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The next generation won’t be interested in paying for cable.

"Over the top" appears to be taking over.   A recent survey released by Credit Suisse indicates that over-the-top TV and content delivery options like Netflix, along with Hulu and the Microsoft Xbox 360 are becoming strong contenders in the television viewership market.   

After surveying an estimated 250 Netflix subscribers, Credit Suisse found that nearly 40 percent of Netflix subscribers between the ages of 25 and 34, and almost 30 percent of subscribers between 18 and 24 used Netflix streaming services instead of cable or satellite television.   

At a media conference this week, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg predicted that cable is headed in the same direction as the wire line telephone business, according to
 All Things Digital

"Young people are pretty smart. They’re not going to pay for something they don’t need to,” he said. Seidenburg added that “Over the top" is going to be a big issue in the future for the cable industry. I think cable has some life left in its model… but that it is going to get disintermediated over the next several years."

Comcast CFO Michael Angelakis obviously disagrees.
"When people say there's cord cutting, we really just don't see it," said Angelakis. "And when we think about cord cutting or the flavor of the day, we look at that as primarily competition to our VOD business, not to our core business."

In addition to the rise of over the top play options like Netflix and Hulu, Google TV and Apple's revamped TV service are expected later this year. It is rumored that Amazon may also have plans for a similar product coming soon.

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Don't forget...
By Marlin1975 on 9/24/2010 8:26:22 AM , Rating: 5
Over the Air Digital also is not helping cable as well. I got rid of cable a long time ago and thought I would miss it, but don't. Over the air digital picture is much better and I don't pay for it like cable.

OAD plus online = no reason for cable.

RE: Don't forget...
By FITCamaro on 9/24/10, Rating: -1
RE: Don't forget...
By vapore0n on 9/24/2010 8:35:33 AM , Rating: 3
One time I needed to watch a RedSox game. Went to ESPN online and watched it live.

RE: Don't forget...
By invidious on 9/24/2010 9:40:49 AM , Rating: 1
If you only need to watch sports "one time" then your opinion does not interest me.

RE: Don't forget...
By mcnabney on 9/24/2010 9:45:38 AM , Rating: 2
I use ESPN online all the time. Most of the sports content I watch though is either in person or is broadcast by the local networks that I receive for free OTA.

RE: Don't forget...
By 1reader on 9/24/2010 9:48:03 AM , Rating: 5
If your comments consist of snide dismissals, then your disinterest does not interest me.

RE: Don't forget...
By MozeeToby on 9/24/2010 11:04:32 AM , Rating: 5
And if your comments consist of snide dismissals--- oh blimey I've gone cross eyed.

RE: Don't forget...
By conejo99 on 9/24/2010 10:12:21 AM , Rating: 3
I remove sports channels and shopping channels just so that I don't have to see them as I flip through looking for something to watch. I can live with our mutual disinterest in each others choices.

RE: Don't forget...
By kfonda on 9/24/2010 11:38:12 AM , Rating: 2
I'm a Mets fan, the less I see the better. :-(

"Just wait 'til next year"...(damn, I've been saying that for a really long time)

RE: Don't forget...
By seamonkey79 on 9/24/2010 2:30:47 PM , Rating: 4
Not as long as us Cubs fans...

RE: Don't forget...
By Stoanhart on 9/24/10, Rating: -1
RE: Don't forget...
By Motoman on 9/24/2010 5:40:34 PM , Rating: 4
No one "needs" to watch TV, or movies...ever.

Therefore, your opinion does not interest me.

RE: Don't forget...
By marvdmartian on 9/24/2010 8:47:39 AM , Rating: 4
Honestly, I can't remember the last time I turned on ESPN. Too much life to live, to spend all my day in front of the boob tube, watching others live theirs.

In fact, I closed on my house about 6 months ago, and have yet to bother hooking up my TV's to receive any incoming signal. Honestly, I don't miss it, and can catch any TV programming I want online.

