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Internet Eats Into Time-Warner Cable Porn Profits

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the internet-is-for-porn dept.

Businesses 228

Hugh Pickens writes "Big cable companies like Comcast and Time Warner Cable keep saying they don't see Web video cutting into their business, but there's at least one big, dirty exception. Time Warner Cable said in its quarterly earnings report that its video-on-demand (VOD) business dropped significantly in the last quarter. Asked to explain where the drop came from, CEO Glenn Britt came clean, more or less: much of the drop is because, instead of renting a porn video in HD for $9.98, Time Warner's customers are getting their porn fix on the internet for free. 'One of the things going on with VOD is that there's been fairly steady trends over some time period now for adult to go down, largely because there's that kind of material available on the Internet for free,' says Britt. 'And that's pretty high margin.' To be fair, drooping porn rentals don't account for all of Time Warner Cable's VOD decline. Chief Financial Officer Rob Marcus said that while 'the biggest piece of the year-over-year decline was in fact in the adult category,' the rest of the drop is because there weren't many big pay-per-view events like boxing matches last quarter, and because regular movie rentals are down, too."

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Porn niches (5, Interesting)

zget (2395308) | about 3 years ago | (#36996070)

Having worked with the porn industry, it's mostly because cable companies just show that same old pornstar-looking women with silicons doing the same routine over and over again. People are willing to pay for porn but only if it's a niche they really like. This can be japanese, ladyboys, hairy women, old women, celebs and so on.. Yes, you can find these things freely on tube sites on the internet, but if you like something you want to get more of it and then you go find sites offering content that you cannot find for free. But cable companies will never take that in to their content, because they're afraid people will find it weird.

Re:Porn niches (1)

ThisIsSaei (2397758) | about 3 years ago | (#36996218)

You don't think that, if a clear profit margin is demonstrated, they won't pick it up? I'd expect them to, even if at an arm's distance via child companies.

Re:Porn niches (1)

Tridus (79566) | about 3 years ago | (#36996254)

They have to figure out that's the problem first, and they havne't. They prefer to just blame the Internet.

Re:Porn niches (5, Funny)

w_dragon (1802458) | about 3 years ago | (#36996372)

In this instance I don't think they would refer to them as 'child' companies...

Re:Porn niches (2)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 3 years ago | (#36996788)

Humor aside, I believe the proper term is subsidiary.

Re:Porn niches (2)

jedidiah (1196) | about 3 years ago | (#36996540)

Cable channels have to operate under close scrutiny and run the risk of being sued in Memphis for stuff they want to show people in San Francisco.

This is a very old problem. it's also why cable porn is castrated somewhat.

Re:Porn niches (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 3 years ago | (#36996736)

Sort of... but pr0n adheres to the rest of the business principles too.

See, these corps have a massive stockpile of content that they bought and paid for (either entirely or the rights to broadcast it). Sure, it's almost all tame by Internet standards, but they still have to see some kind of return on investment for them.

You know why we're still seeing Mickey Mouse crap from Disney, or re-releases of certain Disney properties (Snow White, etc) nearly a century after the damned thing was first drawn, right? They still have the copyrights, and by all that is holy they're gonna flog every dollar bill they can out of the things. The pr0n industry works the same way... they have all that money, time, and treasure sunk into the pile they have, and they're kind of stuck with it.

Small aside: Unlike Mickey Mouse or Snow White, the pr0n merchants don't have the luxury of showing the stuff to new generations of kids as parents fondly remember their own memories of it.

Re:Porn niches (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 3 years ago | (#36996752)

The problem is that a niche market tends to be insanely profitable for a small group of people on a small scale .. but a lot less so on the large scale. As parent said, people are willing to pay for stuff that falls outside the generic porn that can be found free all over the internet... however if anything was common enough to be worth offering on a VOD service, you'd be able to find it free as well.

Cue 8mm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36996222)

Where's my RAPE channel?

I just don't know why having sex at gunpoint is about the only thing that gets my rocks off.

Re:Cue 8mm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36996438)

It's called FOX NEWS.

Re:Porn niches (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36996308)

Yea, as someone who's not necessarily philosophically opposed to paying for porn, the fact is what cable companies offer is simply not worth it. Yes, internet porn is free, but it can be a pain to find anything decent and the streaming quality is usually atrocious. HD VOD porn should be a decent option, but at $15 for a 24 hour rental for a single movie, it's not remotely worth it. Throw in the fact that the movie is heavily edited (generally they take standard porn out of Cali then cut out the anal and the money shots, at least in my area) and I just can't understand why anyone would ever buy it.

Re:Porn niches (2)

derGoldstein (1494129) | about 3 years ago | (#36996478) can be a pain to find anything decent and the streaming quality is usually atrocious

Ha! amateur. Work on your porn-fu before you post something this embarrassing.

