Thursday, October 8, 2015

Remember When ... Asking Your Cable Company To Get A Channel

The good ole days!  Remember when your cable company had maybe 20 or 30 channels and networks would buy ads asking you to write your cable company and request their channel?  It led to the rise of so many channels from Bravo to Game Show Network, from Animal Planet to Romance Classics.  And some networks that have since changed their names or shortened them to just initials. 

Today we have more than a hundred channels on our cable lineups as well as thousands of on demand movies and shows.  And now those same ads are used during contract renegotiations to stop those same cable operators from dropping those channels.  But now, the real interest isn't in launching new channels, but in buying streaming subscription services. 

It seems that now the best new shows are found, not on cable, but on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon.  But how many subscription services are we willing to buy.  In the old days, we would request our cable company to add a channel and hope that it wouldn't significantly affect the cost of our monthly subscription.  Eventually, it did but those initial adds meant pennies to us.  Buying into a streaming service could add about ten dollars per service per month.  For all the cord cutting we may be doing, our costs look to only rise as we pay more if we want to watch all the shows on all the streaming services.  Still, at least now we have the choice to buy the channel to watch it and not wait for our cable company to turn it on first.