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The threat of cord cutting is finally a reality, says industry analyst Craig Moffett. He says the first quarter saw the largest-ever decline in cable subscribers, and projects that the percentage of Americans who pay for TV will drop from 88 percent this year to 82 percent in 2020.

Moffett says cable distributors "have very little ability to push back on the escalation in their costs. But they're hearing from their end users that prices are increasing too fast; they're between a rock and a hard place."

Addressing those concerns at the National Cable Show in Washington, D.C., the cable distributors  showcased all sorts of new technologies to give their subscribers greater value for that monthly cable bill, and keep them hooked.

Cox Communications President Pat Esser acknowledged the problem: "Cord cutting is real.... Consumer behavior is shifting and they want their entertainment where they want it and when they want it and on the devices they want it on."

To address the threat, Esser says, the company researched what improves customer interaction, finding that consumers prioritized a simpler user interface, a more powerful DVR, personalized recommendations, and access via other devices. It's rolling out more of these services this summer.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts unveiled a new user interface?called X2?saying its voice-controlled remotes and "intelligent" user interaction will be game changers for the industry.

"It all starts with our goal which is to take all of the intelligence out of the cable box and put it in the cloud. That allows us to innovate faster," Roberts said. "It's smarter, it's personalized, it's easy, it's fun and it's beautiful."

Twitter's COO Ali Rowghani spoke at the cable show to convince cable companies that Twitter can be a valuable tool to engage consumers with live TV and prevent cord cutting.

It all comes down to the correlation between tune-in behavior and Twitter activity, which Nielsen recently reported. After speaking on stage Rowghani met with a number of cable chiefs to drive more partnerships?like the one Twitter has with ESPN?in the future.

"We believe TV has always been social except now with the advent of social media, that social conversation can happen at a much bigger scale and can be measured and acted upon," Rowghani said. "That's what's really interesting and profound we think about Twitter."

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"It all starts with our goal which is to take all of the intelligence out of the cable box and put it in the cloud. That allows us to innovate faster," Roberts said. "It's smarter, it's personalized, it's easy, it's fun and it's beautiful."

 

"And when they hit the stupid low quota we have set for everyone, we rake in MORE money!"

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I don't know how much is profit for Cable TV providers, but the Networks seem to want more money for the use of their channels each year, which jacks up the price.

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I got rid of cable in 2006. I've never missed an episode of any show that I wanted to see (including HBO and Showtime, although I occasionally might need to wait until the next night so see it in HD).

 

The exorbitant prices are nothing more than gouging, and without plans that allow a customer to select only the specific channels they want, it's just mass conscienceless theft on their part. I've never felt bad about it and I've never regretted it.

 

That said, because it's so cheap, when Google Fiber comes to my neighborhood later this summer I'm getting the full TV package.

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Thank you for 200 channels of crap, and thank you for making all the good channels included for an extra fee.

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Sure they'll add more features and services, then 6 months later the bill goes up and then up again.

 

The little memo on the bill about the increase will say something like -

 

"Due to the costs incurred providing you with the very best quality service available on the planet we must pass them onto you, our valued customers.

We will always provide the best value for all you entertainment needs.

Thank you for your continued patronage."

"Oh and bend over, thank you."

 

I don't ask for all those silly bells and whistles, I just want a reliable clear cable signal, fast reliable internet access, and no BS.

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^ I wish it was Federal law, that customers can choose and pay for ONLY the channels they want to watch.

 

Stuff packages. ;)

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Craig Moffett needs to learn when to shut up..... this is the same guy who said we need to cap cable internet and charge for usage because it works so well for cell providers.... and that we should even cap cable tv watching and charge for time watched ontop of the current bills....

 

all he wants is everyone pushed to a model where he can cap and charge you for usage...


^ I wish it was Federal law, that customers can choose and pay for ONLY the channels they want to watch.

 

Stuff packages. ;)

you'd have single channels costing a ton..... want discovery channel? that will be $49 a month for one channel or get the whole package for $99 a month!

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I do not now nor have I ever paid for television service.

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Cable and satellite tv both suck. Someone needs to start a cable company where you get to watch just what you want end of story.. hey..there's an idea for a KICKSTARER project.

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you'd have single channels costing a ton..... want discovery channel? that will be $49 a month for one channel or get the whole package for $99 a month!

 

 

Not necessarily.  They could have price controls.  If Discovery costs say, $2 in a pkg., then they should only be allowed $4, ala cart.

 

People would still probably take 30 channels or more.

 

The more they subscribe to, the cheaper it should be, per channel.

 

They would just pay for the ones they like to watch.

 

I'd rather pay 60 a month for 30 channels I really like, than $100 for 200 channels that are mostly rubbish.

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yes, I remember that some network wants more money from Dish Network in the past. Dish Network cannot afford those network channel like lifetime or ohters.

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OTA, Netflix, Hulu+ and Amazon Prime here, and it's cumulatively cheaper than $120/mo for hundreds of Comcast channels 90% of which are showing infomercials or crap I wojldn't watch if it were free.