Now where's that "Post Anonymously" checkbox... Ah whatever, this is Slashdot.

Re:Porn niches (1)

zget (2395308) | about 3 years ago | (#36996522)

Some people know what they want and are willing to pay for it (or to get more of it), and appreciate the quality. It's like taking a first girl that walks by and shows some interest in you, even if shes ugly and pain in the ass.. Wait, this is slashdot. It's like taking an abandoned, somewhat working car from the street while you could had just bought ferrari.

Re:Porn niches (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36996584)

My porn-fu is fine my young friend, but my tastes are specific and my standards are high. Free streaming 1080p is a rarity, and where it does exist the servers get overloaded frequently. I also have a lot of disposable income and would quite willingly pay a reasonable amount if I could get what I want with no effort.

Re:Porn niches (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 3 years ago | (#36996922)

Free streaming 1080p is a rarity

You want 'good' and 'free' and 'streamed'?

I think I see the flaw in your plan...

How do you stay in business? (1)

jcr (53032) | about 3 years ago | (#36996310)

From what I can tell, all kinds of porn is available without paying for it. Whatever the niche you're serving, can't they just google it?


Re:How do you stay in business? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 years ago | (#36996404)

Sure. But the question is, do you want to sift through endless amounts of badly done half-assed (no pun intended) attempts at creating a good porn movie or simply drop a few bucks and save your time?

I'm fairly sure a lot of people would pay a few bucks to get a good porn of their liking damn right now instead of having to browse through $whatever_porn_youtube's stack of $fetish or allegedly-$fetish (because tagged as such but instead just advertising for some completely different kind of porn) movies for minutes/hours 'til they find the single one that's worth looking at.

Re:How do you stay in business? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 3 years ago | (#36996576)

There has never been in any product area with this sort of certainty. You seem to think you can blindly depend on it, but you can't. You can blissfully blow a lot of money on payware content and still get nothing but crap. Doesn't matter what it is. Films of any sort are the same way. If you pay for something sight unseen, you are likely just throwing your money away.

Sturgeons Law does not discriminate.

Re:How do you stay in business? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 years ago | (#36996660)

That's why they'd have to up their quality level. If you know that on average you get good quality, you're more likely to throw money that way. If you know you get about the same quality level that you could get for free, well, nobody is going to pay for that.

As long as the creed is "hell, no matter what porn, as long as it's porn they'll be happy", this will of course not work.

Re:How do you stay in business? (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 3 years ago | (#36996786)

Problem with that is you lose repeat business.

People with niche interests will keep buying more if they like what they are getting. They recommend it to their friends with the same niche interest. If you are serving a small market, this is all important stuff.

Re:How do you stay in business? (2)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 3 years ago | (#36996756)

Have you ever tried ? It's pretty good, or so I hear from my deviant friends :-).
I think people actually prefer not paying for porn to avoid the paper trail. It's silly but it's still stigmatized.

Re:How do you stay in business? (1)

zget (2395308) | about 3 years ago | (#36996452)

Yes, all kinds of porn is available without paying for it. But in substantially lesser amounts, in lesser quality and that doesn't offer you exactly what you want. Lets say you're interested to get sex scenes from movies because that turns you on. You could spend lots of time googling for them all, never really finding everything and never having them organized neatly. Or you could just spend some cash and get a subscription where they are all nicely organized, nicely searchable and nicely categorized. Even for those who know how to find it free, it might be about how much they value their time, the effort they have to put into it and the quality of the service they get.

Re:How do you stay in business? (1)

jcr (53032) | about 3 years ago | (#36996588)

So your value-add is filtering?

Could you explain the economics of it a bit? What kind of revenues are you seeing against what kind of costs?


Re:How do you stay in business? (1)

zget (2395308) | about 3 years ago | (#36996792)

I don't know the economics as I haven't been directly involved with that, but it is a very profitable business. Also remember that someone has to pay to produce all that content on free tube sites. Some of it is real amateur video (there's also a lot of paid "amateur" content), but most of it is produced content. That isn't there just for the funs, it's there to attract users to their paid sites. Someone interested in the niche most likely also is a long time customer. When the free tube sites refer a customer, they usually are paid between $50-100 or even more. Usually the convert ratio is 1:1000, that is one paying customer per 1000 visitors for US, less for other countries. With the amount of traffic those sites get, you can figure out if they're making good money or not. And this is only for the free tube sites.

Re:Porn niches (2)

pinkushun (1467193) | about 3 years ago | (#36996318)

Or to put it another way: Internet rule #34 beats "family values" cable porn.

