Saturday, November 20, 2010
Is Network TV Finished?
Check out the brilliant story on techland.com simply titled "Why are People Abandoning TV?"
It sums up quite accurately what I've been feeling for some time.
You see I live in Toronto's Riverdale area quite close to spacious Riverdale Park and the Don Valley.
And over the last few months people have been telling me they're switching off cable TV and going back either to rabbit ears or antennas.
In fact when I bought my new TV set in the summer the salesman offered to toss in an antenna and told me the name of the neighbourhood guy doing the connections for a minimal fee.
To put it bluntly viewers are fed up with the high cost of cable TV.
"Why am I paying for Buffalo TV when the good stuff gets blacked out and the Toronto signals are substituted," one lady told me at a summer's block party.
She said with her "new" antenna she got the Buffalo stations clear as a bell as well as the Toronto stations from the CN tower.
She misses CNN, BBC Canada and Turner Classic Movies but so far is adjusting to her loss.
Movies? She orders them up from Netflix which ship directly to her new Apple computer, the one with the 29 " screen. Ditto movies she gets from her Apple store.
She can also rent DVDs and run them on her computer an that's fine, too.
She also watches stuff on ctv.ca and other internet services run by conventional TV networks.
And she's thinking of buying a gadget a local nerd recommended that substitutes a faux U.S. email address so she can tune into services like hulu which is currently blocked out in Canada.
The techland story says there have been significant disconnects in the U.S., too, and this is certainly due to increased viewer sophistication about the other ways to watch TV shows than on a TV set via expensive cable services.
Hulu Plus is currently running at $8.00 (U.S.) a month and offering hundreds of new programs every month.
American cable giants are saying they intent to cut prices to compete with hulu but so far the disparity in prices remains very high.
Hulu is sure to reach Canada someway either through the back door or as part of a package offered by Apple, I believe. And that means the over priced Canadian cable brands will be in big trouble.