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Are Cable Subscribers Subsidizing Internet-Only TV Viewers?

Soulskill posted about 6 months ago | from the enjoy-it-while-it-lasts dept.

Television 223

waderoush sends a tongue-in-cheek open letter to cable TV subscribers from somebody who has cut the cord in favor of streaming shows over the internet. "Dear Cable TV Subscriber: I don't think I've ever told you how grateful I am. I haven't paid a cent for cable television since 2009. Yet I have on-demand access via the Internet to a growing cornucopia of great shows like Game of Thrones, Homeland, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad, at reasonable à la carte prices. And it's all because you continue to pay exorbitant and ever-increasing monthly fees for your premium cable bundle (around $80 per month, on average). After all, your money goes straight to the studios and networks that produce and distribute all the expensive first-run programming that I'm perfectly happy to watch later at heavily discounted prices. So in effect, you're subsidizing my own footloose, freeloading, cord-cutting TV habits. I don't know how to thank you!"

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223 comments

Mod question... (5, Insightful)

Shoten (260439) | about 6 months ago | (#45170335)

Is it possible to mod an entire Slashdot article as "Flamebait?"

Re:Mod question... (1)

Wookact (2804191) | about 6 months ago | (#45170369)

Half the articles anymore either need a flamebait or a slashvertisment mod. I expect the slashdot experience to continue to get worse especially after the "Update" they will be preforming tonight.

Re:Mod question... (1)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about 6 months ago | (#45170467)

Remember when we could vote articles up or down (http://web.archive.org/web/20100612085708/http://slashdot.org/ [archive.org])? If tonights updates brings us to that fucking god awful beta site permanently with no option to keep classic /. then I'm done. The only exception would be if they unfuck the comment system and get rid of that emaciated layout.

Re:Mod question... (2, Funny)

queazocotal (915608) | about 6 months ago | (#45170569)

The new site has in fact been worked on in the background for several years, ever since a particular incident where a temporary redesign caused lawyers to get in touch and put it back to normal.
After long negotiations, the company saw that slashdot was a suitable platform for their outreach beyond their core audience.

They are in fact changing the comments system to 'Comments are Magic' - and slashdot will henceforth be known as 'My Little Slashy'.

Re:Mod question... (3, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | about 6 months ago | (#45171213)

You haven't heard of the firehose? If you didn't vote against the story don't bitch about it being posted.

Re:Mod question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45170547)

Slashdot is basically a honeypot site to allow the NSA to identify dangerous subversives... Those tinfoil hats y'all wear? They amplify the signal.

Re:Mod question... (3, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 6 months ago | (#45170581)

That's why I wear a Diamondium hat.

Re:Mod question... (0)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 6 months ago | (#45171059)

That's because most people wear tinfoil hats with the shiny side out. Yes, it reflects the mind rays, but that just makes it easier for the NSA to locate you, and once they know where you are, it's "Game over." If you want to keep under their radar, wear a hat with the shiny side in. Being dull, it absorbs the mind rays instead of reflecting them, and the shiny side helps keep your own thoughts inside your head where they can't be read or recorded.

Re:Mod question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45171063)

Well this dangerous subversive is grateful for the Suckers among us.
I'm glad there are still anal retentives who just HAVE to have every single damn channel and subsidize my internet watching habits.
Wait a minute I have to watch ads too. Well fuck em.
And a big thanks out there for the suckers paying for music, movies and news too. If it weren't for them I wouldn't have half the targets that I do to mock, shame and generally pee on.
The best business model is to put the power back into the hands of the people and forget the middlemen.
Identify THAT fuckheads!

Re:Mod question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45170435)

It's always easier to shy away from a difficult discussion.

Re:Mod question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45170447)

Flamebait? This is a real world example of trickle down economics!

Re:Mod question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45170457)

I was actually looking for the "Stupid" in the options. Couldn't find it, and hoping we could mod editors any time soon.

Re:Mod question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45170891)

I agree, who the fuck is waderoush and why should I care?

Re:Mod question... (5, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | about 6 months ago | (#45171205)

Maybe, but not now. Netflix? Pshaw, most cable channels are on the internet. The truth is only flamebait to the stupid.