Re:Porn niches (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 years ago | (#36996432)

Pretty much this. In your area anal sex ain't allowed but you want to see it? Or oral? The internet certainly has a big selection, from M/M, F/M or ... whatever/whatever. Your TV won't give it to you, the internet will. In your area S&M sex is considered "indecent"? The internet certainly has it. Your country considered people shagging in shaggy costumes 'animal porn' and hence disallows it? No fear, dear Furries, the internet is your friend.

Face it, aside of some few fetishes that are illegal pretty much everywhere (pretty much anything rape related, as far as I can tell, but then, I've hardly been looking deeply into that matter outside of my job) you WILL find what you're into on the internet. No matter what your "decency laws" might dictate, the internet doesn't give half a shit about them.

Re:Porn niches (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 3 years ago | (#36996324)

I'm surprised people still pay for porn.

No seriously, have any Gen-Y'ers out there ever paid for porn in their life?

Re:Porn niches (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | about 3 years ago | (#36996442)

I'm older than Gen-Y but as someone who follows the "vote with your wallet" philosophy I pay for a good amount of it. I used to buy it mainly because it was hard to get high quality porn on dial-up, now I buy it because there are certain companies whose videos my wife and I enjoy and we want to support them.

Re:Porn niches (2)

derGoldstein (1494129) | about 3 years ago | (#36996450)

I'm thinking that the long-term strategy of the porn industry is to make you pay if you want to not see porn. Start Googling something random and adjust the search terms until the first time porn pops up. It usually takes less than a minute, *especially* on image search. Who better than the porn industry to identify what *is* porn, in order to filter it out.

Only $1.50 for a cock-free day!

Re:Porn niches (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 3 years ago | (#36996966)

Google is missing out on a whole untapped market with its "safe search" nannying.

I bet there's loads of people who'd pay for an *unsafe* search option.

Re:Porn niches (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 years ago | (#36996454)

No, my grandpa owned a store where he sold porn. Surprisingly some of it got stolen, even though he guarded it well. No idea how those sneaky thieves got behind the counter and took it from there, but then, maybe I just wasn't as wary as he was, it usually happened when he put me in charge. I'm really, really sorry...

Re:Porn niches (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | about 3 years ago | (#36996542)

And yet they find the sale of highly artificial and homogenised H. sap mating scenarios perfectly normal. Weird.

Re:Porn niches (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36996586)

Isn't cable porn what Bill Hicks used to call "Hairy Bobbin' Man Ass" porn? They don't even show anything, right? Why pay for that.

Only Now? (2)

steevven1 (1045978) | about 3 years ago | (#36996092)

I'd have expected this to be news 5-10 years ago. I'd say if they're only taking a hit from the Internet now, they should consider themselves lucky!

Re:Only Now? (1)

Narcocide (102829) | about 3 years ago | (#36996322)

Hear, hear! If you are a nation wide HD cable company and *Netflix* is a threat to your revenue stream... YOU FAILED IN DISGRACE. Fall on your sword.

Re:Only Now? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 years ago | (#36996468)

Well, their old customers die off slowly while the new generation of porn wankers knows that they needn't buy a trenchcoat to get their porn unseen.

Re:Only Now? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 3 years ago | (#36996550)

I call BS. Porn isn't suddenly "free". It's been that way ever since the internet took off. Today's declining sales have nothing to do with it, that's just an incorrect after-the-fact attempt at justification by a junior employee.

Re:Only Now? (1)

foobsr (693224) | about 3 years ago | (#36996776)

I'd have expected this to be news 5-10 years ago. ... dropped significantly in the last quarter

Consider this:

It is big companies, it takes time to wake up.

It never droppped 'significantly' in a quarter before, and it is hard to get the big picture.


Dinosaurs don't evolve. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36996124)

Profits down.

Yes they did (tweet tweet) (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#36996290)

Dinosaurs are a bad example of not evolving. They survived through an asteroid disaster and became birds. Whether TWC will follow the birds' example is the question here.

Re:Yes they did (tweet tweet) (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 3 years ago | (#36996360)

Not exactly. Dinosaurs and birds (or at least bird-like dinosaurs) coexisted, and the vast majority of dinosaurs were straight killed off in the Chixulub impact.

Much like the music industry. Those that were early or already prepared to adopt new business models will survive, while the big dumb ones are utterly unprepared and incapable of changing in time, and will die off.

Re:Yes they did (tweet tweet) (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 years ago | (#36996456)

Well, the dinosaurs of this age might survive as well. Provided they do like their predecessors and get used to the new times.

Ya know, the really big ones, they went the road of the dodo. Might be a hint...

Re:Yes they did (tweet tweet) (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 3 years ago | (#36996864)

Today all they would need to survive is to hire a really good lobbyist firm.

Re:Yes they did (tweet tweet) (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 3 years ago | (#36996524)

Just last week I saw an descendent of the velociraptor [] walking around.

