Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Is Cable TV Doomed

As access to high speed internet increases, we're seeing several markets shrink and go away. For example, Sam Goody (the record store) recently closed here in Starkville. Blockbuster is rumored to be going bankrupt. No doubt, technologies like the Kindle and the iPad will change how people buy and read books. I'd like you to read the following article. The argument is that cable TV could also take a large hit and internet access expands and people start watching more video content online. How about yourself? Would you be willing to give up Cable TV right now and switch to only internet viewing? NBC already has many of its programs online. Hulu offers a variety of shows. Do you think cable prices and rates will have to change in order to grab back the viewers it may lose? What are your thoughts?

23 comments:

Mary Catherine Carmichael said...

Cable TV Doomed...does that also include such venues as Direct and Dish Network...I have always said I wish I could make my own veiwing package because there are so many channles that I never watch that is seems pointless to even pay for them. I would love to be able to watch TV via internet, however, right now with most homes not having internet access (expecially in rural areas) it would be hard for this to happen. I live in a rural area and have my internet service through Wildblue which is a satellite internet service and it is still almost impossible to watch TV through satelittle internet and impossible with dial-up. Heck I have trouble just viewing some of the videos for this class on satellite internet.

I would definitely be interested in going the internet route with TV because I actually watch very little TV and that way maybe I would be able to pick and chose the stations or shows that I actually watch and not have to pay for things I don't watch.

Anita Griffin said...

No I would not be willing to give up Cable TV for internet viewing. Actually, I have Satellite television which I love. The package I have does not include all the HBO’s, Cinemax, Starz, etc., however, I have enough channels where I do not even miss having those channels. From time to time you can catch monthly specials on those channels. Cable television offers a great deal of flexibility. It allows you to choose between just the basic packages to the premium packages. Of course the premium packages will cost more. It also allows you to order movies. You can also add a DVR if you like. Cable television/Satellite television offers bundles which include high-speed internet, telephone bundle and cable/satellite television which can be bundled together at a reasonable rate. I enjoy going home everyday and looking at my favorite shows. It relaxes me after a long day at the office. The prices may have to change to attract the viewers they may loose, however, I know people who pay quite a bit for their cable or satellite and whether or not the price goes up or down, I think for the people that really enjoy looking at their cable or satellite, they will pay for it no matter what the price may be.

Jessica Williams said...

Jessica Williams
I pay WAY TO MUCH for cable as it is but I am an avid DRV recorder so I have to pay also for that luxury. I like that availability of having the shows that I want to watch online but there is something missing for me. I like commercials to some point. I am in marketing so I like to see what other people are doing to promote their products. I have to DVR my shows because I have a very hectic schedule and never know when I will be home. I actually watch some commercials on my DVR but the very repetitive annoying ones I avoid. With internet TV you lose a lot of the commercials that you see that may actually make you want to buy a product or watch another show. I do not want to lose that because that is how I find new things that I want to see.
I think that the internet TV market will force cable companies to reduce their already far too expensive cost for their programs but I think that the cable market still has a long life ahead of it. It took many years for the public to adopt the internet as a source of news and it will likely take awhile for the TV programs to be accepted. There are many flaws that the article pointed out like bandwidth, lags, and so on. These flaws will soon enough be corrected but it will be costly and time consuming. I would like to see in the future maybe something like an internet TV/ cable package that will incorporate the best of both. Live TV for things such as news and sports but also what the end of the arctic pointed out more funds focused on making quality shows and losing the fillers. I think that we will be more appeased in the future with our viewing preferences but still want to keep some of what we have now.

Tanya Mathews said...

The question is “Is Cable TV Doomed." The answer is "most definitely." Television delivered through cable is just that: delivered. And as technology advances, delivery systems become obsolete. I do have some question about whether this bill Congress is considering was written by someone who actually knows the technology or by someone who is suffering from wishful thinking -- but that is another question altogether.

Zack Harrington said...

I am not willing abandon my cable television just yet. I enjoy my nice size television. Although, I would quickly switch to internet tv if they made some technological imporvements. I think the major problem would be program loading. If they could guarantee quick access to programs, I would make the switch right now. I would be glad to throw away my over priced cable television package.

