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

    This is why most cable companies are fighting (and mostly winning) to be the sole provider of internet service in a given market.

    I would love to cut the cord, but that cord also feeds me internet.

    Conflict of interest, much?

    • NewsMuncher says:

      What really kills me is that when I ask for just internet, they try to wheedle me into getting cable with it, or flat out refuse to just let me have internet. Our current setup with TW had reps calling us periodically to try to sell us cable. We never watch cable. We have Netflix, and occasionally buy the DVD sets for shows we want to watch, like True Blood or Game of Thrones, giving money directly to the product that we like.

  47. quail20 says:

    AMC and other cable channels are blocking their streaming content from anyone who’s not obviously a cable subscriber. This has to do with Dish Network’s advertising skipping option in their satellite boxes. Anyway, because I have my cable through Verizon Fios I’m blocked from that sweet, sweet “Breaking Bad” streaming.

    If this is how the cable channels handle a hickup caused by a satellite provider, just imagine the craziness they’ll throw out when cable subscribers bottom out. They really are knee jerk reactionaries. (I’d have set it up so that anyone with an IP address that could possibly put them as a satellite user would have to view 10 more minutes of advertising.)

    • who? says:

      I’m not that concerned about the providers only providing free streaming to people who are cable subscribers. It sounds like what they did with Breaking Bad was a little ham handed, but they have to make their money somewhere, and providing free streaming to non-subscribers doesn’t really further their goal of actually making money. AMC, in particular, makes the bulk of its shows, including Breaking Bad, available commercial free on iTunes and Amazon for $2 per episode ($3 for HD), the day after they first air. Since I don’t pay for cable, I have no problem with paying them $3 per show. Under that model, I can buy every single show I want to watch for far less money than I was paying to the cable company for a lot of crap that I never watched.

      Before I cut the cort, I did the math, and realized that there were some shows that I’d have to wait up to a year to see (HBO shows, mostly), some shows that I could get OTA, and some shows I really cared about that could buy right away (Mad Men, Breaking Bad, etc). The math seemed good enough that it was worth a try. Once I cut the cord, I realized that all of my TV watching fits into two categories: 1) Shows that I’m willing to go out of my way to see, such as Breaking Bad, and 2) times when I want to watch TV, but don’t really care what I watch, as long as it’s a good show. The $8 Netflix streaming subscription gives me plenty of content in that category. In reality, there’s maybe 2 shows a week that I pay for. The rest are either OTA, Netflix, or DVDs from the library. I’m saving about $800 per year, and don’t feel like I’m being shortchanged in any way.

  48. Rhinoguy says:

    What will really happen is that the crummy garbage will be the norm and you will be forced to pay for the diminishing amount of good stuff. Junk will be very cheap but not quite free. Look in any grocery cart waiting at the checkout and notice how much junk food is in it. The fresh veggies? Half a pound, it’s too expensive.
    Same will happen to media, mass crap will remain profitable somehow and luxury stuff will be priced out of reach of the slowly dying middle class. Yes, I’m cynical, but that doesn’t make me wrong.