Crocodiles are so tough they didn't even need to evolve.

Oh really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36996134)

"there's been fairly steady trends over some time period now for adult to go down"


the real reasons (5, Insightful)

alphatel (1450715) | about 3 years ago | (#36996152)

I am a TWC customer and I can tell you several reasons why no one would want VOD
  1. Their VOD isn't even available in HD, even when you pay the extra $80 per month for the full-on HD package.
  2. Everyone in the porn industry knows that free content has crushed DVD sales for the past 3 years. Did TWC just figure it out?
  3. VOD for $10 a pop, or something streaming thousands of movies, shows, etc from Netflix for $10 per month? Hmmm, wtf should I do??
  4. Whoodathunkit... no one wantws to pay $100 in a recession to watch two skinny boxers beat the crap out of each other. It's free at the sports bar down the street and the beer ain't expensive either.

Re:the real reasons (1)

peragrin (659227) | about 3 years ago | (#36996262)

WTF are you talking about?

Every Time warner HD channel has its own HD VOD channel. there is movies on demand, and HD movies on demand, on a seperate channel.

As for $10 rentals that is only for porn, and before it is out in theaters movie releases.

Indivual movies are normally $3.99, $4.99 for HD. Same as blockbuster.

While time warner is a pain their full ON DEMAND service isnt bad at all, with you being able to watch a movie/ tv show within 24 hours of it being released( some stations restrict that)

Re:the real reasons (1)

Narcocide (102829) | about 3 years ago | (#36996340)

*cough* fake HD *cough*

Re:the real reasons (2, Insightful)

netsavior (627338) | about 3 years ago | (#36996444)

Nobody actually cares about HD, even if they think they do, except a few geeks and a lot of MPAA profit-center members. People have been taught through very careful advertising that the way to distinguish HD from other things is to look for the letters "HD" and that seven twenty of your Peas is vastly inferior to ten eighty of real HD. If you were to tell the average viewer that the difference between DVD and VHS is that DVD is HD, they would probably agree. There are a million stories like this. []

Personally even on my decent 42 inch 1080p display I prefer non-HD streams because HD looks weird. I prefer for the background to be a soft blur instead of a crisp detail of unimportant shit that takes my attention away from the action. In video games, for some reason I don't have this problem and really enjoy the enhanced resolution.

Re:the real reasons (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | about 3 years ago | (#36996740)

Background blurring is a function depth of field of the shot. If the background is sharp, it's because the director of photography decided it should be when they set up the shot.

Re:the real reasons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36996298)

Whoodathunkit... no one wantws to pay $100 in a recession to watch two skinny boxers beat the crap out of each other.

The summary itself states that the exec said there weren't very many boxing matches as is. It's hard for people to pay for something that doesn't exist (except in certain scenarios...).

Also, skinny? Featherweights normally don't just beat the crap out of each other since they're moving nonstop. Unless you mean heavyweights and their tendency to have a beatdown fight. And if you're calling heavyweights skinny, jeez I worry about the weight of people you know.

It's free at the sports bar down the street and the beer ain't expensive either.

This is like asking why I have a personal computer or buy video games when I could just go to a LAN center and play it there. Sure it may be cheaper, but I prefer the comfort of my own home.

Re:the real reasons (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about 3 years ago | (#36996364)

VOD has raised recently to $15/shot. (No pun intended.) Cheaper to actually subscribe somewhere and get HD videos to serve up on the PS3.

Re:the real reasons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36996412)

VOD has raised recently to $15/shot. (No pun intended.) Cheaper to actually subscribe somewhere and get HD videos to serve up on the PS3.

I don't believe you. *skeptical straight-face arms crossed face*

Commodities 101 (3, Interesting)

Shoten (260439) | about 3 years ago | (#36996154)

"And that's pretty high margin." ...and also, the very definition of something that will eventually lose out to cheaper, lower-margin outlets, unless it maintains some niche specialization. And last I saw, cable companies weren't really "pushing the envelope" on porn.

(Which I think I'm grateful for...some of the descriptions of what's on kind of blow my mind. One channel used to draw my interest just for reading the descriptions. You could tell that the poor soul who was writing the synopses had kind of given up on was hilarious. A movie had the phrase "frankly, defies explanation" in its summary.)

Story Title (3, Funny)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 3 years ago | (#36996158)

The juxtaposition of "eats into" and "porn".

Obligatory (2)

Ltap (1572175) | about 3 years ago | (#36996166)

... there's been fairly steady trends over some time period now for adult to go down ...

Well, yes.

pretty high margin - so cut your price (4, Insightful)

GungaDan (195739) | about 3 years ago | (#36996170)

Hard to compete with free, but offer content and convenience at an attractive price and people will buy. Admit to ripping them off ("pretty high margin") and they are less likely to do so.

