Thursday, August 5, 2010

Top 5 Reasons Why Cable Companies Have Us By The Balls!

Thinking about leaving cable?  Good luck... it's not as easy as it seems.  Don't get me wrong, I've made the switch and I'm loving it, but it ain't easy.  So without further ado... below are the top 5 reasons why it's tough to leave cable (aka.. why cable companies have us by the balls!)

  1. Sports - If you're a sports fan, your choices are limited without cable.  You can get mlb.tv if you're a baseball fan, but only if you follow teams that are outside of your local market.  For example, in the Philadelphia area, most Phillies games are only available on Comcast Sports Net. If I were to subscribe to MLB.tv, I wouldn't be able to see the Phillies games because of local blackout rules.  Football is better because they are mostly on network TV... but Monday Night Football is only on ESPN, and Sunday Night football is only on the NFL Network.  There are some free options but not enough for the average to hard core sports fan.
  2. HBO - they have great content like "True Blood" and "Entourage".  Unfortunately they don't allow you to stream on Netflix or any other method outside of cable.
  3. Broadcast TV Reception - free digital broadcasting is awesome.  The picture is crystal clear, and the sound quality is amazing.  Unfortunately, it suffers from the same fate as satellite, you need to have a clear line of sight between your antenna and the broadcasting towers.  If there are buildings, or trees in the way it will affect the strength of your signal and may prevent people from receiving certain channels.  So depending on where you are located, you may not get a major channel like ABC, NBC, or CBS.
  4. Ease of Implementation - People generally go with what they know.  Cable and Satellite companies make it easy to subscribe to their service.  Once you purchase, they will send a technician to your house to install the cable box, teach you how to use the remote control, and you're done.  Once they're in, it's done.  Most people don't want to be bothered with changing services... they're happy to pay their monthly fee as long as the TV just works.   Cable companies know this, which is why their introductory rate plans are so effective.
  5. Marketing Budget - in 2009, Comcast and its competitors have spent over 6 billion dollars in advertising their products.  I don't know how much the US Government spent in 2009 on marketing broadcast TV, but I suspect it was far less!  There's a reason why these companies spend so much money... it works!