Thursday, April 15, 2010

And the Future of Television is ...

Wait for it, wait for it ... Sports! The path to this conclusion requires a couple of steps, so bear with me. The Convergence Consulting Group just published their annual report on "The Battle for the North American Couch Potato", and several news sources and commentators immediately picked up on one element of their report. According to Convergence, by the end of 2009, 800,000 US households had cut the cable and that they expected this to double to 1.6 million households by 2011. Cutting cable means cutting subscription TV service like cable or satellite and getting all media content from the Internet, Netflix and over the air. I recently wrote about Television being in trouble because of increasing subscription fees and less content. There has been a trickle of cable cutters for some time and now Convergence Consulting tells us that the numbers are starting to swell.

So why should we not cut the cable? It turns out that sports is the only type of content where subscription television offers a compelling product that you cannot easily get if you cut the cable. I came to this conclusion after skimming through the comments on TechCrunch post on the cable cutting story. The majority of comments are either from people who have cut the cable and the only thing they miss is sports, or from people who say that they cannot cut the cable because they would not be able to get the sports that they want to see. The fact that sports is the only type of content mentioned is quite startling.

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