TV Is Dying, Broadband Declining

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in internet on (#3T6V)
story imageThe pay-TV industry has reported its worst 12-month stretch ever. Ratings for both cable and the broadcast networks are down. There has been negative ratings growth on broadcast and cable TV since September 2011. The number of U.S. households is still growing, but fewer households have TV because they are watching video on mobile devices instead. The amount of video viewed on mobile devices is going through the roof. About 40% of all YouTube traffic comes from mobile.

Broadband internet was supposed to benefit from the end of cable TV, but it hasn't; people are also unplugging from broadband internet service. Most are likely utilizing free wifi hotspots provided by businesses, campuses and some cities. Fifty-seven cities in the U.S., including Los Angeles, offer free wifi; anyone within range of a hotspot can avoid the monthly fees.

Cable TV ratings are in an historic slump, but revenues are still rising because companies are charging the dwindling number of customers more in subscription fees. Those higher prices are "part of the problem" that pushes out poor subscribers — losing the TV business even more eyeballs. This is having a counter-intuitive effect on TV ad sales: prices are going up. It's still really difficult to gather a large, mass audience in any kind of media. That scarcity makes TV's dwindling-but-still-big audience increasingly valuable... for now. Ad dollars are likely to follow that shift in the long run.

Raising rates is a big mistake they are making (Score: 1)

by hapnstance@pipedot.org on 2015-02-25 17:04 (#3T8Y)

I just got my DirecTV bill for February and to my surprise it was significantly higher than usual. After a bit of checking it seems DirecTV has raised its rates. So immediately I started evaluating my programming packages with them and after careful consideration I eliminated several pieces of programming and the result is a lower bill than I had previously. So the end result of DirecTV raising rates will be less revenue from me. The programming I chose to do without can be had easily via NetFlix, HuLu, youtube or several other online sources. So I lose nothing but DirecTV loses money. If they had not raised my rates I probably never would have changed my programming. I still think there is a market (at least for the moment) for providers like DirecTV, especially for live events in HD (sports, concerts, etc.). Most of the professional sports in the U.S. have their online presentations locked down pretty tight and priced way too high (IMHO) for the quality it delivers. I can subscribe to something like MLB.TV but if my broadband connection is not up to the task then the quality is not worth the cost and the same event on something like DirecTV will be far superior. If the various online outlets for live events get the quality up and the price down then I think that will be the real end of DirecTV and others like them.
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