Outside The Cable Box: The Future Of TV In An Expanding Market
Itís incredible how much we can access. Itís also overwhelming Ė and expensive. If you wanted to have access to all of the available channels on cable, including premium, as well as all of the available streaming services, you could be looking at a monthly bill thatís starting to resemble a car payment. And it gets even more complex than that. Providers themselves are now offering original programming, in what seems to be an effort to attract new customers. Exclusive content meant to make them the provider of choice, further fracturing an already crowded system.
It seems clear to me that streaming is the future, but the cable and satellite companies still have such a stranglehold on the networks that what is available is spotty at best. And while some of the networks have embraced the future (AMC has been at the forefront, offering shows like Mad Men and Breaking Bad through Netflix not long after theyíve aired), some are still holding back. CBS is currently among the most behind the times, standing as the only major network not offering their programming through Hulu.
Where does it leave us? Still tied to the cable or satellite bill for the most part. But it seems unavoidable that something has got to give. Cable and satellite providers have been losing record numbers of subscribers over the past few years, and people are turning to illegal downloads to get the shows rather than paying the bill.
The solution seems simple Ė some sort of a la carte streaming system that allows people to pay a reasonable fee for only the programming they want, when they want it. But getting all of the involved parties to agree to such a system is kind of like asking Mitt Romney and Barack Obama to hold hands and sing Kumbaya.
How do you watch your TV shows?
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