RE: Don't forget...
By gfredsen on 9/24/2010 9:56:32 AM , Rating: 3
My feelings, too. I began to feel one basketball game became like another.
I grew tired of discourteous political discourse that settled nothing and actually didn't even illuminate the issue.
If it isn't on the net or off the air, then I don't listen.

RE: Don't forget...
By frobizzle on 9/24/2010 10:35:21 AM , Rating: 2
Same here. The last time I turned my TV on was for the 2008. Haven't even powered it up since then and I don't miss it!

RE: Don't forget...
By kake on 9/25/2010 8:44:13 PM , Rating: 2
How do you what Jeopardy!?

RE: Don't forget...
By iceonfire1 on 9/25/2010 2:09:28 PM , Rating: 2
Hmm... I'm pretty sure I've never actually watched a full sports game on tv. I dislike televised sports and don't own a tv; I can watch almost anything I want to, if I want to, on a laptop.

RE: Don't forget...
By Taft12 on 9/24/2010 9:23:11 AM , Rating: 2
I'm a huge sports fan, but they almost never carry games my home teams are playing in and virtually ignore my favourite team sport (NHL), so even sports fans don't need it any more.

RE: Don't forget...
By VahnTitrio on 9/24/2010 10:20:11 AM , Rating: 2
I wish our household could just pay for about 5 channels. I will always have the game on if there is one, even if I'm not watching it at all times. As much as I'd like to think I can keep myself busy every hour I'm not working or sleeping, that just isn't the case, so it's nice to have some sports to watch to fill the time (and with friends like mine it's almost a necessity if you want to host any event that overlaps with game time).

RE: Don't forget...
By Modeverything on 9/24/2010 9:24:50 AM , Rating: 2
I use Playon and can watch ESPN. I bought it for $10 a while back, so I was able to get the lifetime service for an additional $30 I think it was.

And for what Playon doesn't offer by default, there is usually a plugin for it.

RE: Don't forget...
By Spuke on 9/24/2010 9:38:39 AM , Rating: 2
I use Playon and can watch ESPN. I bought it for $10 a while back, so I was able to get the lifetime service for an additional $30 I think it was.
That's sweet!!! How's the HD quality?

RE: Don't forget...
By Modeverything on 9/24/2010 10:10:25 AM , Rating: 2
It's not really HD, but I do watch it on a 1080p HDTV, and IMO, most of the time it looks as good as cable. The picture scales to the full size if the TV with no black bars, and it doesn't look stretched, distorted or anything like that. The sound is only 2 channel stereo, but again, it's not really designed to replace your DVD and Blu-ray collection, just as an alternative to cable, which I think it does a great job. The only show I miss from cable is The Big Bang Theory.

Like I say, it's quality is about as good as cable, but it's a whole lot cheaper.

RE: Don't forget...
By Modeverything on 9/24/2010 10:11:31 AM , Rating: 2
Forgot to add...

I use Playon combined with a $9 a month Netflix subscription, and I'm set. :)

RE: Don't forget...
By mcnabney on 9/24/2010 9:42:17 AM , Rating: 3
Playon is a clever idea, but it is just a media service that pulls streams off of the internet and pumps them across the home network to a media device or DLNA-TV. I am going to guess the resolution isn't that great, especially if it is running over a wireless network. The same content has to go to a PC and out to the device - effectively doubling the network requirement. Just pick up a cheap nettop and bring full functionality to your entertainment center.

RE: Don't forget...
By Modeverything on 9/24/2010 10:23:25 AM , Rating: 2
I think the only issue with a nettop is they probably don't support all of the extra plugins, and Playon also allows you to share files from your PC to stream as well, which I'm not sure if a nettop box could do that. Of course since Playon uses VLC media player, it's still scaled down to 2 channel sound.

I do plan on getting the Boxee when it comes out. I think it will be pretty cool.

If cable/satellite TV wants to survive...
By Motoman on 9/24/2010 9:48:31 AM , Rating: 5
...they need to do what consumers have always wanted them to do, and sell channels on a cafeteria plan.

