Over 1 million pay-television subscribers cut the cord in 2011

By Shawn Knight · 19 replies
Apr 5, 2012
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  1. Over 1 million pay-television subscribers in the US canceled their services in 2011. The majority of these cord cutters instead opted for cheaper online streaming services like Netflix and Hulu…

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  2. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,377   +286

    TV has something decent to watch every now and then but most of the times its rather same BS replaying. We pay around £5 a month for the TV so its not a biggie but those £5 could go to a charity or Netflix, possibly faster internet (its already decent speed).

    TV subscriptions are a dying trend. Internet is the future of pretty much everything, so people lets not give in and get it censored ey? :p
  3. howzz1854

    howzz1854 TS Evangelist Posts: 611   +94

    cable companies are still trying to buy out streaming companies hoping to reverse the trend. (ie. NBC Universal's purchase of Hulu, and we all know Comcast owns NBC Universal). unfortunately that's like trying to duct tape a sinking ship, the ship is going to sink. time to move onto a new ship, a new business model.
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I actually dropped my cable TV when I moved into my current place, although that was in 2010. I live in a small town of ~20k. The options for cable TV are 1 very basic local provider, another local provider which has a ton of channels and HD, dish, directtv. The problem is, I have a 46" hdtv, and to get anything in HD I have to pay a ton of money. Watching SD on an HDTV sucks. Often times you can find an online feed of what you want to watch, some flash video, and sure the quality isn't great, but I'm not sure it is much if any worse than watching the same show in an SD feed from your cable provider.

    I do pay for Netflix (streaming only) and they are getting more and more content, and a lot of it is in HD. For the SD stuff, its better than analog SD from a local provider. And its still cheaper.

    Cheapest basic TV package I can get here is all analog SD, and it is ~22 channels. 3 of them are NBC (yes all regular NBC - 3 cities), 2 CBS, 1 ABC, PBS, 2 city public channels, a couple religious ones, 2 shopping network channels, TV guide, and 2 CSPANs (that is 16 of the 22 right there) and then 3 or 4 regular 'cable' channels like TBS. It costs over $20 a month.
    $50 price if you want extended basic. These are all analog SD. You have to pay something like $75 before you get any digital channels and a dvr, then those digital channels don't even cover the analog you got before, if you want any of those in digital they are ala carte at $1.50 a channel.

    tl;dr its way too expensive
  5. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,717   +857

    IF it weren't for sports, I would have dropped my cable a LONG time ago.
  6. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    TomSEA - That is what i thought too, until I just decided to drop for financial reasons. With the availability of sports streaming sites online it is really rare that something is on that I can't find. And I watch a lot of college sports, so its not just pro stuff.
  7. I dropped cable over 20 years ago. I do live in a major metro area and get 11 major channels, which comes to 24 viewable shows, not bad for broadcast TV over a home built antenna in the attic. My family watches a few internet based shows but not too much. I would get Netflix for some movies however they don't take debit/gift credit cards. Figuring cable costs of $100/month over 20 years, I have saved $24,000. It all adds up.
  8. davimous

    davimous TS Rookie Posts: 55   +9

    I don't have cable and it is rarely a problem. My issue is that most companys won't let you subscribe to there content online. I would love to purchase HBO but I can't becasue I don't have cable. So I am forced to steal the content I want online because I can't pay for it. Really goofy.
  9. Tired of them jamming a bunch of crap into a package, just let me but what I want. I do not speak a foreign language, so stop including 13 channels that I can not comprehend.
  10. You should be able to get what you want and only pay for what you get. That is the future. A Netflix hybrid type service. The reason cable is so expensive is because you are paying for a bunch of garbage you won't want. I would be happy with under 10 channels that I want instead of the 200+ provided. The sooner they let you start picking and chooseing the sooner they stop losing customers. I think the cable and Satellite companies will wake up and have to get on board at some point..
  11. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TS Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    It would make sense for the cable companys to just allow you to pay for the channels you watch. In general you can only watch one station at a time. Most of the ppl I see leaving their cable company are leaving because of price issues. Most cable companies just raise your bill with no explaination.
  12. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,890   +1,224

    i'm trying to justify dropping directv, but I like discovery/science channel shows too much. That and my daughter likes shows off cable.

    I did just discover that youtube of all places has entire episodes of certain kids shows, which is great cause netflix selection is limited at best.
  13. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I assume you aren't happy with Netflix's selection of discovery/science type stuff? I've found their selection to be decent. It doesn't stay static though, they dump some things and gain new stuff fairly regularly.