The cable companies are killing themselves. I've been OTA for years, 400 channels but I might want to watch six of them and you want $80? Are you insane?

Cable use to be a good deal. A dozen extra channels, including HBO, none with commercials and local TV without snow or ghosts for ten bucks a month.

Now? Not only do they have commercials but you get commercials during the actual content! Empty-V played music videos, now they show the same reality TV bullshit you get OTA (which no longer has ghosts or snow since it's now digital). History showed ancient Greece, WWII, etc, now they have "Ice Road Truckers". Discovery used to have science and tech, now it's "Trick My Truck".

They expect me to pay them for that?

But I'm a geezer, I remember 3 black and white stations in a large city. I get half a dozen stations in a small city, crystal clear, in higher definition than cable streams.

You think I'm paying for that?

Flamebait, my ass. Wake up. If cable wants me back they can offer a la carte with no fucking commercials. If I'm paying for content and with my eyeballs you're charging me twice and you're ripping me off. Fuck cable and the horse it rode in on,

It rolls down hill (5, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 6 months ago | (#45170341)

Thank you streaming subscriber for subsidizing my torrents. Sorry to sound like a snide dick, but once you got things rolling I decided, why not?

Re:It rolls down hill (5, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 6 months ago | (#45170797)

"Thank you streaming subscriber for subsidizing my torrents. Sorry to sound like a snide dick, but once you got things rolling I decided, why not? Reply to This Share"

I have to wonder why OP thinks his "heavily discounted" prices are in fact heavily discounted, anyway. The fact that other people may be getting gouged with a backhoe doesn't mean you're not being gouged with a pitchfork.

Re:It rolls down hill (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45171137)

They're not, I pay for a season of walking dead or ahs, etc. the same for a dvd set without a hard copy. Now a good lot of what I pay for is going to cloud storage sure, as a cord cutter I rely on Amazon and Netflix exclusive, netflix is ~30/mo. and amazon is mostly used for shows that aren't on Netflix, so my payments are variable, but can easily climb higher than cable if I'm not careful. Just the two shows above as an example is $24/mo. So, right now I'm paying around $54/mo. plus the yearly fee for amazon prime, if we don't pick up another show (unlikely) and I'm dead in the water without internet, which is not sattelite for me because it's capped much too low and no cable available, to add insult to injury everything is time delayed. -pfft No, I believe I'm pulling my own here what I'm not doing is subsidizing sports, commercials, infomercials, and other various bullshit I will not tolerate.

Re:It rolls down hill (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45171177)

Oh and I do hate being blacked out on sports, that slipped in there somehow, but in order to watch the olympics you sign up for a vpn service in a hosting country in order to watch for free via their local internet broadcast - the fucking olympics, I have to subject myself to international intelligence monitoring purchase a foreign service separate from my regular expense and essentially violate international copyright laws, in order to partake in an international sporting event celebrated from time immemorial where the emphasis is on sporting, competition, camaraderie, good will, and ironically inclusion.

Thank you seeding when I don't! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45170905)

Thank you, dear torrent user, for seeding all this content when I in fact do not.

Re:It rolls down hill (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45170977)

What we NEED is single payer TV like every other civilized nation!

Re:It rolls down hill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45171101)

The BBC is actually pretty good, and they brought us Top Gear and Dr Who.

I'll cut the cable cord... (4, Insightful)

mythosaz (572040) | about 6 months ago | (#45170353)

...just as soon as they're not the best internet provider in town.

Re:I'll cut the cable cord... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45170851)

You can have internet only services. You'll lose "bundle" pricing, but you'll still save a shit load of cash because you won't be paying TV services, STB/DVR rental costs, FCC, and taxes and other fees etc. We save around $98/month by not having cable TV, just FiOS 50/25mbps. Viewing fodder is made up with Netflix at ~$8-9/month. The interesting thing about losing cable TV is that the family didn't care, I was the main loser due to the loss of sports.

Think of it this way, after one year of our not having cable TV service, we can buy both the PS4 and Xbone with the reduction in outgoing expenditure.

