Is Cable TV On The Way Out?


The Eighth Wonder of the World might as well be why my cable bill is always so damn high. Every month I’m all, “Wait, what?” Last night I spent over an hour on the phone with Time Warner Cable because they sent me a new modem and the thing wasn’t working. This new modem, which comes with the promise of much faster Internet, which will make watching porn so much easier, also promised to lower my monthly bills by $40 dollars. Sounds good to me! But I only ended up with this new modem because when I called TWC, determined to drop all my cable services, they were like, HEY BRO. Did you know we have this newer and better and faster modem? TRY IT FOR FREE! DVR! Higher definition! Lower bill!

The thing is, I don’t even really watch TV like that. I mean I do watch TV, believe me — Girls, Shameless, Arrested Development, 30 Rock, Chelsea Lately. But I don’t really do “appointment” television anymore, like where you schedule a specific time in your schedule to catch a show. Well, I am committed to RuPaul’s Drag Race every Monday, but still. I remember back in the day when TGIF was a thing and you stayed at home on a Friday night and watched 2 straight hours of your favorite shows on television.

With the onset of things like iPads and smartphones, you can watch TV pretty much anywhere. I travel a lot between Richmond, Virginia and New York, and I really look forward to the bus ride because I get to veg out on all my favorite television shows, which I stream right on the iPad. But that’s just it. Every thing I watch I can catch on Netflix, HBO Go, Shotime Anytime, or on the show’s website.

I wish we had a choice in what networks we subscribed to. Nobody on this earth needs 1000 channels. If you’re like me, you only watch maybe between 5 to 10 channels at a time, anyway. But the cable companies make you pay for the whole shebang. And obviously you have to have cable. Cable is a thing — how can you not have cable!

Lately I’ve been watching that Netflix’s $100 million dollar show House of Cards, starring Kevin Spacey. The most interesting thing about the logistics of show, aside from it being only online, is that the entire series was made available all at once. Omg! No more having to wait every week to see what happens next, making it that much easier to binge watch. It’s a really brilliant business strategy, since I’m sure Netflix knows that most of their subscribers binge watch their programming while downing oatmeal raisin cookies and butter pecan ice cream.

But it also poses an interesting question about the status of network TV. With so much online programming available now and with consumers getting acclimated to and even expecting to watch their favorite shows when they damn well please, how will cable adapt? I for one am starting to get a little sick of paying so much money for 1000 channels when I really just want seven. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog