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Cutting the cable on cable

March 12, 2010

This is the second story in the NYTimes in the past few months on people cutting out cable TV entirely from their lives and migrating solely to Net-based TV.

True, cable TV is ingrained in our lives now but I think a couple of trends spell the beginning of the end of the industry (at least as we know it today.)

First is demographics. The story makes the point that: “As an American, you grow very accustomed to sitting on the sofa and grabbing the remote and just flipping through channels”. This couch potato lifestyle isn’t as ingrained in the younger generation who are used to accessing TV from a variety of sources, not just via the remote.

The second is the rise of the Internet-enabled TV. As this technology becomes more ubiquitous, accessing TV via the Internet will become easier to less tech-savvy viewers and more services will pop up to offer TV and other forms of entertainment.

Cable channels that control content get a huge percentage of their revenues from cable operators, so there are strong economic incentives from both cable companies and content owners to maintain the status quo.

This means that the the mass movement to Internet TV may not be imminent (as the story highlights:  The multichannel video industry, which includes cable and satellite providers, added 1.7 million new subscribers in the last three quarters of 2009 — not exactly boom times for discretionary income among Americans); but it is inevitable.

The Mouse That Roared – Turning to the Internet to Catch a Favorite TV Show – NYTimes.com.

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