High cable prices are doing what Netflix alone can't
Rocketing pay-TV costs are making three-quarters of triple-play subscribers consider cutting the cord.
Back in October, Advertising Age found that 42% of TV viewers reported watching more streamed content this year than last year. Eight percent did so because they were cutting back on cable, and 10% had canceled cable and satellite altogether, though a whopping 73% said they were streaming just to catch up on episodes of their favorite shows.
Now CNNMoney has shared a Macquarie Capital report that indicates 76% of so-called triple-play customers -- those paying for cable, Internet and wireless phone services -- would get rid of their pay-TV service if they had to save money. The remaining 24% were split evenly between dropping broadband Internet or wireless phone service.
Folks who currently pay for triple-play service need not wonder what circumstances would suddenly make them so cost-conscious. The prices of those triple-play services have jumped by about 6.3% each year for the past three years. By comparison, overall inflation rose by 2% in each of those years.
Altogether, the price hikes have increased the cost of triple play by 20%, or $46 per month, since 2010. The average bill for those services in the U.S. is now more than $273 per month, which Marcquarie Capital analysts call unsustainable.
So why does cable get singled out? Because it's usually the biggest part of that bill and its costs are constantly rising as content providers seek higher distribution fees. CBS (CBS) and Time Warner (TWC) are having a huge squabble over that issue right now, while companies including Dish Network (DISH), DirecTV (DTV), AMC (AMCX) and Viacom (VIA) have fought similar battles within the past year.
The problem for TV viewers is that online options including Netflix (NFLX), Amazon (AMZN) and Hulu have finite content, few new shows and almost no sports. They're not a viable point-for-point alternative, especially with popular networks including HBO limiting their streaming content to cable or satellite subscribers. But streaming is an alternative.
As more viewers use streaming services to catch up on the shows they missed on their favorite cable channels and become more accustomed to that delayed viewing pattern, the potential for cord cutting increases. That may only shift the fee fight from cable company offices to the Netflix negotiating table, but for now it's still a cheaper path than any of the cable providers are offering.
Why isn't this available now? Greed.....the bane of humanity.
Hah! Bozos and Morons! I got rid of all TV content in my house back in 2010, I caught my kid reading Hemingway instead of watching Miley Cyrus less than a year later......
Why should I pay some cable company to feed drivel, propaganda, and lies into my home?
Why should I pay some cable company to advertise to me?
If we want to watch a movie, we rent it or stream it, but Momma decides what the kids get to watch now, not ABC Family Channel, and certainly not Madison Avenue or Hollywood.
John Prine said it years ago:
Blow up your TV,
Throw away the Paper,
Move to the country and build you a home.
A few years ago I signed up for cable TV with Brighthouse and had 160 channels. One Sunday morning I turned on the TV and found infomercials on 40 of those channels, or 25%. I couldn't believe I was paying through the nose for the privilege of watching paid programming for the Shark vacuum and not a program on the Discovery Channel.
So, I canceled my cable TV service and switched to rabbit ears for over-the-air programming, and it was one of the best decisions I've made. Sure, there are some infomercials on OTA channels, but you're not paying dearly for the privilege of watching them.
Cable TV should be metered like electricity. Why should a family of four, that banks 200 hours of TV viewing a month, pay the same cable bill for a couple that banks only 50 hours of TV? Once you're watching an infomercial, the meter should go backwards.
Think about cutting the cable cord and put that extra money, probably over $1,000 a year, towards credit card bills, or maybe make an extra principle payment on your mortgage.
A significant problem with cable imo is all the crap they make you pay for that I don't watch and will never watch. Stop bundling and simply let me choose which channels I want. Everything costs something and there are only about 15 channels out of the hundreds that I receive that I would actually pay for if I was given the option. I have not been faced with having to make the decision to drop cable but I will admit that I do get irritated on principle by the cost. My daughter has an antenna and streams Amazon prime and has no complaints. If I ever had to make a decision to cut living expenses I would consider that option in a second.
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