What's the big deal (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45170361)

It sounds like the OP is still paying for TV, just somewhat less than others who have access to many, many more shows. If you don't watch that much TV, you can save money buying just the shows you want to watch. If you want to see more than a few HBO series, though, it's cheaper to just subscribe to HBO. If you want to be able to easily channel surf and watch shows as soon as they're released, you probably need to pay a provider.

dom

Re:What's the big deal (0)

jedidiah (1196) | about 6 months ago | (#45170379)

HBO just doesn't have that much going for it these days. That's why I've never bothered to subscribe to it in recent decades (even when I had cable). They had a much more diverse lineup of material back in the day. The fact that they make original content now is not a good tradeoff. The overall effect is an inferior product.

Thanks for playing anyways...

Re:What's the big deal (4, Informative)

PraiseBob (1923958) | about 6 months ago | (#45170583)

Even HBO GO requires a cable subscription ($80 + 15 for hbo), while you can buy episodes ala cart for $3, which is roughly an hours worth of entertainment. So if you watch more than 1 hour of it every single night then it could work out cheaper to subscribe.

Re:What's the big deal (3, Interesting)

IANAAC (692242) | about 6 months ago | (#45170669)

So if you watch more than 1 hour of it every single night then it could work out cheaper to subscribe.

Does HBO even have an hour of watchable programming every night? Sure, there are certain nights of the week that there's a good program on, but I would only be watching maybe two shows that HBO produces, meaning 2 hours a week.

Reasonable à la carte prices??? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45170389)

Where are these reasonable prices the writer speaks of??? Unless he's talking about "free as in piracy"?

Re:Reasonable à la carte prices??? (5, Informative)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 6 months ago | (#45170531)

I don't think so. I think these are the classes
      Free Streaming: Hulu, major network sites, etc. Payment: 1 day lag, commercials
      Cheap streaming: Premium Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, etc. Payment: 1 low monthly fee.
      Purchase: Buy DVD, iTunes, whatever: Payment: less then cable.

People pay for cable for convenience and timeliness. People are not willing to delay viewing. One example is sports. Nobody wants to watch yesterdays’ game, which is why ESPN is one of the most expensive chancels on basic TV. Game of Thrones is another example. I can either pay HBO big bucks now or I delay until the DVD comes out.

Re:Reasonable à la carte prices??? (4, Informative)

Mitreya (579078) | about 6 months ago | (#45170595)

Cheap streaming: Premium Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, etc. Payment: 1 low monthly fee.

Except that last I heard, Premium Hulu still has commercials. For your payment you just get an expanded library of commercial-laden content. I have no idea who pays for that.

Re:Reasonable à la carte prices??? (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 6 months ago | (#45170625)

I guess they changed the rules. When I lasted looked that was the only advantage for me – and obviously not a big enough one for me to subscribe.

Re:Reasonable à la carte prices??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45170723)

Its been like that since they came out. It is "fewer" ads. (Also known as they added more ads to the free stuff.)

Re:Reasonable à la carte prices??? (1)

Zibodiz (2160038) | about 6 months ago | (#45170883)

The other advantage to hulu plus is that you are allowed access from smart TVs and bluray players. Only problem is that the access is restricted to particular shows have been approved by the studios, and none of the ones I watch have been. Definitely not worth subscribing in my books.

Re:Reasonable à la carte prices??? (4, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 6 months ago | (#45170629)

People are not willing to delay viewing.

Some people aren't, so they pay the premium. The producers of the content know that they want it so bad they can charge huge margins.

Over here, we only watch a few shows, but some of them are delayed a year on Netflix. They're just as enjoyable.

When I did have pay-tv service, I used to watch NFL Primetime - all the games of the week condensed into a half hour, which contained most of the plays that actually went anywhere. I don't watch it anymore, since we just have Netflix now - it was interesting, but I don't really miss it much.

I'm much happier to use the delta in cash for RL activities.

Re:Reasonable à la carte prices??? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45170763)

People are not willing to delay viewing.

I haven't seen a live broadcast of anything for nigh on five years. I assure you I'm "people."