Re:pretty high margin - so cut your price (4, Insightful)

ShavedOrangutan (1930630) | about 3 years ago | (#36996392)

I looked through the Comcast adult VOD catalog once and every title was $10 and up! They have got to be joking! How desperate for a porn fix does someone have to be to pay that much?

Re:pretty high margin - so cut your price (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 years ago | (#36996528)

It ain't even the margin, it's the lack of a better offer, that's all.

You cannot compete on price with free. So I doubt that cutting the margin will change anything. 10 bucks vs. 0 bucks or 2 bucks vs. 0 bucks, the choice doesn't change, does it?

What they can compete in is quality and convenience. Take the average free porn-tube. I don't know that many, granted, but the ones I do suffer all from the same problem: Advertising. And I'm not talking about the banners left and right, I'm talking about blatantly mislabeled movies that try to lure you into clicking them, only to find out that they first of all have nothing to do with the kind of porn you're looking for but also want you to throw money at them for the "full" movie. Then quality. Sure, it's nice that thousands of people make movies of their shagging sessions, and if you're into the "amateur" style and want to see non-professionals "do it", you'll get plenty. Well, some people prefer quality. And quality is hard to find. Most people have no idea about lighting, camera angles (seriously, most use a steady cam and hope that it doesn't wobble too much while the bed springs are creaking) or offering the viewer a pleasing experience. On the average porn tube you can most likely spend an afternoon watching those 2 minute flicks without seeing a single good one.

They can compete there. A well done porn movie of the kind you like, right now, right here, throw 5 bucks at me and you get it. You think people wouldn't use that service? I'm pretty sure a lot would.

Crap content all round is your problem, not porn (3, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | about 3 years ago | (#36996180)

The problem isn't porn. It's the quality of TV. There has been a steady decline in the quality of television since the 80s. As if 80s TV was great to begin with. Free Internet porn has been around for about a decade, but Sy-Fi (pronounced sy-phi-lus) has only been around for a little while. Watching people in cooking, renovating, buying real-estate, singing and dance competitions eliminate each other off the "reality" tv landscape as they act like selfish twats is getting old just as "talk shows" like Jerry Springer did once the shock factor wore off. Not to mention the stupid reality TV shows that follow around self-proclaim no-talent know-nothing bimbo "stars" like the Krapdashians So you cable execs need to take a bit of responsibility for your own stupidity in creating and buying bad TV instead of trying to blame people who already have their hand on their genitals and are openly admitting it by watching your crappy porn. You know you have trouble when you've managed to alienate even seasoned wankers!

Anyway who seriously needs or wants HD at $10 a pop to get aroused? Sometimes less detail is better. ASCII porn was popular back in the day and I remember idiotic strip poker on the Apple IIe back in the early 80s. But I guess having an imagination is so yesterday.

Re:Crap content all round is your problem, not por (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36996272)

Do they really charge 10$ per vid? Friggin ridiculous... For twice that you'll probably get a blow job.

Re:Crap content all round is your problem, not por (0)

grub (11606) | about 3 years ago | (#36996486)

Do they really charge 10$ per vid? Friggin ridiculous... For twice that you'll probably get a blow job.

and AIDS.

Re:Crap content all round is your problem, not por (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36996818)

Nah because without condom would definitely be extra.

Re:Crap content all round is your problem, not por (1)

Tridus (79566) | about 3 years ago | (#36996304)

Yeah, it's true. The number of channels has ballooned, but the money for quality content has not. So to fill all the extra space they need a lot of very cheap programming.

It's even worse in Canada, where we have the government dictating that we get the Canadian version of the channel instead, which is almost always an inferior version with some very low budget crap thrown in to pad the schedule and meet content requirements. The business model of these channels doesn't even depend on getting viewers, it depends on getting into a bundle with a more popular channel so people are forced to pay you monthly for something they don't watch. (Most Canadian specialty channels make more revenue from subscription fees then they do from ads, and it's not even close in a lot of cases.)

The whole thing is a bubble ready to burst, and Netflix was something of a tipping point on that front.

Re:Crap content all round is your problem, not por (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36996638)

Except for Space, its now a vastly superior channel to Sy-Fy,

Re:Crap content all round is your problem, not por (4, Insightful)

kannibal_klown (531544) | about 3 years ago | (#36996448)

The problem isn't porn. It's the quality of TV. There has been a steady decline in the quality of television since the 80s. As if 80s TV was great to begin with

I don't agree with that., but that's just my personal opinion.

Sure, TV is still filled with tons of trash. We have more "Reality TV" and the music channels (like MTV) don't do much anymore, we stil have tons of Soap Operas an your basic sitcoms.