It is necessary that cable companies lower their rates in order to survive the changing market. Unfortunately, this will be a temporary fix because the emerging internet tv market is inevitable. Cable companies will slowly diminsh and internet will be mainstream.

Hartman said...

Lots of changes will have to be made with the way video content is delivered over the internet before most folks begin to abandon cable TV in favor of the internet. Aside from cost, quality, and ease of access, the experience between the two are fundamentally different. Watching television, and the ways we watch television, are part of our culture. I have a Roku media player that allows me to instantly watch movies and television shows available on Netflix on my television. I love the device and the service, but the experience is still not the same as regular TV.

I might agree with Fisher if he had titled the article "Cable TV as we know it is doomed." Comcast, the largest cable TV provider in the US, plans to buy NBC Universal, and the rights to the tons and tons of entertainment content that comes along with it. One way or another, Comcast will be a big player in this industry for a long time. Cable TV providers will, no doubt, have to adapt their business models and pricing strategies to remain competitive with video available via the internet. I think television and internet will become more and more integrated, but I don't think cable television is doomed, much less going away anytime soon.

Brandy Stuart said...

No way in the world I would give up my Dish Network for Internet viewing! Where I live we don't have cable even my internet is satellite (hughes net). When it rains our lights flicker and our TV is out but just downloading different things take a long time and even mess up if the weather is not just right. However, I hardly ever watch TV shows. If it not the News or sometime CSI I don't care to watch TV. It upsets me that I pay alot for channels that we don't watch but my children enjoy watching PBS and Cartoon Network. Therefore all enterament comes at a price. I do not think that TV is doomed but I am sure just like other compaines they will have to make cuts for us customers to stay happy and use their services.

Angela Doles said...

Cable TV is probably doomed and will cease to exist one day. I think viewers should be allowed to choose what programs they wish to have in their packages. I currently subscribe to satellite tv and used to have satellite internet. My telephone company finally provided us with DSL so know I no longer have to deal with slow loading pages and over usage on internet connections. I think the government should regulate the pricing on cable and satellite companies. Paying per show for internet tv shows could become very pricey and what about tv viewing in different rooms, would you be charged for each program watched in each room? If cable companies and satellite companies would adjust their pricing people wouldn't be looking for cheaper tv viewing options.

noelle carlin said...

I am a huge supporter in watching TV on the internet, because I have very fast internet. However, as a reporter I do not want it to happen because the stations do not need anchors for news, which has the best pay in big cities. At my house, I use dish, satellite TV, and I have every channel they offer. We also pay over 300 dollars a month for it. And most of the channels in the package we do not watch nor ever plan on; like the Spanish channels.

Cable prices are already showing the change in rates, it has gone up about 20 dollars in only 5 years. Personally it would make more sense to get more advertisement and let the viewers pay less so that they stay loyal to the companies. However, everyone is out to make a dollar in the world so that will probably never happen. If dish and direct TV and cable would lower their prices and give a better selection on the packages, I guarantee that they would have more viewers and keep the ones that they still have. However they are all trying to be capitalist and make the most money, just like cell phone companies. AT&T says that they have the best 3G coverage in the U.S., well if so then why do I drop more calls now rather than when it was the "slowest service." Its all crap and they are all worrying about making money and being more corporate than anything and not caring about their customers thus creating the reason people are pro-internet for watching TV on there.

Taryn Holland said...

I think there is a possibility that I might watch TV through the internet. Especially if I am out when one of my favorite shows comes on. That part of the situation I like. But, the days that I am sitting around and flipping through the channels are the ones I like the best. There are times I come across nothing on TV that I want to watch but I like being able to have different options at the same time. I do get online often so I do see the benefits of the TV shows being online but I would miss just being able to turn on my TV to watch whatever is on.
Plus, I am not the best person when it comes to computers. My computer starts to get viruses and slow down which is a huge hassle. Will the shows be able to download quickly or am I going to have to wait an hour to be able to watch one episode? The best part about the TV is that you flip it on and it is quick access. I would use the internet to find certain episodes but in the long run I want to have my TV available to me.

Jorge Gavidia said...

