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1 Skip Intro  Wed, Dec 4, 2013 4:42:34pm

I got a real kick out of this part.

“I may feel that Bravo, A&E, History Channel and Food Network justify the $70 a month fee, while my husband attributes more value to the sports channels,” Martin wrote in July. “

I wouldn’t pay a dime for the Pawn Stars channel, the Storage Wars channel, and the Real Housewives channel, and I’d love to see sports channels all be part of their own tier so I don’t have to pay for them either.

Then there are all of the religious channels, the shopping channels, and the advertising channels masquerading as program channels.

2 The War TARDIS  Wed, Dec 4, 2013 4:52:16pm

Channels I would opt-in to if I could do this

Science Channel
Investigation Discovery
Discovery Channel
Discovery Fit & Health
Military Channel
Travel Channel
National Geographic Channel

and, if I could really try for it, the BBC networks from the UK.

Maybe half a dozen others, but that would be it.

3 Skip Intro  Wed, Dec 4, 2013 5:03:37pm

re: #2 The War TARDIS

Channels I would opt-in to if I could do this

and, if I could really try for it, the BBC networks from the UK.

Maybe half a dozen others, but that would be it.

If you have access to a VPN with a British IP address, you can watch them on your computer now. ITV too.

This is what TV ought to be; too bad you have to be sneaky to do it.

4 majii  Wed, Dec 4, 2013 5:47:07pm

re: #1 Skip Intro

I live in Middle GA, and Cox Communications has the worst basic cable package that anyone can imagine. It offers all of the channels you mentioned, hardly any of them worth watching. I’m thinking of switching to satellite, but I want to thoroughly research them all before making a choice. Cox has shifted channels like OWN and Oxygen to another tier, so if you want them, you have to pay @ $40.00 more per month. My monthly bill for basic cable, telephone, and internet from Cox is more than my GA Power bill for electricity. IMHO, having cable television in the form of regulated monopolies reduces subscribers’ choices. The fact that their executives whining about giving consumers more tailored choices shows that cable companies do not believe in competition.

5 Tim TeaBro  Thu, Dec 5, 2013 6:24:49am

Satellite really isn’t much better than cable.

They’ll tell you they are.

DirecTV still has more available sports, but they have lots of junk and shopping channels too. The problem is that they own Dish Network and that brand may disappear in the next few years once they get contracts and birds worked out.

6 sundude  Thu, Dec 5, 2013 7:04:28am

Granted my math skills are a bit rusty ..

“Our calculations conclude that $80 billion to $113 billion of U.S. consumer value would be destroyed by this shrinking channel choice,”

.. many smaller channels would disappear — at least 124 channels

124 never watch channels * max $0 value per channel = $80 to $113 billion?

wiping out an estimated 1.4 million jobs in media.

1.4 million jobs / 124 channels = 11,290 jobs per channel?

Martin figured that at least $45 billion in TV advertising would be at risk.

Ah, and all becomes clear.

7 Joanne  Thu, Dec 5, 2013 8:24:07am

It doesn’t matter what they do or don’t do. Cable tv as it is is as dying a model as buying albums was just a few years ago. If cable doesn’t evolve, everything will go to web-based services, because people do not want to pay for crap they don’t want. And paying a premium for one or two channels isn’t going to fly for too long. Amazon Prime and NetFlix are already changing that model up.

Couple that with ridiculously invasive commercials; not only are you getting 20 minutes of commercials an hour as it is with regular breaks, now they are building commercials throughout the actual programming - those stupid pop-ups that take up almost a quarter of the screen, while the freaking show is on.

As with every other dying business model, they are killing themselves.

8 calochortus  Thu, Dec 5, 2013 8:25:37am

We dropped satellite TV a year and a half ago and figured we’d stream some stuff and get NetFlix. We haven’t missed it much-we haven’t gotten around to NetFlix yet and discovered that streaming isn’t a great option for us (for reasons I won’t bore you with.)
So we’re saving a whole lot of money and because we live in a major metropolitan area we have 6 digital PBS channels to watch. That takes care of most of our viewing needs. I can count on the fingers of one hand the shows I miss at all.

Cable/satellite TV providers are deeply worried about being an old-school technology. Driving people away with ever higher prices for a lot of things no one wants isn’t going to help.

9 Skip Intro  Thu, Dec 5, 2013 8:29:31am

re: #4 majii

Cable companies have had monopoly control of their areas for as long as I can remember.

I live in a Charter area. Twenty miles south of me is a Comcast area. There is no competition between Charter and Comcast because each has monopoly control in its location.

So, you look to satellite tv. I don’t use Dish, but I do use Directv. As a new customer, you get all kinds of breaks the first year. After that, your prices get jacked up, you are no longer able to get “free” equipment, or even the most recent equipment, and you will never, ever be offered any kind of deal. That’s reserved solely for new subscribers.

The cheapest tier on Directv probably offers little of what you want to watch, so you have to move up to the $65-$70 per month tier. Then you may get ten channels you might watch, and 200+ you block out so you don’t have to scroll through them looking for something to watch.

Premium and sports channels are extra, of course, as are the charges for using a DVR (that you had to buy but don’t own), access to HD programming, and a few other things I don’t recall at the moment.

It’s a huge, expensive rip, and if I could just convince my wife I’d dump the whole thing.