But some TV-shows have evolved, since just about all TV in the 80's were directed at the whole family (youngsters included) while now we the separate out the shows for adults, kids, etc.

Crime Shows / Mysteries
Crime shows are darker and grittier with more mature content; less fantasy, more reality. Instead of them walking into a room with a body under a sheet and the main character saying "they went to town on her" now they're allowed to say specifically what happened like "due to vaginal tearing we can tell she was raped" and include some science and forensics in the investigation. IE, talking about something new or interesting in forensics (and thus teach something) instead of Columbo picking up a blonde hair with his bare hands and saying "Aha."

They also try to be realistic; now-a-days our cop shows try to be very realistic, at least compared to Starsky and Hutch or TJ Hooker.

Meanwhile the motive also tend to be more varied since they're allowed to cover more sensitive areas. Sure, the motives still revolve around money / love / revenge but due to the "standards" of the 80s they could only say or do so many things. Now it can be "they assaulted my daughter" or "my wife gave me AIDS" or "my husband left me for another man."

Sure, Jessica from "Murder She Wrote" and Columbo were charismatic and all-around good... but so are characters like Adrian Monk, Elliot Stabler, Shawn Spencer, etc. And most of them demonstrate more personality than some of the old TV characters. Face it, Jessica was nice but was otherwise a plain/vanilla polite older woman.

Adventure / Heroes / SciFi
Compare the first season of Heroes with the $6million Man or the Bionic Woman. Special effects aside, there is a LOT more complexity in the newer shows than those old hits. The characters are dealing with more personal demons or concepts, instead of the Bionic Woman having 1 or 2 episodes where she was depressed about not being a real woman anymore.

The recent Battlestar Galactica wasn't everyone's cup of tea. But go back and watch the original, seriously go and watch a marathon. It was the same 3 or 4 flight sequences shown over and over, it was VERY family oriented and/or directed to 7-year-olds. There was little/no realistic reaction to being the survivors of a holocaust. And the science fiction elements were quite rare. With the remake we got more cerebral discussions on politics, philosophy, and emotion. AND we got more in-depth science fiction descriptions and discussions: AI, FTL, how this widget works, etc.

Star Trek: granted the original series was the 60s and not the 80s. But in the original we didn't get much explanation for the events going on, just the occasional strange alien that had a weird ability. Did we learn how their FTL work, no just that it required dilithium crystals. The Next Generation / DS9 / Voyager really put the sci-fi elements to shame. We got real-life theories on how stuff might work, some real biology terms, and some fake techno-babble.

And don't get me started on cartoons. Try watching some 80's era Transformers, GI Joe, Smurfs, etc. Taking off the rose-colored glasses and you'll see they were lame... even for the targetted age-groups. Now watch one of the DCAU cartoons (Justice League, Batman TAS, etc), or Young Justice, or Generator Rex, or heck even the Thundercats or Transformers revivals going on now. More mature, more cerebral, better animation, etc. Sure there's still Sponge Bob and Adventure Time but they try to make things more complex with the other shows.

Thanks to Cable we also have more readily-access to stuff like the History Channel, Discovery Channel, Military Channel, etc. Sure you can probably learn more from a book or the Internet but the fact is there are a LOT of interesting and educational shows out there now. Back in the old days, we only really had PBS.

Re:Crap content all round is your problem, not por (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 3 years ago | (#36996832)

Ahem.. new CN programs like Adventure Time and Regular Show are light years away from Sponge Bob. AT and RS work with little kids but watch them sometime and you'll see a whole lot of elements in there that are directed directly at 25-40 year olds... lots of references to old video games, inside jokes for the parents, etc. They are have more in common with the old Warner Brothers shorts meant for all ages than anything from the 1980s and clearly have jokes that the little ones won't get. There is a lot of great programming on Cartoon Network, but that is one of the exceptions on Cable right now. TNT and AMC are a couple of others and most of the other networks are no longer even trying.

Re:Crap content all round is your problem, not por (3, Funny)

operagost (62405) | about 3 years ago | (#36996954)

Face it, Jessica was nice but was otherwise a plain/vanilla polite older woman.

That's what she WANTED you to think. In reality, she was the most diabolical sociopath to ever live, able to murder dozens of people and not only pin the crime on others but usually get them to CONFESS to it! How else can you explain a writer "stumbling" into so many murders?

Re:Crap content all round is your problem, not por (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | about 3 years ago | (#36996532)

There has been a steady decline in the quality of television since the 80s. As if 80s TV was great to begin with.

TV was called a "vast wasteland" in 1961. It's always been terrible. []

Click that link; it's a good, quick couple paragraphs to read.

Re:Crap content all round is your problem, not por (1)

cashman73 (855518) | about 3 years ago | (#36996636)

Well, there is hope. TLC finally gave Kate Gosselin the boot [] ! Unfortunately, she was replaced by Big Hair Alaska, a new reality show about Sarah Palin's hairdresser in Wasilla. Yikes!