NO ONE has ever *wanted* their BS bundling. It's anti-consumer, and forces you to pay for crap you don't want...the reason there's 500 channels out there is because they're being subsidized by the packaging. If there are 500 channels, at least 400 of them need to

Cable & satellite TV will do just fine if they sell channel access individually - a cafeteria plan. Say, major networks like NBC, ESPN, and CNN are $1.50 a month. Second-tier networks like Discovery, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon are $1.00 a month. And third-tier crap, like Oxygen, Lifetime, the bajillion Fox Sports channels, etc., are maybe $0.50 per month. Maybe movie channels like HBO and Showtime are $2.00 a month - dunno, have never had any of them anyway. They also need to let you change your lineup at least once a month...I would suggest having a menu-driven channel ordering system via cable/satellite already, so that the consumer can just pay for whatever channels they want that month from their couch.

That way, consumers can get the channels they want at a reasonable price, without having to subsidize all the BS that they don't want. Because the pricing is reasonable, fewer people will go to streaming/download products because of quality and convenience.

If they stick with their anti-consumer bundling and high prices, their disgruntled consumer base (who has been irritated with their packaging and pricing since...forever) will be encouraged to drop them and go streaming/download/OTA only. The only reason that consumers have put up with their bundling/pricing so far is because they have traditionally had no choice - either live with the few channels you can get OTA, or you pay out the nose for cable/satellite. The success of cable/satellite so far is actually *not* a story of their success - it's a story of the failure of OTA. Now that consumers are starting to have better alternatives, the time is nigh for cable/ change your model, or we'll be seeing you go the way of Blockbuster in a few years.

Oh, and did anybody notice that the whole "fewer commercials because it's paid-for TV" thing never actually happened? Yeah, that doesn't help either. Consumers don't want to *pay* for the privilege of sitting through commercials - another reason why streaming/download is so popular. If OTA can survive on just advertising, and cable/satellite has just as much advertising as OTA...why are we having to pay for cable/satellite again?

RE: If cable/satellite TV wants to survive...
By wempa on 9/24/2010 12:37:14 PM , Rating: 2
You hit the nail on the head with everything here ! I totally welcome all new technology that will compete with cable TV. Right now, we are paying for a higher service tier just to get 2 kids stations that our daughter watches. The cable companies easily have the technology to let us pick and choose channels, but they don't want to go that way for a few reasons.

(1) smaller cable networks couldn't survive since hardly anybody would pay for those channels
(2) the cable company would lose money since you'll only be paying for what you want
(3) more overhead on them to manage

One other thing I'd like to add is the ridiculous costs of the converter boxes. They are one of the biggest scams. The tuners in your TVs are worthless now that basically everything is encrypted. As a result, you usually have no choice but to rent their converter boxes. We need 3 of them, so we pay about $30 a month just for the converter boxes. I also love how they never include the price of converter boxes in any of their advertised prices, even though you will be forced to have at least 1, if not more, of these damn things. That's borderline false advertising to me.

By Lerianis on 9/24/2010 2:00:14 PM , Rating: 2
Smaller cable companies could survive VERY well with a 'pick and choose' plan compared to the big guys. In fact, it's big guys like Comcast whose price models and business are based on gouging people who most likely wouldn't survive.

RE: If cable/satellite TV wants to survive...
By sprockkets on 9/24/2010 4:52:37 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with your proposal is that they will then have to either charge a base cost instead of padding all the costs as you said into the channel packages, or charge more for the initial channels, and if you buy more, each one becomes cheaper.

Sounds great in theory, but it won't work in practice. You really think the cable company can just charge you $2-$4 a month and make a profit? Not only will they have to charge for channels, they'll start putting on other charges a la carte.

After having to price it all out and setup the system to do so, you end up creating more overhead which ironically drives up the price, thereby negating any savings by not purchasing x amount of channels.

The old Picadilly cafeteria did this. Imagine everything sold a la carte, that you even paid 30 cents for butter for your bread. It's exact, but its also makes them look like they nickel and dime you for every stupid little thing, and it looks stingy.

By Motoman on 9/24/2010 5:39:22 PM , Rating: 2
If they don't charge what people are willing to pay, they will fail.