One example is sports

Yeah. Sports. All I can say is that many of the problems people suffer in this life are self inflicted.

So bend over and pay for your pleasure. I'll die before ESPN gets another red cent out of me.

Re:Reasonable à la carte prices??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45171123)

I'll die before ESPN gets another red cent out of me.

I will too. The irony is that I cut the cord late 2009 from RCN when they tried to up my already ~$50/mo bill just for the privilidge of renting a set top box to play HD content (whereas previously my HDTV could easily play all their HD channels on its own--something I think that was related to operation "analog crush"). Anyway, I wanted to watch Wimbledon in HD, so I had an antenna and unplugged the cable box to hook it up. Something like two months later my wife, who mostly watches netflix through the Roku, said to me "we don't seem to get CNN anymore," and I realized the cable box was still unplugged in favor of the antenna. After that I was finished with those greedy bastards at RCN...

Re:Reasonable à la carte prices??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45170791)

Nobody wants to watch yesterdays’ game,

I often do. I find that the even without cable, I can watch a lot of replays of games for free on WatchESPN. I typically watch my favorite game right after it has finished to the next day. Now I do have to black out media in those time periods, but it beats the $120 a month for the cable package that carries the games I want live.

People are not willing to delay viewing.

Some people do. I don't ever start watching a TV series basically until it has ended, so I can watch it continuously.

Re:Reasonable à la carte prices??? (1)

pspahn (1175617) | about 6 months ago | (#45170549)

If $6/mo for Netflix is too "unreasonable" for your taste, then I suggest it's time to look for a new employer.

Re:Reasonable à la carte prices??? (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 6 months ago | (#45170899)

Stuff like amazon instant and vudu you have to pay $2.99 just for the ability to watch it for one day. (Though Amazon has a mix of free and "buy once own forever" as well.)

Someone's gotta pay for cable (1)

themushroom (197365) | about 6 months ago | (#45170399)

Afterall, it's cable subscribers that are recording the shows that get put on the torrent sites. Call it getting a ROI.

Re:Someone's gotta pay for cable (3, Insightful)

similar_name (1164087) | about 6 months ago | (#45170673)

My own opinion is that cable subscribers shouldn't be paying for the shows through their cable either. They should be paying the cable company for distribution of content. Seperately, the content should be paid for either by the consumer, advertising, something else or some combination. If they were more separated they might focus on making money with better distribution and better content rather than locking the two together.

I can get on-demand access to Game of Thrones? (0)

runeghost (2509522) | about 6 months ago | (#45170405)

Where!?! I'll move! (And I'm only half-kidding.) Right now, to watch GoT when it airs, I'd have to subscribe to my local (monopoly) cable provider at their full rate (or agree to a contract for 2 years to get the service I only want 4 months out of the year), pay all their installation and equipment fees, pay an additional fee to upgrade my package, and then I can pay yet more in order to get the one channel I want. I would cheerfully pay HBO a good $25 or $50 a month while GoT is on to stream it on my media center PC, rather than facing the choice between torrenting it or having to dodge spoilers at work and from scattered family members for months until the DVD set comes out (and then having no one to talk to about it).

Re:I can get on-demand access to Game of Thrones? (2)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about 6 months ago | (#45170471)

HBO just announced a deal with Google Play to make all their series available.

Re:I can get on-demand access to Game of Thrones? (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 6 months ago | (#45170913)

Yes, all of season 2 of game of thrones. If you want season 1 or 3 (or both,) you're out of luck.

Sorry but that's the most broken release I've ever seen. I could see maybe not the latest season if they wanted that sense of exclusivity, but why on earth would they omit the first season? Game of Thrones is a highly contextual show, you can't just jump right into season 2 and understand shit about what's going on.

Re:I can get on-demand access to Game of Thrones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45171217)

I just checked, season 2 is available as well on Google Play. No season 3, but I'm guessing they will make that available during or after season 4 airs.

Re: I can get on-demand access to Game of Thrones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45171251)

Season 1 & 2 are available on the play store right now. Season 3 won't even be on DVD until February 18th. I wouldn't expect the Play store version until then.