More data caps on the way... (2)

zerofoo (262795) | about 3 years ago | (#36996186)

As pay-for-tv companies start to see their video revenues decline, be ready for the severe data caps that will follow.

Cable and Telcos will fight to the death to keep from becoming dumb pipe providers, and thanks to our lack of net neutrality laws, or any sort of real competition in data services, they might succeed.


Re:More data caps on the way... (1)

aggie_knight (611726) | about 3 years ago | (#36996730)

Which is exactly why I'm sticking with Netflix regardless of how pissed I am about a 60% price increase this year. With our bought/sold politicians, the only way we are going to get any semblance of net neutrality is if the competing companies that want to provide video/data services become strong enough to take on the ISPs in Washington. Of course, the biggest problem my strategy has is that nothing prevents Netflix from working a deal with Time Warner to not have their streaming count against the cap.

Re:More data caps on the way... (1)

krinderlin (1212738) | about 3 years ago | (#36996940)

While it's likely that the price increases will come with reduced data caps, I think there is room for someone to finally do the right thing.

I think I'd rather see a 25% price increase in my internet, no data caps, and some pretty granular à la carte IPTV choices than the current industry state and prices. We recently cut the cord to the TV and dropped down to a fairly fast internet plan with our provider, Comcast. They called me back and tried to convince me to pick back up the TV plan for some pretty insanely low rates. Still, to get the three to five channels I actually watched and recorded shows from regularly, I would've had to pay out $60 more above what I was paying with just the internet and 90 other channels I have little to no interest in funding, period.

On the other hand, if my cable company offered to just give me HGTV, and BBC America for say, $5 each per month, I would've gladly signed back up.

Why no mention (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36996196)

Of their consideration of a pay-per-GB pricing for internet? Isn't that closer to the news for nerds - stuff that matters than where your average luddite is getting his rocks off?

Re:Why no mention (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 years ago | (#36996568)

Because they're two faces of the same problem. Or rather, one problem follows the other one.

A downturn in video sales means that they somehow have to keep the people from using the internet to stream movies so they'd rather buy their movies again. See where this is heading?

As a TWC customer... (2)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 3 years ago | (#36996210)

... I can tell you there is a lot of porn available for VOD. Often when I use the directory to search for shows by names, I end up with results porn results coming back when I am typing in the name of the show I am looking for.

I will say from reading the descriptions that they do a fairly good job of covering the various generic fetishes, too. Any ethnicity you can imagine wanting to watch do whatever you might want, it's there...

Although I can't imagine wanting to pay my cable company to watch that, even considering the fact that the cable bill comes out of my checking account automatically without a printed bill ever mailed to my house...

Re:As a TWC customer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36996854)

True, but having actually watched one of those when I first got my fancy digital box, it seems that they've been heavily edited to only have the stuff you normally fast-forward. You're lucky to even see genitalia, let alone genital on genital action.

I've seen better softcore accidentally hit the shelf at blockbuster.

Porn is always the First Mover (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36996216)

As they say, Porn is the first adopter of technology. If this is the direction it moves, expect other VOD to follow

Internet Costs Will Go Up (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | about 3 years ago | (#36996226)

As TV and pay per view/On Demand revenue goes down and gets cannibalized by the Internet, Internet service costs are going to go up. I fear we'll pay one way or the other.

It's sort of like driving like a jerk. If everyone does it, there won't be any gains. Not that there is anything wrong at all with using the Internet to save costs and consume media.

The cable companies will do as much as possible to prolong the old paradigm. Or at least keep you subscribing (things like HBO GO).

I don't know a single happy Time Warner customer. (2)

Narcocide (102829) | about 3 years ago | (#36996280)

Seriously, every single person I know who subscribes to their services does so either because they have no other choice or because they were told by the landlord when they moved in that they had no other choice. Not a single one of them would keep the service if they had any other choice for cable.

While its an interesting theory that it is the internet that is causing the decline in Time Warner's revenue, and it is true that I know people who finally have gotten so fed up with them that they have decided to just use Hulu, Youtube and Netflix as their "TV service" instead, I honestly don't see that as even remotely reasonable evidence that the fault here lies with the internet. It seems pretty clear to me that what is eating into Time Warner's revenue is the shitty quality of their service across the board, from price to support to reliability it is just unacceptable, and always has been. People finally learning that? Boo-hoo, Time Warner. Maybe you guys should sack up and start caring about uptime, channel selection and customer service.

Perfect Irony (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | about 3 years ago | (#36996286)

Warner Bro's cable having to publicly discuss their lack of profits on porn assets when their monopoly is primarily in areas where people have swallowed the religiosity pill. They are so fucked.