Might they go to a cafeteria plan and make it financially unattractive...perhaps to drive you to their packages anyway? Maybe.

If they did, though, it wouldn't solve their problem - which is people abandoning them for download/streaming/OTA.

If they can't make a profit selling their services for what people are willing to pay, then they need to go out of business. The apparent trend is that less and less people are going to be willing to pay what they're charging currently - so unless they actually want to go out of business, they need to change.

If that means that vast numbers of relatively unwanted TV channels go be it. If it means that Comcast has to radically re-organize to make a be it. If it means that every current cable/satellite TV company in the country simply goes be it. Others will rise from their ashes and prosper where they failed.

RE: If cable/satellite TV wants to survive...
By Belegost on 9/24/2010 9:28:08 PM , Rating: 2
Why bother with this? The streaming services give me that flexibility and more. Even with a cable system such as described I still have to watch broadcasts at the time aired, or buy an extra piece of equipment to record it.

How retarded is that? Hell if I want to be bound to the schedule as dictated by some broadcast manager.

With Netflix/Hulu I can watch exactly what I want, when I want to.

By Motoman on 9/25/2010 10:43:43 AM , Rating: 2
If absolutely everything you ever want to watch is on Netflix/Hulu, then be my guest.

Other people may want to watch sports, the local news, and other stuff that isn't on Netflix or Hulu.

I agree
By Spivonious on 9/24/2010 8:00:10 AM , Rating: 2
We watch movies 75% of the time, and 75% of those movies are streamed over Netflix.

We'd drop cable TV all together if it wouldn't raise our internet rates. Right now we have 12Mbps internet ($45)with basic cable ($20). If we dropped TV, it would be $60 per month. For $5 I'll take the 25 channels or so that they send us.

RE: I agree
By FITCamaro on 9/24/2010 8:33:05 AM , Rating: 1
I have fiber internet and DirecTV. So my services aren't bundled.

Honestly the only thing that keeps people on cable is probably news and sports. We can get the sitcoms and other shows we want to watch from other sources. But people can't get news or sports online. So unless you want to go out to a bar for every sports game you want to watch, you have to stick with cable or satellite.

It really would be nice if could just get the channels we wanted. I want the networks, ESPNs, Speed, Comedy Central, TBS, Spike, Cartoon Network, Sci-Fi, and a few others.

I think as wireless services roll out faster speeds over the air, cable and satellite providers will have to make a switch. Eventually wireless services will be able to handle the load of people having unlimited internet connections at good speeds (10Mbit+). When that happens you won't necessarily be tied to whatever "over the line" internet connections you're able to get in your neighborhood. Cable and Satellite providers need to adapt with the times.

RE: I agree
By Acanthus on 9/24/2010 9:12:40 AM , Rating: 2
You must be in an area where the cable company hasn't monopolized themselves.

In my area it is over $60 for basic cable through Time Warner. They are the only game in town via an exclusivity contract with the county.

RE: I agree
By Spivonious on 9/24/2010 10:25:10 AM , Rating: 2
Comcast is the only cable provider here. $60 is for their "digital starter" channel lineup, which gives you about 100 channels. We get the "limited basic" which is the local networks and a couple of others like c-span, WGN, QVC, etc. Honestly, we had the higher package and realized we were only watching NBC and Fox. I would just put up an antenna in the attic if it would save us more than $5.

Seems like the survey is flawed
By fleshconsumed on 9/24/2010 8:18:15 AM , Rating: 2
After surveying an estimated 250 Netflix subscribers

Of course Netflix subscribers are less likely to have cable. That's why they got Netflix in the first place - because they moved to Netflix after dropping cable or because they didn't have cable in the first place and they now found a good source for watching movies. The truth is somewhere in the middle. There is cord cutting, but it's not yet significant enough to really threaten cable companies.