What is your point? (1)

rwade (131726) | about 6 months ago | (#45170623)

Where!?! I'll move! (And I'm only half-kidding.) Right now, to watch GoT when it airs, I'd have to subscribe to my local (monopoly) cable provider at their full rate (or agree to a contract for 2 years to get the service I only want 4 months out of the year)

There is no such thing as a pay TV monopoly. You can watch GoT as it airs on Dish or DirecTV. Just saying...the fact that one company owns the cable franchise in a given town is not the reason that prices for pay tv are exorbitant.

You allude to satellite in your post (Ie. the 2 year contract bit) but I just don't see what your point is.

Re:What is your point? (2)

bonehead (6382) | about 6 months ago | (#45170775)

You allude to satellite in your post (Ie. the 2 year contract bit)

Nope, it's not just the satellite folks anymore. The cable companies have caught on.

A coworker nearly had to hire a lawyer a few months ago to get out of his cable contract after they dramatically changed the ToS on his Internet service.

The END is NIGH (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45170411)

The Slapocalypse is almost upon us! An hour and a half from now _shit is going down_

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Costs? (0)

cirby (2599) | about 6 months ago | (#45170427)

I'm paying about $2.50/day for 60+ megabit internet.

I'm also paying about $1/day for HDTV cable.

Plus $8/month or so for Netflix and another $4/month for a legal anime site.

Not really a problem.

Um, yeah, don't care. (5, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | about 6 months ago | (#45170433)

The cable TV model is broken. You know what, TV isn't that important. Screw them.

It'll probably have to crash and burn until something reasonable emerges. We've had direct-to-DVD for awhile, and we're starting to see direct-to-streaming-services. There may come a time when big expensive TV shows can't be produced anymore, but that model is broken too. Screw them also.

I suspect that things will transition to something new, and the studios and networks and content providers that refused to evolve will die. And that's fine. And if TV devolved to public access, that'd be fine to. Sometime last century we were trained to believe that TV is essential. If the entire broadcast/cable TV system collapsed with nothing to take its place (which I think is unlikely) at very least, we'd find out that TV really isn't essential after all.

So yeah, the last of the "tv generation" is paying the exorbitant salaries and production costs for three-and-a-half men. Serves them right.

Re:Um, yeah, don't care. (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 6 months ago | (#45170505)

It won't crash&burn, because they'll go crying to Congress... ZOMG!!! PIRATES!!!! OUR PROFIT$$$ and CAMPAIGN $$$$ ARE DISAPPEARING!!!!

Re:Um, yeah, don't care. (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 6 months ago | (#45170761)

....and any congress creature who votes to give them tax money needs to face heavy opposition in the next primary.....

Re:Um, yeah, don't care. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45170635)

The cable TV model is broken. You know what, TV isn't that important. Screw them.

If dealing with Comcast was half as pleasant as dry Greek, I'd probably subscribe to cable. Things they need to do to capture my dollar:

1) Stop encrypting the over-the-air content. I neither want nor need a fucking cable box for every TV.
2) Stop hiring idiots and liars. If I get transferred more than twice during a call, you lose a customer. I don't have time for that.
3) Stop playing price obscurity / bait & switch games. Fuck your "$39.99 / 3 months, $whothefuckknows for the next two years" offers. Prices up front.

Re:Um, yeah, don't care. (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 6 months ago | (#45171169)

This.

To which I might add, until you do at least these things, stop coming to my door monthly and trying to get me to switch from your competitor. I'm not *using* your competitor for anything except internet. I don't *care* how good a deal the bundle is. I don't *care* how many hundreds of channels you have. I don't need you. Take two steps back. Look up. That's called an antenna. Say it with me. "An-TEN-na." It magically sucks network TV signals right out of the air. For everything else, we have Netflix and Hulu. And you don't. Get off my lawn.

Re:Um, yeah, don't care. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45170681)

So yeah, the last of the "tv generation" is paying the exorbitant salaries and production costs for three-and-a-half men. Serves them right.