Quite frankly I would gladly welcome the change. Watching TV online is great because you get to choose your programming and there's often just absolute garbage on TV; this is especially true when it comes to arts and music channels who no longer focus on arts and music. We are not told what to watch online and hopefully those of us inclined to watch educational, historical and artistic programming can finally get what we want to watch. Want to know what I think of the mainstream media? Check out an article I wrote here: http://jazzandculture.blogspot.com/2010/03/arts-and-mainstream-media-part-i-of-iii.html

Laura Chisolm said...

I agree that cable TV has its challenges. The packages have channels that a lot of people do not watch. I do think that it would be possible if the cable companies would consider packages the customers want. As far as internet is concerned I would be interested in watching some shows this way but I do not think that cable will be completely phased out due to internet availability. The main reason I feel this way is because of the ease of the turning on the TV and flipping channels. I do think Internet has great advantages such as being able to watch a show when it is convenient for us. A disadvantage is that high speed internet is expensive and some areas have to get coverage through satellite. I have the AT&T card and I can't get coverage at my mother in laws nor my parents houses. I think cable TV will be an option for a while.

Ken Holm said...

Our family would not change over from satellite to online content at the moment. At the moment, the programs we watch are not currently available.

I have watched shows on Hulu before and found the interface to be easy and inuitive. If Hulu can continue to add programs it would certainly enhance its appeal.

Another issue with online content is the "On Demand" aspect. We use our DVR to capture the shows we're interested in, which allows us to watch at our leisure, and without sitting through all of the commercials. Hulu, as neat as they are, forces commercial breaks. They're not as long or as often as those on TV; however, they're mandatory.

The ever-increasing price of cable is something that is maddening. I understand there are hundreds of channels available. However, I can only watch a limited number of those (like one) at a time. With the DVR I can watch one and record one. So, I am forced to pay a premium for shows I am unable to watch. If the cable companies went to an a la carte menu of options, they might be able to reduce some of their costs and provide better options for their customers. This would mean, though, that some of those channels/shows few people watch might go away.

-K

Lucky said...

I really do not have a say in this. I do not have cable and my internet connection is so slow, I would never be able to watch anything. I do think that people are watching more of their TV online. It is easier and cheaper. Commercials are almost nonexistent on the internet.

I think that cable providers are going to have to push harder to keep there customers. If people can get something for free, they will go after it rather than paying a lot of money that they might not have.

Sandy said...

In my opinion, Cable TV is doomed. I believe that Cable TV prices are outrageous and more options are becoming available online. I am a busy mom with little time for television. Therefore, I tend to miss the few television shows that I find interesting. If I am interested in certain shows, I can usually find them for free on the internet.

The only conflicting thoughts of canceling our current television package right now would be the fact that I have small children who enjoy watching certain TV shows. In reality, I believe that most of these shows are repetitive and we would benefit more from just purchasing movies. We are definitely on the verge of canceling our service and unless cable prices and rates change, it is my opinion that they will lose many viewers in the future.

Jack Elliott III said...

Like everything else, cable t.v. is probably doomed by the internet. The internet has made it easy to watch your favorite tv episodes when ever you want to. Well that is for some shows. If you miss an episode of the office or 30 Rock it is extremly easy to watch that episode at NBC.com. I do believe that if cable wants to stay around it will have to change it's prices.

I am not ready to switch to just the internet because there are plenty of tv shows that I watch, that are not found on the internet. Espn is a main example of that. I also do not believe that the internet will stay cheap. Because once it has knocked off the competition, whats to stop it from jacking its prices up.

Chris Stallworth said...

I watch a considerable amount of video content on the Internet via media channels such as Hulu, iTunes, and You tube but I would be disappointed if cable were no longer available even though I do not watch a lot of television. With the introduction of Internet capable television and devices that provide access to video content from virtually anywhere, I can understand why it would seem that cable could possibly be phased out. My primary issue with video provided via the Internet is the quality. Many providers promote the quality of their product as HD or an equivalent, but that is rarely the case. Even the video content on Netflix is pixelated at times. My second issue is with the amount of updated content available on the web compared to what is available on cable. Cable gives you the availability to view recent content where as the Internet typically has a delay viewing recent videos unless it was pirated by someone else.
Cable will definitely have to change there prices in the future to be competitive with the other media outlets in the future. We see this now in cable pricing with the packages they offer. If cable were no longer available, it would not be the end of world as long as the quality of the media is improved. I think elimination cable would prompt/force people to use the Internet or increase their Blu-Ray/DVD collection.