    To everyone else that is wanting cable to let you select what you want... I think there are probably some network contracts that require package deals. I mean the market for stuff like Lifetime, Hallmark, Fishing Channel can't be large enough to support keeping those things alive on their own. I say let them die, it is the natural evolution of things, but I understand there are a lot of unintended consequences in letting that happen (like loss of jobs for one).
  14. Cable has crazy prices, plus I have to pay to watch commercials retarted, and watch shows when they tell me I can. Sorry but im not going to pay for that nonsence.

    3DCGMODELER TS Enthusiast Posts: 307   +18

    Well I DUMPED Cable TV because of ALL the COMMERCIALS....
    To Many Commercials....
    To Long of Commercials....
    Too Much Paid Programming...
    Way To Much...
    Way To Much..
    Did I say Way To Much Commercials And Paid Programming...
    Costs To Much For Nothing To Watch..
    The Cable Companies Need To Change There Name to...
    ... Commercial Cable TV, .... With a few minutes of TV shows..
    Ya Think...
    Daa Ralph
    See Ya Cable
  16. Sunny87

    Sunny87 TS Enthusiast Posts: 115   +11

    This article could not have come at a better time, I'm in the middle of ending a Sky + HD package to move on to Netflix plus apple TV with iTunes for most of my movies and any shows I want to watch, I don't care if it costs me over £30 to buy an entire show, at least I'm not spending £50 a month every month to view my favourite shows for only 7 weeks of the year once a week with adverts every 5 mins, I would rather treat myself watch the shows when I want to and enjoy not putting up with hundreds of adverts on content that I have already more than once over paid for.

    In fact I rented a movie today that came out an entire month before sky box office received it and it was the same money to rent as Sky, I figure I will save around £588 a year if not more on not having a Sky subscription.

    My setup will be the following and I figure it's all I will need and anyone else freesat HD +, netflix and appleTV with iTunes, in theory I won't miss a thing, oh wait yeah I will adverts!
  17. Scshadow

    Scshadow TS Evangelist Posts: 511   +152

    Enjoy online while you can. As it becomes more popular, they'll find more ways to monetize it until greed and the lack of consumer interest protecting regulations systematically destroy everything we currently like about it. But yeah, cable is f***ed. Its also not too irrational to believe the quality experience of online streaming will last only long enough to put free OTA channels(and cable/sat) out of business.

    I hope I don't come across as too radical but l think the potential for incredibly troubling future in the entertainment industry is realistic. The progression is this...

    1. as advertising becomes more valuable with online streaming then with OTA/Cable/Satellite, then they go bankrupt from lack of advertising revenue.

    2. Lack of competition from non-streaming sources will leave streaming TV fighting for content exclusivity agreements.

    3. To pay for exclusive content agreements each service will have to increase advertising revenue and charge subscription fees. The consumer would now be forced into either reducing the number of shows they follow or pay for multiple streaming sources all while dealing with increasingly creative and invasive advertising.

    4. The last devolution of streaming services will be when they start charging for individual shows on top of subscription fees which they can do if their exclusives are appealing enough. Also forget going back to cable/OTA, they died in step one.

    For further thought, imagine the potential parallels between the current changes in the gaming industry vs my imagined future for TV entertainment. DLC the TV show.
  18. Back when my dad was a kid it was illegal to have more than like 2 or 3 commercials lmao. Now when you're on a channel, the majority of what you watch is commercials... u know how companies like to take over everything with ads that's expected of course BUT... it was cable and sat that made the mistake of allowing them to do this. Now cable and sat have to pay for it. I say GOOOOD. If they dont cut down on commercials soon they will be losing many more.
  19. Excuse me but there are people that are willing to pay for the crap that passes for tv these days? You're kidding right? Just put up a $75 or $100 antenna and be done with it. Unless you live so far out in the boondocks you can't pick up any thing you should be ok. I used to live in a very rural location in Kentucky and an antenna would allow me to receive about 25 channels. Invest your money in a fat internet pipe and let cable die the death it so richly deserves.
  20. If you're out in the boondocks, put up a 6' satellite dish and a C and Ku-band feed system. There's enough out there in space to keep you up to date.

    Cable is not worth the price. My parents just switch to a telephone-based provider and are saving a not insignificant amount of money, but they're still at the mercy of the cable bundling and CRTC mandated channels.

    Personally, I refuse to pay for bundling. We haven't had cable at our house for 3 years now.

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