You are fully aware that the show is called "Two and a half men", but you deliberately got it "wrong" in the hopes that someone would, correct you, so that you could scoff and pretend you're above such "low pop culture".

You're not, though, and you never will be.

Re:Um, yeah, don't care. (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 6 months ago | (#45171099)

So yeah, the last of the "tv generation" is paying the exorbitant salaries and production costs for three-and-a-half men. Serves them right.

You are fully aware that the show is called "Two and a half men", but you deliberately got it "wrong" in the hopes that someone would, correct you, so that you could scoff and pretend you're above such "low pop culture".

You're not, though, and you never will be.

Wow, nice try. If you blindly guess at someone's motives, it has to be right some time, doesn't it? And those times must feel like magic.

I freely admit to being quite fond of some of Chuck Lorre's other creations. I got his vanity card coffee table book for Christmas last year. We watch The Big Bang Theory religiously. (What geek doesn't?) My daughter can sing the second verse of the theme song. (The full version is available on itunes.) However, I have never watched an episode of 2 1/2 men all the way through, first because I can't stand Charlie Sheen, and currently because I really am not impressed with Ashton Kutcher. And also because the situations and humor really don't appeal to me. Rather than read a whole bunch into a simple typo and go off on an embarrassingly inappropriate tirade, why not just ask?

I don't have a "kill your tv" bumper sticker. I do watch some TV (although not a lot) but exactly what I want to see, with no commercials, when I want to see it. And if the shows I watch go away, (cue Aretha Franklin) I will survive. It's only TV. It's not, like, oxygen.

I think most people will survive without cable tv. Even the people who think they wouldn't

Re:Um, yeah, don't care. (2)

IANAAC (692242) | about 6 months ago | (#45170759)

Sometime last century we were trained to believe that TV is essential. If the entire broadcast/cable TV system collapsed with nothing to take its place (which I think is unlikely) at very least, we'd find out that TV really isn't essential after all.

The TV system *is* being replaced, albeit slowly with something else: the internet. There was a time when all TV was used for was news and weather. Most people don't sit down in front of the TV for news these days (and no, opinion is not news). They get their news from the internet. People get entertainment from TV these days.

And, don't look now, but we've already been trained to believe the internet is a necessity in our lives.

Re:Um, yeah, don't care. (1)

rsborg (111459) | about 6 months ago | (#45171135)

Most people don't sit down in front of the TV for news these days (and no, opinion is not news). They get their news from the internet. People get entertainment from TV these days.

I blame CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC for this just as equally as the Internet's rise. These shows are designed to entertain a market, not inform citizens.

I for one, can't wait for TV to die. It does little productive except keep people from truly experiencing life. Even at our house, the TV is rarely watched except on major events or for the kiddies (it's a nice reward) but with iPads and Netflix, it's not even needed for that much anymore either... I keep wanting an excuse to replace our 42" LCD with a newer shinier bigger panel, but keep finding no reasons whatsoever.

iTunes (1)

pjrc (134994) | about 6 months ago | (#45170439)

All you have to do to say "thanks" is get hooked on some show, and then occasionally pay iTunes' high prices for early access to new episodes. That's all. Simple, really, isn't it?

"Reasonable" a la carte prices? (2, Informative)

mattack2 (1165421) | about 6 months ago | (#45170441)

I admittedly only skimmed the article. But where are the "reasonable" a la carte prices?

Both Amazon & iTunes charge $2.99 ($3.99 for HD) per episode for "Game of Thrones" S1. (Yes, a bit less per ep if you buy an entire season, but that doesn't really count as a la carte anymore, does it?)

I would gladly pay at least the same, maybe even slightly more, than I pay now for cable, to be able to watch everything commercial free/when I want without having to Tivo them.. But I'd pay a LOT more than cable, if you use the current prices of every single individual show.

Re:"Reasonable" a la carte prices? (1)

Greg01851 (720452) | about 6 months ago | (#45170591)

Probably referring to services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, maybe Amazon Prime.

Re:"Reasonable" a la carte prices? (2)

mattack2 (1165421) | about 6 months ago | (#45170621)

Hulu Plus has ads.. Netflix (streaming) and Amazon Prime aren't "a la carte", AND I don't believe either of them has Game of Thrones, one of the specific examples listed.

