I tried an experiment. Several months ago I cut my DishNetwork package from the 220 channel package down to the 120 channel package. My thinking was that my wife and I watched mostly broadcast stations and we could live without some of our favorite programs like Lifetime Movie, AMC, Turner Classic, Military channel, History International and a few more. We were going to watch more movies from Netflix streaming via our Roku.
Guess what? I miss my favorites. So I am making a switch. Yesterday I signed up for DirecTV and will get all of my favorites back plus more, for the same price I am paying for DishNetwork. Yes, it is one of those special one year deals with a two-year commitment, but I will get a better choice plus a HD-DVD and HD receiver for free. I will also be getting our local stations in HD on both of our HD TV’s.
So when I read about what others are watching and why cord-cutting is so hard, I thought I would share what I learned.
Broadcast still rules, but… Here’s some ammo for the broadcasters to bring into whatever the next standoff with distributors will be regarding retransmission-consent fees. The Big Four finished 1-2-3-4, which is somewhat surprising given the notion that the broadcasters are the TV equivalent of wallpaper, nice to have in the background but not essential. However, Martin also noted that most respondents who wrote in one broadcaster, wrote all of them. That may validate the criticism that each broadcaster has no real brand because they try to please everyone. “Most folks think of the four broadcasters as a monolith,” said Martin. “This may be because consumers actually watch shows on all four broadcast networks, or it could be because they have no idea which network their favorite shows are on.”
HBO subs really love their HBO. While it may not seem all that impressive that HBO finished behind all four broadcasters and three cable channels, it actually is quite noteworthy given that HBO is in less than one-third of the homes as those networks and costs an additional charge as a premium channel. “This equates to a 33% rating (similar to the broadcast networks) after adjusting for the relative audience sizes,” said Martin. No wonder Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) CEO Jeff Bewkes keeps dangling the prospect of HBO Go being offered outside the usual bundles.
I must admit I fell for the hype. I really thought I could dump my favorites and stream from the Internet to get the same content. But the reality is that streaming is not ready for prime time. Maybe someday in the future, but not today.
What do you think?