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Friday, August 12, 2022

Is Cable TV sustainable?

Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime, Peacock, etc. are the market leaders in video streaming, both in the number of subscribers and in revenue. They have a million paying subscribers worldwide, much more than just cable TV services. As a result of streaming services’ boost happening at a fast pace around the world, cable TV is slowly dying and becoming unsustainable. To get streaming services, internet connection services are being sought after. For instance, if you have subscribed to any of the Xfinity Internet, you get a free subscription to Peacock Premium. With Peacock Premium, subscribers will have access to a vast library of media content, along with live TV channels as well. All of this makes cable TV seem so obsolete. This article will discuss some of the factors leading to it, apart from streaming services.

Cable TV

A long time ago, cable TV was introduced to challenge network TV, and it was such hype back then. Network TV would air their shows only once. One would need to tune into the original show to catch its broadcast. If he missed an episode, he would need to wait for a summer rerun or completely forgo the show. But cable TV changed that. Many TV shows and movies were rerun, often within 24 hours of the original broadcast. But now, cable TV has been taken over by streaming services, like it took over the network TV once. Things have changed for cable TV, while streamers look to streaming services for immediate reruns.

Is Cable Industry Dying?

Some of the reasons why cable TV might be dying are:

  • Having competitors like streaming services i.e. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sling TV, etc. lead to the replacement of TV boxes with streaming boxes that contain a variety of content easily viewed any time of the day, anywhere. According to Netflix, one in two households in the US has a Netflix subscription, making the total subscribers to be around 67 million subscribers in the US alone.
  • Cable TV owners are not willing to pay for a plethora of channels that they do not watch anymore. TV channels have been replaced with streaming options, with consumers requesting targeted, and smaller bundles.
  • Many media companies have also realized the change in consumer behaviour, and hence, they have begun offering their media content through streaming channels.
  • The cost of cable TV has also gotten too high for consumers to be able to pay it anymore that they have completely forgone the service altogether.
  • Also, people have become more wired and much rather prefer the comfort of their devices, laptops, mobile phones, and watches, increasing the percentage of broadband-only services.

Streaming services have gained an increase in shift, whereas cable TV has only lost its viewership over the years.

Streaming services

Streaming services really give one a choice to be able to manage their viewing experiences. Netflix has also been dropping all episodes of a season dropped at a time, which also makes it a preferable option for most entertainment lovers. Others like Apple TV Plus have adopted strategies like dropping all the episodes at once BEFORE the weekly rollout on cable TV, and that has proved to be relatively successful for them. Then again, Pluto TV gives their subscribers the option to tune in to their favourite channels and surf like they would on traditional television.

Does cable TV have a chance?

It seems like cable TV has lost its credibility in certain key areas and ratings have been staying down since the streaming services have rolled in. For instance, ESPN Plus has successfully outgrown its linear ESPN counterpart.

On the other hand, FuboTV, which is a streaming service for live sports, offers access to channels like NBC, Fox, Bravo, etc. through streaming, with cloud-based storage. As a result, FuboTV will have to source its viewing content through other means without these cable channels, which goes to say that FuboTV cannot exist without cable or cable channels. That is how cable TV could jump the bandwagon and reach up to the standard of streaming services.

Is cable TV dying?

Since streaming services are a little bit dependent on cable channels, the bundling of streaming services and cable TV might keep it afloat. Ironically enough, Disney Plus, Hulu, ESPN Plus, etc. allows subscribers to bundle the three services at a discounted rate, so it is effectively a cable bundle. Cable TV might not really be dying, rather, it seems like the best of both worlds for subscribers, having access to streaming services and cable channels.

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