Of course, Netflix DOES have GoT via DVD/BluRay, but even then, it's still not "a la carte". So I really do think the entire premise was on the pay-per-view-per-episode model, which I still think isn't "reasonably" priced.

Re:"Reasonable" a la carte prices? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45170765)

None of them Have Game of Thrones. The only way you can watch it legally is DBD or get HBO.

Granted I watch it about an hour after it airs and I refuse to give HBO a dime.

But hey at least Im honest about the fact.

Re:"Reasonable" a la carte prices? (2)

alen (225700) | about 6 months ago | (#45170721)

a lot of cable channels now have streaming options with some cable providers. you log in with your online cable company log in and you can stream content. Time Warner and a few others will let you stream live TV on a tablet or phone or computer and you can even watch recorded shows online for a few days after the airing so you don't need a DVR

HBO Go, Bravo, Disney, ESPN off the top of my head but there are others as well.

To the studios? (2)

saleenS281 (859657) | about 6 months ago | (#45170461)

You obviously haven't taken a look at Comcast's balance sheet if you think that $80/month is going to the studios.

$6 per month JUST for ESPN (1)

rwade (131726) | about 6 months ago | (#45170589)

You obviously haven't taken a look at Comcast's balance sheet if you think that $80/month is going to the studios.

I heard a stat that cable companies pay $6 per month for ESPN/ESPN2 [npr.org]. That's just two channels. Most channels are not that expensive, but if you have 100 channels....it is not hard to see how you're going to get a lot of that money going to content providers.

Other note I would make is that it is not exactly new to have "dry" cable internet. There are millions out there with cable internet and no TV -- and the cable companies do it willingly; I don't think they would do it if it really caused significant price pressure on the TV side of the house.

amature porn of yourself. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45170485)

It's the only way to pay us back. *nod nods*

The alternative... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45170527)

Okay, you want to fix this problem? Just nationalize the studios and distribution systems and have the government run all of it, and pay for it out of taxes. That way, the rich will pay the bill for all of us freeloaders. That'll be much more fair.

Cable Customer === Internet Customer (1)

ChromaticDragon (1034458) | about 6 months ago | (#45170571)

This is an incredibly strange point to try to make when an ENORMOUS amount of people are paying the CABLE company for their basic Internet.

Re:Cable Customer === Internet Customer (3, Interesting)

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) | about 6 months ago | (#45170691)

My ISP is the cable company.

At first, we just signed up for internet. The initial rate was $30/month. After a year, the cable company double it to $60. After another year, they sent notice that it would go up to $90. We called them to downgrade to the next lower tier. The customer service rep said if we bundled TV service, we'd only pay $80 and stay at the same internet service tier. After 2 years, that went up to $100 and has stayed there since. We have asked about dropping TV, but they told us they'd then have put us on a business account, which would be $120 per month - and, because of our location, the service would still be residential because our area is only wired for residential service.

I can only guess that they really want to keep their TV subscriber numbers up.

On the other hand, using the TV on demand feature does help us avoid hitting the monthly internet usage cap.

Re:Cable Customer === Internet Customer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45171061)

You are wanted as a subscriber because some networks actually pay the cable company for subscribers.

Re:Cable Customer === Internet Customer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45171163)

Unless they are your only option, you should seriously consider switching or at least threaten

This is why we can't have nice things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45170599)

Considering Verizon still charges me 10$ a month just to txt people, please don't give my cable providers any ideas either. Jerk.

Cable, just another streaming service (2)

keith_nt4 (612247) | about 6 months ago | (#45170613)

I don't know if I qualify as a cord cutter: cable internet is cheaper if you get it bundled with TV service where I am so I got the bare minimum tv service with internet. My cable box (can't get TV without their box) hasn't even been connected is nearly a year (set it up in case visitors were insistent). I calculated out the tv portion to be about $10 / month.

