The coming downfall of cable television | Quantumrun

The coming downfall of cable television

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By Sean Marshall
@seanismarshall
Mar 07, 2016,  9:37 PM

If you haven’t been comatose or living in the woods for the last 10 years, it's safe to assume that you're familiar with television. It's also a pretty good bet that you know about alternatives to broadcast television, like streaming services, internet downloads or going outside and enjoying life.  

Right now a person can actually enjoy TV without going to a satellite or cable provider. It may not seem like such a big deal, but for decades there was no real alternative to dealing with broadcasting giants. Now we have alternatives, but are they worth it and what will big cable do about it?

One person that has attempted to break the bonds of big cable is Kevin Campanella. Campanella’s been without any major satellite or cable coverage for a few months and has been loving it, pointing out that “I have a ton of monthly bills, cutting one of them out helps. Plus I really don't miss cable in the least.” 

He explains that with all the services like Netflix, Hulu and even Mbox streaming content directly from the internet to television, it only made sense to drop cable. “Honestly I save a considerable amount of money by just not dealing with cable companies.” He goes on to say that “I can stream anything I want. Why would I ever pay for cable content, especially when it can be restricting?”

Campanella mentions that it's surprising how easy it actually is to adjust to life without cable. “Most shows are up within the hour online and some people even live stream shows when they air.” 

Although, he does say that dropping cable does have a few negatives. The most glaring problems is that cable companies also control internet and phone usage. “My data went up the second I canceled my cable and switched to streaming providers,” says Campanella. 

However, Campanella fully understands why, “I use internet for most things now, so of course my data usage is going to increase and of course it will cost me more.” He mentions that in the end it's cheaper this way. Campanella also says that no matter what big companies do, there’ll always be a way around it. “There's always an alternative that is usually cheaper and just as good, you just have to look hard enough for it.”

So if Campanella’s right about how people will always find a way around big cable, what’s big cable's response? An operations manager who wanted to remain anonymous for fear of losing his job provides some insight into what will happen next. 

The first thing he explains is that most cable companies are aware of streaming services, internet to T.V. devices and the many issues that are present. He goes so far as to say that “we know from data collecting that 35%-40% of internet use is just for streaming television.”  The main way his company and its rivals work is to purchase individual networks. “The idea is that we would control a network and be able to provide extra content of popular shows before others.” 

He further explains this idea by saying, “Bell media bought CTV. Now they can offer exclusive content for CTV programs to their customers.” He mentions that many board meetings held never address the issues of competitors. “Our meeting addressing the future of cable actually involves getting people using the internet, rather than competing with companies like Netflix.”

Impact (ONLY use the 'Paste From Word' button to safely copy and paste text from a Word doc) 

Although this may all sound like a bunch of interesting facts, Campanella’s experience without cable shows that people don't really want or need traditional broadcast television.  

The operations manager goes so far as to say that “the broadcasting side of TV is not our top priority.   It's not our top concern.” He wants to stress that television isn't going to simply stop happening. It's just that the real money lies with providing internet to customers. “We have to focus on what no one else can provide and that's high speed in home internet.”

Forecasted start year: 
2016 to 2018
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