Vanessa Collier said...

I am definitely not in favor of giving up cable television to only internet viewing. I really enjoy sitting on the couch when I get a chance and watching television. It is very relaxing, and I can switch the channel at any time. I also have three children, and they really enjoy watching the Disney channel and Nickelodeon. We only have one computer, so if my children all want to watch three different shows we have five televisions. So, they can watch what they would like and I do not hear any arguing. Another reason why I am not in favor is I enjoy watching sports with my husband, and I do not think the quality would be worth a flip. I think some things just need to be left alone and this is one of them.

I do think that cable prices should go down to help keep customers. If prices continue to go up, I believe they will lose some customers, and with technology changing daily that could hurt the cable companies. I have no intentions in switching from cable to internet. Maybe cable television is doomed, but I will go down kicking and screaming.

Paul Miller said...

I do not see cable TV being replaced by internet viewing anytime soon. While it may offer a free service that you don’t have to pay a monthly fee for, it will by no means turn television into a cheap commodity like it has to music.
While I like Hulu or a cable TV web site to watch programs I forget to DVR, it is not the same as watching them on my television. But cable having the extra competition I believe will have a positive impact on the price .

E. McGraw said...

Yes I do believe that cable t.v will be history once every starts to view these internet broadcasting. Cable T.v has gotten high with their pricing and people are looking ways to save money instead of spending more money.

I have cable and if I could save money my viewing programs on the internet I think I would start doing so to save a penny or more.

Alvin McKinley said...

I do not think that the Cable TV is doomed. In many areas, Cable TV is much more prevalent than the use of internet. It also depends upon the speed of the internet connection and in most of the households, the speed of the computer to process flash videos and the speed of internet connection is not sufficient to allow for the smooth, stutter-free viewing.
Besides, many people are so used to switch between channels until something catches their eye which is not possible with internet which requires longer loading times as well as the individual to actually choose the program he or she wants to watch. Moreover, certain programs cannot be found on internet. Another reason is the HD content viewing which requires a modern computer and much faster internet. So far, Cable TV is the leader in the HD content viewing.
However, in the future, as the technologies change and internet bandwidth rises as the prices drop internet viewing will replace Cable TV if internet content will have the same channel browsing utility as the cable.

Sandra Perkins said...

Personally, I don’t believe that cable TV is in jeopardy as it is up against the almightly internet access highway. People enjoy the internet, and it a great tool. The internet can take you anywhere in the world, but it doesn’t hold a candle to just sitting down just watching plain “ol’ TV” along with the crazy commercials. I would not give up my cable TV especially the Home Shopping Network in exchange for internet viewing. Cable TV has stood the test of time, and I think it will be here for awhile.
I also think it would be awesome to be able to have cable TV and internet access both through the television screen. That way if I felt like watching cable TV I could do that, or if I had the option of switching to the internet, I could do that.
The cable network would have to come up with more than a free month of viewing in order to compete with the internet access road waves.

Melvin Hayes said...

I think that cable TV will take a hit as the quality of video content online increases. Along with the cost of the internet being cheaper, the decrease in prices on large screen televisions will also play into this as well. It is now cheaper to buy big screen televisions like LCD, Plasma, etc, so with good quality, many people will opt fort his way of viewing their programs. Being able to view their programs on larger screens at a cheaper price, I definitely see this as something major. Many people only watch a few televisions programs anyway (and only on certain days), so for that kind of consumer, even with the additional per-program costs tied in for advertising, it may still be a cheaper option for some.

Right now, I would not be willing to give up cable TV since the online quality (without lags, etc.) is not there. I like the high definition quality that I get from cable, so until then, I will remain a customer. Once that issue is resolved, cable television will definitely have to work harder to get back certain viewers, especially those in the younger demographics. There will still be a small percentage that would remain customers such as senior citizens and perhaps those who are not as technology savvy, but overall, the business model would definitely have to change.