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Yep, already told my folks that whenever their contract expires with dish and att Netflix is coming in, they loved the idea!

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I do like having my DVR when there's actually stuff on I want to watch, but the dry spells you're like...we're paying how much for this again?

 

Plus the tech on the sat receivers is a joke most of the time.  It feels like it's a computer from 1990 compared to normal tech.

 

Cables stuff is probably better, but it still just seems like completely unnecessary equipment purchases and lock-in.  If I was still the one paying for it I'd say the hell with it now that I have decent net access.

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Not necessarily.  They could have price controls.  If Discovery costs say, $2 in a pkg., then they should only be allowed $4, ala cart.

 

People would still probably take 30 channels or more.

 

The more they subscribe to, the cheaper it should be, per channel.

 

They would just pay for the ones they like to watch.

 

I'd rather pay 60 a month for 30 channels I really like, than $100 for 200 channels that are mostly rubbish.

there have already been people that ran the numbers and the channels individually would never be that cheap... problem right now is when they bundle they get per sub on the service pricing... say you have Comcast with on 30 million tv subs... 30 million times $2 for a single channel.... 60 mil... ok well discovery has a network... say they give a network discount to get all their channels for $7 per sub... great that's cheap! well what if a small fraction of that 30 million don't watch military channel or Investigation discovery? they wouldn't pay for the channels.... now discovery has to jack up the rates to pay for them on the sub channels.. which already wont have all 30 million subs to start with..... say only 10 million watch it out of their 30 million... now we have to jack up the rates on a single channel 3x to make up lost revenue... but wait those people didn't get Investigation discovery or military channel..... jack up the rates again!

 

it's not as simple as it sounds.... you don't just get a channel for cheap al-a-cart because of all the deals in place now that make the channels seem cheap when spread out over tens of millions of subscribers.... heck ESPN they said could potentially cost $120 a month by a few sets of numbers people ran!

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A lot of people in my area stream shows through Netflix and they haven't had any cable service in a while.

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Since Christmas Dish Network Jacked up my monthly rate almost $10 a month. I'm almost ready to cut it off. I do have to remind myself It's entertainment and not a utility so for me staying home and watching TV is still a hell of a lot cheaper then going out every weekend and spending a a boat load of money. I only watch a few channels like most of you. The tides are turning and streaming internet TV is right around the corner and the days of Dish, Direct TV and Cox, Mediacom or whoever are numbered. 

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A lot of people in my area stream shows through Netflix and they haven't had any cable service in a while.

 

 

You must live next to Okefenokee swamp. :p

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Haven't had cable in a while. Got tired of clockwork rate increases, constant, intrusive commercials and more and more reality crap vs. Actual shows. 200 channels doesn't mean squat if you only use 10 of them. Netflix, Amazon and Hulu plus for me!

cable companies will eventually become "dumb pipes". Why they fight this, is beyond me. It would be much less work for them.

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If it wasn't for college football I wouldn't really have the programming I have now thru Satellite and while I do have Comcast internet I can't even use that to access ESPN on my phone unless I use a relatives comcast TV account which is beyond stupid. If I have their internet I should be able to access watch espn on my phone with my account.

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Haven't had cable in a while. Got tired of clockwork rate increases, constant, intrusive commercials and more and more reality crap vs. Actual shows. 200 channels doesn't mean squat if you only use 10 of them. Netflix, Amazon and Hulu plus for me!

cable companies will eventually become "dumb pipes". Why they fight this, is beyond me. It would be much less work for them.

Yeah, the only channels I watch are Discovery, Science, History, A&E, Food Network, Travel Network, and FOX on Sunday's (and only on sundays *LOL*)... but since I have these running all day long while I do other things, streaming would cost me a ton since I'd be going over bandwidth caps all the time.... 14Mbit HD channels... most of the day... times multiple TV's (other people watching also)... ugh... right now I'm watching Man vs Food in the background.... it's just one of those things like some people have the radio on in the background, I have the TV on in the background...

 

but if I could get only those channels on TV for oh say $20 a month, I'd take it...

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You must live next to Okefenokee swamp. :p

Try right in the middle of it. :D

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Yeah, the only channels I watch are Discovery, Science, History, A&E, Food Network, Travel Network, and FOX on Sunday's (and only on sundays *LOL*)... but since I have these running all day long while I do other things, streaming would cost me a ton since I'd be going over bandwidth caps all the time.... 14Mbit HD channels... most of the day... times multiple TV's (other people watching also)... ugh... right now I'm watching Man vs Food in the background.... it's just one of those things like some people have the radio on in the background, I have the TV on in the background...

 

but if I could get only those channels on TV for oh say $20 a month, I'd take it...

 

 

I was the same way. There is an adjustment period and then you'll wonder why you paid for it for so long.

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I was the same way. There is an adjustment period and then you'll wonder why you paid for it for so long.

 

there is no adjustment period when you have to worry constantly "am I gona go over my cap".... that's just adding anxiety to the existing structure...

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