10 calochortus  Thu, Dec 5, 2013 9:41:02am

re: #9 Skip Intro

In the early 80s when the neighborhood we lived in first got cable, a guy came to the door selling it. I asked why I wanted it and he couldn’t tell me beyond “there are lots of shows” and my neighbors were getting it. He assured me that once they invited us over and we saw how great it was, we’d want it too. We didn’t.
Fast forward to where we live now. We had DirecTV for several years when a tree grew and blocked the signal. We called and asked about having the dish moved since their contractor had placed it where it was in the first place. They said they’d be happy to do so and it would only cost us $50. That is what first made us really think about both the increasing cost and decreasing quality of the programming. We cancelled instead of moving the dish.

The theme here? Their marketing and customer service stinks. The management is apparently convinced we can’t live without their product. They are wrong. There is a percentage of the population that will do anything to watch sports, but for the rest of us? Not so much.

11 PeterWolf  Thu, Dec 5, 2013 9:59:20am

I wonder if they account for people (like me) who will not subscribe to a cable service due to having to pay for a basic package that is composed of mostly crap I do not want. How much does that cost the industry ?

12 Joanne  Thu, Dec 5, 2013 10:14:14am

re: #11 PeterWolf

I wonder if they account for people (like me) who will not subscribe to a cable service due to having to pay for a basic package that is composed of mostly crap I do not want. How much does that cost the industry ?

That’s because of the other relatively outdated model of television; broadcast television (the networks like CBS, ABC, etc.) Not that each doesn’t own cable channels (I am blown away by I forget which major conglomerate owns NBC…because they own a TON of cable channels from USA to I think Telemundo or Univision…one of the big Spanish speaking ones).

Heck, maybe I am wrong and Congress made it a requirement that broadcast channels be offered by cable companies (due to all the airwaves going digital)…but I think it was the networks themselves…and I am too lazy to Google it. :-)

13 William Barnett-Lewis  Thu, Dec 5, 2013 11:09:10am

They get $0 from us because the worthlessness of most Cable TV drove us to “kill our TV”.

14 Skip Intro  Thu, Dec 5, 2013 11:25:36am

re: #12 Joanne

Not that each doesn’t own cable channels (I am blown away by I forget which major conglomerate owns NBC…because they own a TON of cable channels from USA to I think Telemundo or Univision…one of the big Spanish speaking ones).

Comcast owns NBC and a bunch of other cable channels. In reality, I believe that around five corporations own nearly 100% of the channels on cable/satellite (excluding the religious ones).

15 Political Atheist  Thu, Dec 5, 2013 11:29:11am

re: #9 Skip Intro

Even the good programming is hard to watch. So many commercial sets! There are so many programs I have the disc or bookmarked location to stream just to avoid the frequent commercials.

My next TV “box” might just be a laptop or PC linux mini tower with a after market DVR that lets me archive to external storage. Between Netflix and amazon prime streaming, I don’t need cable. The 24hr news channels are a net negative. You get more wrong, slanted or unimportant “news’ there than accurate breaking news.

I think a year of cable payments would buy the whole system. DVR, tower, external drive. Gigabit router. If not a year, surely 18 months.

Time after time I read and enjoy or maybe post here about news during the day. then I go home and CBS is just catching up to what I saw at LGF via Twitter far earlier.

16 6monkeys  Thu, Dec 5, 2013 11:32:59am

We cancelled our cable service about 6 years ago. This was after I kept bugging my husband to cancel for over 2 years. He kept thinking the kids would miss their shows and he would miss his shows (I read while “watching” TV so I don’t really care if the TV is on or not).

We figured the kids could watch PBS and we would have local channels for network TV so we decided to try it for a few months. We found out after we cancelled the service that our house does not get any reception for local channels (even with an antenna) but we still decided to stick it out for a few months.

We don’t miss it at all. We have netfix, which we watch most often, and earlier this year we got amazon prime (mostly for free shipping, but streaming is a nice bonus). We are more than happy with those but my geeky family just had to have Hulu plus so we could watch Agents of Shield (which we are all starting to lose interest in so I may cancel Hulu soon).

There is no way I would ever go back to spending $60-$100 a month on cable service that shows absolutely nothing of interest.

17 Skip Intro  Thu, Dec 5, 2013 11:56:22am

re: #15 Political Atheist

Even the good programming is hard to watch. So many commercial sets! There are so many programs I have the disc or bookmarked location to stream just to avoid the frequent commercials.

Yeah. I decided to watch “Mob City” on TNT last night because of the good reviews. It was a little over two hours long, and I started watching my DVR recording of it one hour in.

There were so many commercials that I ran out of recording before the program ended.

A group of commercials every five minutes, with each one being close to five minutes long.

This is no way to build an audience. The show had promise, but even on a DVR there’s no way to create interest with so many commercials.

18 BusyMonster  Thu, Dec 5, 2013 1:00:26pm

Ah, I cut the cable-TV cord. I had to divorce my ex to do it (she couldn’t handle not having a digital babysitter around, me I hate the TV and have hated the fuck out of it for years, because it is so boring and repetitive).

But, anyway, for the last 4 years the Monster household has not paid a cable bill. We buy internet from (unfortunately) the cable TV company but I’m hoping that can soon change. The point being, that we stream TV and I love it. I will NOT, NOT, NOT, NOT, NOT pay for commercials. EVER. We were signed up to Hulu and we canceled it after we realized it was NEVER worth it to go on over there and get their half-assed offerings which not only still cost money but often only included parts of a season of a show.

I hope the Netflix people understand very clearly that the major appeal to their service is that I do not watch commercials. I will kill it in a heartbeat if I have to sit through ads. I’d rather watch nothing, than try to follow a TV show that’s been sliced up by bursts of incomprehensible stupidity and yelling in my face.

19 philosophus invidius  Thu, Dec 5, 2013 2:42:08pm


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