Cable TV Feels the Pinch as Consumers Flock to Old and New Technology
From the rabbit ear antennas of old to a plethora of new OTT services, consumers seek refuge from high cable bills.
Consumers have long known that there’s almost no competition among cable TV providers. But in recent years, those TV providers have found themselves competing against some unlikely rivals, and increasingly, losing. One alternative to cable TV that viewers have been embracing is in fact the predecessor to the modern pay-TV model: over-the-air broadcast television. Many consumers, especially in urban areas, find that they have access to multiple over-the-air TV stations. Many of them are owned by CBS, ABC, NBC, or FOX, meaning that they broadcast nationally popular television shows, news, sports, and more. Local sports and news in particular are in general readily available on broadcast TV. And it doesn’t cost a dime! Consumers who find themselves content with OTA TV also find themselves saving a fortune over the average cable bill. Antennas and OTA TV in general have enjoyed a sort of renaissance as consumers return the rabbit ears to the top of their TV sets.
Also giving TV providers a run for their money are startups on the opposite end of the timeline. Internet TV has arrived, and it comes in all shapes and sizes. From free sites like YouTube and Crackle, to paid libraries like Netflix and Amazon Prime; from niche streaming services like Tennis TV and the Outdoor Cooking Channel all the way up to those with mass appeal like Hulu and Rabbit TV Plus. There’s something for everyone, and at every price point. When taken together, the web gives you far more to watch than any cable or satellite TV subscription does. Consumers have wised up to that too, with many finding that they can get the same exact things that they watch with cable, for far less money online. Along with OTA broadcasts, these technologies, new and old, have allowed cord-cutting to flourish, resulting in consistent video subscriber losses for the TV providers.