I use my xbox for comcast video on demand service which thanks to a recent update now provides an HD option. So to me comcast on demand is just another streaming service for the the channels I pay for (boradcast+cspan) as well as the channels I don't (almost all the basic cable ones like BBCA and comedy central) as well as HD quality which I also didn't sign up for/pay for.

So I guess I'm the one really being subsidized.

Re:Cable, just another streaming service (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45170677)

We have the exact opposite here. My cable internet unofficially comes with old analog TV as they can't put in filters due to the way their DOCSIS channels sits. Not like those analog TV channels are going to be around for the long term anyways as they are moving towards digital TV and IP TV at some point. They are spending quite a bit of money on expanding their infra structure lately as finally we get some minor competition between the Telco & CableCo.

Cableco are making heaps of money regardless of what you are "renting" from them and not like they don't raep you for their monthly quotas on usage...

When I grew up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45170641)

When I grew up TV was free over the air waves. Even the poor had access to great television programs.

Now get off my lawn.

Re:When I grew up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45170995)

Cool story. That hasn't changed. I have more OTA channels today (in HD no less) than I ever had rotating a roof antenna in the 70's.

Actually... (5, Insightful)

mschaffer (97223) | about 6 months ago | (#45170645)

Cable subscribers are subsidizing sports.
Comcast owns sports teams. The teams ask ridiculous amounts of money for broadcast rights. Comcast passes the cost on to their customers.
And then their's ESPN....
I often wonder what cable would cost if I didn't have to subsidize the sports franchises.
The same goes for my local taxes.
Imagine if the sports teams had to pay for their own stadiums?

I've been an exclusively online tv watcher.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 6 months ago | (#45170653)

Mp> ... for what is coming up on 5 years next spring.

And I haven't looked back.

I've long since found that the regular networks you'd watch the show on will actually frequently stream many of their most popular shows right on their own website - one usually only has to wait until the day after it has aired to watch it online.

Okay, so if I do things this way, I'm stuck in their online streaming application (invariably flash-based for the desktop, or else a native app for mobile viewing), and I'll still have to deal with commercials like I would over the air... but in the end, I'm still not shelling out any money for cable.

all goes to studios and all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45170697)

Are you crazy? Only a small portion of that goes to them, the rest all goes in the pocket of your service provider

maybe to show Cable content providers (2)

FudRucker (866063) | about 6 months ago | (#45170767)

that Cable TV companies wont be jerked around

recently my cable provider had Turner Networks cut them off of several channels because my cable provider refused to accept a 50% increase of charges for access, so my cable provider has several blank channels where Turner Network channels once occupied, things like CNN & Headline News, TNT, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, (Turner's programming), a few empty spots once occupied by Turner's channels already been filled with other programming,

the point i am trying to make is by allowing streaming video content on cable internet shows providers like CNN that they are not the only method of content distribution (competition)

In Soviet Russia... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45170771)

... cable subsidizes you.

As someone who does OTA and streams cable shows... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45171015)

I can tell you that as of the last couple years, if you're going the "free, legal streaming" route watching on network pages, there are more commercials online than ever. 4+ commerical breaks of 5-6 commercials at 30 seconds a piece. I have two Tivos that record over the air so I'm able to skip through commercials normally for most of my viewing. Online there is no skipping if you go the "honest" route. Networks are definitely not giving it out free online with the subscription subsidy. They are getting subscriptions AND ads for both OTA and online. They're winning in that sense.

I don't watch Game of Thrones and have no gun in that fight. All the rest of the shows I have any interest in watching from cable networks are available after a set period of days and I'm fine with that. Tivo HD with lifetime subscription in 2007 was one of the best purchases I could have made to eliminate an unnecessary luxury bill, but still simply watch shows I may show an interest in.

Commercials used to pay for television (1)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | about 6 months ago | (#45171189)

If the cable companies or satellite companies offered service without commercials (and a la carte) I'd sign back up in a heartbeat.

I'm not paying for commercials ever again. Seriously.

Breaking Bad set the bar for content and access (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45171201)

BB had incredible content and was not on premium cable but on standard cable and free to view online through AMC website. This should be the new normal. If their content is not even half as good as BB then why even pay at all. Just saying.

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