Re:Perfect Irony (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 years ago | (#36996628)

In my experience. religious nuts are the best customers for porn. First, they're happy with even the blurriest, crappiest kind of "Sally does Houston" movie because they're happy with anything that comes remotely to sex. And even if they don't like it, they'd rather swallow the money they lost than admitting they watch porn. Plus, lacking any other kind of "stimulation", they need lots of it.

Yes, religious nuts are certainly the best customers you could probably have as a porn producer. Why do you think the countries with the biggest number of religious nuts also have some of the biggest porn industries?

Classic puns intended (1)

Swaziboy (1457667) | about 3 years ago | (#36996292)

"To be fair, drooping porn", "adult to go down" whomever wrote that press-release should be given a medal.

Re:Classic puns intended (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36996418)


Unless you think "him wrote that press release" is accurate.

Re:Classic puns intended (1)

Swaziboy (1457667) | about 3 years ago | (#36996512)

hmm, I do believe you are correct. -1 grammar for me.

Porn industry wanted bail out money (1)

BetaDays (2355424) | about 3 years ago | (#36996300)

Did the porn industry get that bail out money they were after? []

Re:Porn industry wanted bail out money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36996508)

To BIG to go flacid

Well Duh! (1)

tgeek (941867) | about 3 years ago | (#36996314)

Who wants to pay for "drooping porn'? I can get that at home - show me some "big and bouncy porn" or "petite and perky porn" or anything but "drooping porn"!

Maybe the Price (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36996342)

I never understood their pricing model for porn. I can see a $100,000,000 hollywood blockbuster for about $6. A $10,000 porn title runs $10. I bet if the porn titles were $2 people would use the convenience of VOD. Or they could do some sort of all the porn you can watch for $20/month

Re:Maybe the Price (1)

Larryish (1215510) | about 3 years ago | (#36996856)

All you can watch for $20.00 per month?

Simply fap-ulous, darling!

Re:Maybe the Price (2)

asdf7890 (1518587) | about 3 years ago | (#36996952)

Dropping the price would not increase sales that much: most people not already paying for porn wouldn't pay for it if it were cheaper either because they don't want it on a credit card or cable account bill (where others, like the wife, could find it) or in the case of cable because watching it via cable isn't as easy to do quite as surreptitiously.

So the price of a porn flick doesn't drop due to demand numbers like a big hollywood film would.

That, and there is the "what the market will bare" thing. The current price is where they would see a noticeable drop-off in sales were it any higher, or the extra sales would not be enough to make up for the difference if they made it lower.

I don't think I've every paid for porn unless you count using the Internet connection that I do pay for as indirectly paying for it, or if you count getting a beating for stealing my elder brother's stash (in earlier life) as payment. $2 or $10 makes no odds to me: I'll not pay anyway.

Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36996490)

The Internet is for porn [] , no the cable.

Don't forget..... (2)

ProfanityHead (198878) | about 3 years ago | (#36996570)

People like me who, 2.5 years ago, said FU big cable companies and pulled the plug completely. There is plenty to see in full bandwidth HD over the airwaves (as opposed to compressed to hell and back before the cable company send it down my wire). All I miss is ESPN. TNT would be nice during the NBA playoffs. All in all I save $100/month (at least) and still see most NFL games I want.

ESPN should set up local OTA affiliates, I'd pay $10/month. Besides that I won't pay for any television.

Re:Don't forget..... (1)

jackbird (721605) | about 3 years ago | (#36996802)

ESPN is Disney, and ESPN is the stick they use to get cable operators to carry a whole bunch of Disney channels with lower viewership at fairly high prices. You won't be seeing ESPN OTA affiliates ever.

All my porn (3, Funny)

Chuby007 (1961870) | about 3 years ago | (#36996678)

All my porn consists of a 5 minute video, that I play over and over again... no need for more than that, it gets the JOB done..

Re:All my porn (1)

asdf7890 (1518587) | about 3 years ago | (#36996828)

Surely if you've watched that same 5 minutes so many times you can just, err, do it from memory?

$10 renting a single video? (1)

paziek (1329929) | about 3 years ago | (#36996798)

$10 for renting a single video? I think thats the problem. I could buy video for $10-15, but rent for $1-2. Those prices are unreasonable.

One word. Lex (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36996816)

Hey Time-Warner! Maybe you people can start featuring more videos with Lex destroying the babes then you may be able to stem the tide a bit. Oh and keep the softcore for the ladies.

Buying porn is not anonymous. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36996886)

You are giving your name, other subscription related datasets, and [i]your sexual preferences[/i] to your cable company.

Intelectual property... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#36996946)

Maybe they can patent sex and sue people who do it without a license?

Also it seems appropriate this time: WTF?

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