One In Eight Americans Will Stop Paying For TV In The Next Year -- Here's Why

There’s a new study by the Yankee Group that says an average of one in eight Americans will decide to stop paying for their cable or satellite television service in the next year.


Mostly, according to the study, because cable and satellite service is just too damn expensive!

But also, considering you can watch so many TV shows and other cable programming for free on the Internet, at destinations like Hulu, YouTube and networks’ own websites, why should anyone bother paying for them?

Well, here are a few things to consider:

  • Point #1: Hulu might be free for now, but reports indicate the site will begin testing a subscription service, called Hulu Plus, on May 24.
  • Counterpoint #1: You will still get FREE access to Hulu’s basic service that consists of a show’s five most recent episodes. Basically, nothing changes if you choose not to pay for Hulu Plus. Hulu is turning a profit, so it looks like they’re here to stay.
  • Point #2: People without cable will have to wait at least a day to watch the newest episode online.
  • Counterpoint #2: Fewer and fewer people are revolving their lives around the television these days. In fact, the rising popularity of TiVo and DVR is proof alone that people don’t care about catching their favourite shows on time.
  • Point #3: The ability to stream live events online is still a work-in-progress. What if you want to watch the Super Bowl or a baseball game?
  • Counterpoint #3a: Yes, live streaming is definitely a work-in-progress, but just look at the work that MLBAM has done. You can watch live baseball games on your iPhone and computer, and the launch of ESPN3 is also a huge step in the right direction for live streaming.
  • Counterpoint #3b: YouTube is just stepping in to the live streaming arena. The video site just streamed the Indian Premier League’s 60 matches live for the entire world (minus the United States) to see.
  • Point #4: It’s just convenient to point a remote control at your television. The last thing anyone wants to do is sit in front of a computer screen after spending a whole work day staring into one.
  • Counterpoint #4: It’s easy enough to hook up a computer to your HD television these days. Boxee and their soon-to-be released Boxee Box connects video from the web onto your television. It’s just like watching normal TV but with web video capabilities.

Maybe this means cable and satellite providers should work with television networks on what could be the next big thing: 3D TV.

If things pan out the way the study says, they’re going to need to do anything they can to win back those viewers.

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