By mcnabney on 9/24/2010 9:35:14 AM , Rating: 2
I woouldn't go quite that far. I think NetFlix users have a content 'safety net' and that security makes it more likely for them to consider cutting the cable. I fall into that demographic. I have had NetFlix for years, but six months ago I cut off the cable. It was actually a gradual step. First I turned off Showtime. Then HBO. Then I returned the second cable box. Finally, I cancelled TV service altogether. Having experience using NetFlix and Hulu made it possible. Oh, and having an HDHomerun, a nice antenna outside, a HTPC attached to each TV, and a server to receive all recorded content made the switch all the more easy.

Oh, and for people still on cable and dish. OTA broadcasters have a much nicer HD image. Unlike wired and satellite providers, broadcasters dump their signal out overthe airwaves uncompressed, so the image is much sharper and you don't get the motion artifacts, noise, and jaggies. For a while I used OTA and cable concurrently. Switching back and forth (A-B) between cable and OTA for an HD sports broadcast revealed startling differences. Even my 74 year old father was impressed.

By priusone on 9/28/2010 12:26:03 PM , Rating: 2
My cousins are semi-rednecks, so cable tv is right down their alley. I signed them up for a netflix account, but they got frustrated trying to order movies. And speaking of a flawed survey, look at this sight. How many people who read couldn't easily use netflix, hulu, let alone set up even a basic home network to share media? As for me, I haven't had cable for years. My friend and I share a netflix account and we get our movies and TV shows through them. We generally like the same thing, which is kinda cool when she finds something that I end up liking but normally wouldn't have ordered.

Like my cousins, though, there will always be customers who just want it to be as simple as possible.

They better see this coming
By vapore0n on 9/24/2010 8:34:01 AM , Rating: 2
What those big cable companies should do is start offering TV over internet, where the tiers are per quantity of channels and quality. Say 50 channel tier at mid quality, 10$ a month, higher quality $5 extra, and such.

I dropped cable. 500 channels, 300 of which are music only, ppv, or crap like mtv. Now I got free OTA in SD and HD, and netflix. I miss about 5 premium channels, which I can just go to my gf house and watch if I really need to. Else I can watch whatever I missed online, for free.

RE: They better see this coming
By Denigrate on 9/24/2010 9:11:43 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Cable prices are far too high for what they offer. I'd subscribe to a pick and choose service that is internet based. Probably only get 5-6 channels, and they would all be sports.

OTA channels fill out my news requirement, and Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services fillout my other TV watching needs. My kids mostly watch our TV's anyway, and with Netflix, they don't see all the commercials and I don't get the "I want" crap so often.

RE: They better see this coming
By Lerianis on 9/24/2010 1:48:44 PM , Rating: 1
In order to compete against satellite and free internet TV, cable has to drop their prices. In fact, I am really astounded that this hasn't happened before now, but the cable guys seem to be of the thought that "WE ALWAYS HAVE TO INCREASE PRICES!"

Never seen a decrease in price. Not on cable internet and not on cable TV, which BOTH should have dropped dramatically by now.

By lolmuly on 9/24/2010 11:18:27 AM , Rating: 3
i didn't think anybody paid for cable any more? why get cable for 80 bucks, when you can get internet for 30?

RE: lol
By wempa on 9/24/2010 12:39:05 PM , Rating: 2
because (1) many of use have bandwidth caps so we can't really use our internet as the primary TV source (2) as mentioned by another person, your internet bill usually goes up if you drop the television package

RE: lol
By Lerianis on 9/24/10, Rating: 0
I dropped cable
By bond007taz on 9/24/2010 10:58:12 AM , Rating: 2
I dropped cable and now just watch over the air HD and utilize HULU

Commercials = Waste of time
By Pastuch on 9/29/2010 11:59:41 AM , Rating: 2
I haven't had any television package for the last 3 years and I never will again. Commercials ruin otherwise excellent television. They destroy any sense of suspense or emotion that the writer/director are trying to convey. With the dearth of first-rate premium cable series like Dexter, Californication, Mad Men, Breaking Bad and Spartacus not being available on traditional TV I don't see a point in paying for it. R-rated dramas with compelling writing are the future of entertainment. Reality TV is for illiterate morons.

Thank god for the internet.

“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs
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