Some Small Cable Companies Are Dropping TV, And Customers Don’t Seem To Mind

Plenty of people have cut back on pay TV — cable and satellite — and gone to internet-only subscriptions in order to save some cash. But the individual cord-cutters aren’t the only ones realizing how expensive programming can be, and how they can live without it in the broadband era. Some small-scale cable companies are also taking the plunge, and cutting out TV service altogether.


Data from SNL Kagen shows that ESPN is by for the most expensive channel for cable providers to broadcast.

ESPN Accounts For More Than $6 Of Your Cable Bill; Could Soon Top $8

In recent years, cable companies and broadcasters have squared off in nasty, public spats that sometimes result in blackouts for millions of viewers. The broadcasters say they aren’t being paid properly and the cable companies claim they’re on our side, trying to keep costs down (though we always end up paying more). These battles will likely only get worse, with analysts predicting that the cost of content will continue to increase. [More]

Aereo’s Plan To Stay In Business: Okay, Fine, We’re A Cable Company Now

Aereo’s Plan To Stay In Business: Okay, Fine, We’re A Cable Company Now

Aereo lost their case in the Supreme Court last month, and had to suspend operations a few days later. In that case, the Court ruled that Aereo was actually operating just like a cable company, and so needed to license content like one. Aereo is now legally trying to do just that — but the broadcasters still object.


From the FCC report on pay-TV pricing.

FCC: Basic Cable Prices Increased At Four Times Rate Of Inflation

If you just had a hunch that your basic cable pricing was going up more rapidly than the other things you pay for, you’re probably not mistaken. A new FCC report on the cost of pay-TV services says that during 2012 the cost of a basic cable TV package increased at more than four times the rate of inflation in the U.S. [More]

Why Starting A Competitor To Comcast Is Basically Impossible

Why Starting A Competitor To Comcast Is Basically Impossible

The mega-rich can dabble in pretty much any business they want to. Warren Buffet owns everything from furniture stores to ice cream chains. Richard Branson started a commercial spaceflight company, for crying out loud. And yet with demand for high-speed, affordable internet access going only up, up, and up, no new business or venture capitalist seems to be stepping into the fray to provide it. People passionately hate their current cable companies — so what’s stopping an enterprising entrepreneur from making a giant wad of cash entering the telecom game?


Watch Antenna Company Deliver A Worst Company Congrats Cake To Comcast HQ

Watch Antenna Company Deliver A Worst Company Congrats Cake To Comcast HQ

In a congratulatory gesture to celebrate Comcast’s Worst Company In America win, an antenna company took it upon itself to deliver a cake to the victor’s Philadelphia headquarters. One, because cake is delicious (clearly) and also to thank the cable company for sending it cord-cutting customers who have a sudden need to buy an antenna. [More]

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

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