Let’s face it: who under 40 watches television on a regular basis? The answer: nobody. Television is filled with ads which interrupt our favorite shows. Unless it’s the Super Bowl, nobody likes ads. So why should we have to suffer? With the advent of the internet, there is no need to rely on cable to consume media.
Instead of cable television, people are turning to online alternatives such as Netflix or Hulu. Recently, these services have grown so much that they are able to produce their original content, such as Orange is the New Black, or even purchase licenses to allow themselves to make spin-offs of previous popular shows such as Fuller House. With most of these services having a drastically lower monthly cost than cable television, it’s easy to see why many people are shifting from watching live television and going digital. Many of these services provide the TV episodes a day after they air them. Why pay an extra $80 to watch an episode of “NCIS” 12 hours earlier? It’s not worth it. Additionally, by streaming TV shows, you aren’t bound on a set schedule to watch TV. You can do it on your own time.
On a more local level, take a look at SITTV, could we try to connect the fiber and broadcast on the school’s campus television? Absolutely. However, is it worth it? Who even has cable in their dorm room? Answer: close to no one. Connecting to cable television would take a look of effort, and for the amount of viewers we would get, not worth the effort. Instead, it’s easier to produce content and quickly share it online, which is where the viewers are.
But what draws us to TV right now? Sports. Sure, you can buy an NFL Sunday Ticket or MLSLive to watch sports online; however, this excludes in-market teams. Currently, there is no “legal” way to watch in-market sports online without a cable subscription (through WatchESPN MSGGo or something similar). Sure, you can use a VPN – but that’s too difficult for most people. People live by their sports teams; it’s what draws all of us together. If people have no other way to watch their sports, they are going to continue to subscribe to cable television. There are alternates like Sling TV which provide some sports channels, but none of these alternatives provides them in the same capacity that current cable television does.
The way we consume media is changing. We don’t need to be rely on physical media on the distributor’s time; instead, we can consume it on our own time. With the advent of the internet and technology, everything has moved to a more freeform lifestyle isn’t of being based around a rigid schedule. It has given us an incredible degree of flexibility and freedom.