I'm an old fart who has never owned a TV or paid a dime to a cable TV service either. Of course, my old work-around was to go to the bar. Internet streaming is nice too.
12% of Millennials Eschew Traditional TV For Streaming Options (And Many More Intend To)
is too expensive unless you live with several other people willing to split the bill.
I'm not sure if this is really going to be such a big deal in the long run. I get my TV from AT&T. I get my internet from... AT&T. If everyone stops using TV and just wants broadband / internet to watch TV, they're probably still buying from the same entity, so why wouldn't that entity just adjust prices accordingly? I don't think this will be as monumental as it seems.
that if people stop buying cable packages, then the money the BTN would get from being on basic cable in NJ etc. is gone, as lots of people there just aren't interested enough to get it.
I guess my point / question is, if AT&T / Comcast / Time Warner / whoever won't let you get only BTN (or whatever a la carte item) on cable TV, why would they let you get it a la carte over the internet? I would assume they'll eventually just make you get a "broadban package" instead of a cable package when they realize a la carte is going to cost them money.
It's a totally different system. Cable has the ability to bundle. They can dictate "If the BTN doesn't want to bundle, we just won't show it" and there's not much anyone could do outside of complaining a lot (which happens quite a bit).
How is AT&T able to disallow a website that streams the content? Sure they could charge more for the bandwith, but they also would not enter into contracts with the specific websites that stream. That means that a de facto a la carte system will be in place, as the broadband user would have the ultimate discresion as to where they sink their money.
Isn't this already kind of happening with watch ESPN? If your ISP doesn't have an agreement with ESPN, you can't get the content. I would assume that the content providers and the broadband providers will come to agreements where they both make money. If enough people truly cut the cable cord, I have to assume that ISPs have the ability to block certain IPs or websites. Or, if no one is watching TV and just using the internet, they can just double your internet charge. Long story short, I think the big cable / TV providers still have control and won't be losing money on this.
There has already been a pretty major pushback to limit/delay access to online content. The broadcast (i.e. free) networks used to put up all their major shows online the next day either on their site or Hulu (or both), again without charge. Now to get those shows the next day you need to pay for a subscription service. FOX has gone so far as to put up shows more than a week after the airdate (we missed an early episode of "The Following", couldn't catch up online before the next episode aired, and just abandoned the show). They make more money if you are watching it live, so they aren't going to make it easy not to do so.
The ESPN content you mention is being scaled back incrementally. Until recently just about every event on ESPN has been available online at ESPN3.com (so long as your internet provider pays for the service and passes the cost on to you). Now, most primetime games and big events are blacked out and only available to those who also have a current cable subscription.
We are also talking about a media landscape where 6 companies control virtually all the content of value. These companies also have their fingers in a ton of pots. HBO is owned by Time Warner. That's why you can't just buy HBO GO with out subscribing to a cable package. They aren't going to slit their own throats.
In the end you are going to get what you pay for. The current cable model also subsidizes stuff like "Game of Thrones" and "Mad Men" that is very expensive to make. If there is a future where the total paid for content is dramatically reduced, the quality of the product will probably suffer a similar decline.
If enough people truly cut the cable cord, I have to assume that ISPs have the ability to block certain IPs or websites.
What you propose probably isn't actually illegal, but it's opposed by the FCC and the Obama administration, and they have somewhat successfully pursued a case against Comcast. The battle continues along fairly partisan lines so I'll leave it there.
Live sports and HBO are only reasons to keep cable at this point. All my wife's shows are available online the next day. This just means a bigger fees for ESPN.
Which is entirely ridiculous. If more people cut the cord than get cable, online services will no longer be viewed as supplemental by content producers. That's what it is now. Supplemental additional income. They'll be monetized properly if and when they need to be, and the enitre cord cutting fad will suddenly seem less appealing.
Why don't we go to an ad-supported model where content producers distribute their programming via wide-area broadcast network? Would that work?