Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

April 3, 2014

Cutting the cord on cable TV, and not missing it a bit

By Chris McGathey
The Royse City Herald Banner

— My family has not had cable TV or satellite programming for three years now. To be honest, we have not missed it one bit.



A deciding factor may have been the $178 bill I received the last time I had pay TV. If you ask me, I think sinking money into channels I just don’t want or want to watch doesn’t make sense. And, when I was breaking down the bill, fees were a major part of my disdain.



A fee for renting a cable box, DVR, a rental fee for a modem, and various other taxes and add-ons that were enough to make my head hurt.



So, as a family we ditched pay TV for Netflix, Hulu Plus and other cheaper services.



I am an Apple fanatic, so we have an Apple TV and three or four game consoles (I can’t keep up and my son collects them like they are rare antiques or something).



We can watch pretty much everything we want while simplifying our lives and not paying big bucks to AT&T, Time Warner, Dish Network or DirecTV.

Now, I am not saying this will work for everyone. We are not completely in the Dark Ages. We have Internet service and rabbit ears. Remember those? They’re digital now. They still make them and we can watch network television, which suits us just fine.



Most people will complain about missing out on watching their favorite sports team play live on Sundays. But the writing is on the wall.



More than one million cable television subscribers in the United States canceled their service in 2011, opting instead for online films and TV shows available through other services.



Nearly 2.65 million cable or satellite TV subscribers have canceled their service since 2008 to rely solely on web-based services, according to estimates from the Convergence Consulting Group.



“It’s pretty obvious that there’s actual cord-cutting going on in the U.S.,” Brahm Eiley, president of Convergence Consulting, said in an interview with Bloomberg.



It was estimated that roughly 930,000 customers cut the cord in 2012, for a total of 3.58 million subscribers since 2008. There are other families that make up a completely different group of the population and those are zero TV families.



They don’t have pay for traditional TV.



They probably are spending their time more wisely reading, playing board games with their children and participating in various other social activities, like actually talking to one another.



I applaud them for this but, for one, I am not that extreme; and two, I at least have to watch the news so I know what is happening in the outside world.



And, while there are not many options out for there for live sports, I am hoping that will someday become an option. In fact I am proposing an idea to the cable and satellite providers.



I will pay for your service if -- and only if -- I can pick and choose the channels I want to pay for. Do we have a deal?



Surely they have the technology to cater to my likes. Let’s face it, just how we watch and consume our programming has drastically changed over the years. Also changing is where and when people are watching programs.



But are the providers willing to adapt to survive? I’m in the newspaper business. So trust me, I know a thing or two about adapting and surviving. Only time will tell.



It’s your move, Time Warner.