I’m sure this will come as no surprise to a lot of you, but the number of people getting rid of their cable TV is readily increasing. In 2007, there were 2 million homes in the US that didn’t subscribe to a cable TV service, and as the title of this post suggests, that number now sits at 5 million. The subscriber peak was reached in 2010 with a total of 87.3% homes subscribed to a cable TV service; a number that now settles in at 84.7%. With the increasing popularity of online content, it seems all but assured that these numbers will continue to decline.
Cost is undoubtedly going to be a leading reason for ditching cable TV, but it’s hardly the only one. Convenience is another. Personally, I could never set aside a specific time each week to watch a show – that’d drive me nuts. Hopping online to watch it whenever I want? That can’t be beat. There’s also the fact that among the 100+ channels you might have to choose from, it’s not you that’s deciding what to watch. Instead, it’s your TV deciding what you should watch. Cynthia Phelps says it best, “I don’t want someone else dictating the media I get every day, I want to be in charge of it.“
Not having cable TV can introduce a couple of downsides, such as not being able to watch brand-new shows right away, but for a lot of people, that’s just not a bother. No – we’re not talking torrents here, but simply waiting until these shows hit legal streaming sites after that arbitrary limit has been reached. I’m usually one of those people. It’d be a rare piece of content where I couldn’t muster up enough patience to hold off for a year before watching or playing it.
I haven’t had cable for over a year, and for me, the pain comes from not being able to easily watch whatever sport I’m in the mood for. I’ve resorted to streaming from less-than-ideal websites (since there are few legal streaming sites), but it’s not enough to make me resubscribe and deal with cable. I do hope, though, that one day, sports streaming won’t be so uncommon. NBC streamed the last Superbowl live, so that’s a start.
Have you given up cable, or are thinking about it? And if not, what is it that keeps you locked-in?