Are We Witnessing the Death Spiral of Cable Television?

TDB's picture

Via The Daily Bell

Cable television has long been the coveted propaganda arm used to program American sentiments. But because of the internet, viewer choice for news, sports, and entertainment has proliferated. Content is becoming decentralized, and that makes it harder to control the attitudes of the masses.

Since 2013, pay tv subscriptions have been declining, losing more customers than they gain. Over one million people per year are fleeing from paying for cable TV from companies like Verizon, Time Warner, and Comcast.

For three straight years, the viewership of the Emmy’s has declined. Yet while cable networks broadcast the award show, original Hulu and HBO shows were winning the awards.

You don’t need a cable subscription to watch shows on Netflix, HBO Now, or Hulu. While Netflix and Hulu run some cable shows, they also produce their own content. This doesn’t automatically mean the content won’t be akin to the typical propaganda on cable. But it does mean that control over programming is more decentralized. This includes the FCC’s slipping grip, as they have thus far failed to seriously regulate online programming.

Now consumers have a choice. Youtube offers even more choices which allow independent and much smaller content producers to disseminate their shows. Owned by Google, there is plenty to criticize when it comes to Youtube. They arbitrarily remove certain content that they don’t like. But this will just bolster alternatives like Vimeo and DailyMotion.

Amazon also offers subscription programming that goes along with their Prime program. Like Netflix, they are investing in making their own TV shows and movies to better compete with all the alternatives. An Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial lets you see what they got before committing.

And whatever issues you may have with companies like Youtube and Amazon, there are now plenty other options available, with more coming.

An exciting new startup called will soon go live. The company aims to tackle programming from a community perspective. They offer “hyperlocal broadcasting” that is boosted based on popularity but always starts locally. BadMirror.tvseeks to reconnect people to their community so that a handful of big executives–and whoever is influencing them–can’t centralize control over content, and decide what will be popular.

Pride comes before the fall.

A user base can vanish quickly when customers no longer get what they want from a business, and have plenty of alternatives.

And we should expect viewers to go elsewhere as their favorite content starts leaving a bad taste in their mouth. For years, football has enjoyed tremendous ratings, insulated from the decline of other cable programming. But viewers have recently been turned off by excessive political correctness from the NFL, as well as protest displays from pro-football players which many view as unpatriotic and disrespectful to law enforcement.

Overall viewership for the 2016 NFL season was down 8% per game, an average of 1.4 million fewer viewers per game compared to 2015. So far in the 2017 season just beginning, there has been a 14% decline in viewership.

The kicker is that football has been counted on by Cable networks to save television. Sports games are still better watched live since hearing the score for a recorded game is a major spoiler. When you watch live, it is harder to get around the commercials. But people aren’t watching football as much, not even on alternative providers. The NFL has overplayed its hand in delving into politics.

The good news is, as an individual, you don’t have to be affected by Cable TV one way or the other. You have the power to simply choose alternatives that don’t play into the machine of manipulation, fear, and drivel.

Of course, another great alternative is to read books for entertainment. Go full Farenheight 451, reject the screens which take up whole walls of the living room, and become a literary outlaw.

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Naruhodo's picture

Only reason why I'm keeping the basic plan for cable tv is for live channels and the only LIVE channels I watch are news. But then again all live news feeds today are mostly propaganda and brainwashing materials. Should I be forking money to watch brainwashing and fake stories? Shouldn't the news companies be feeding these sort of thing free to the masses?

As for movies and entertaining stuffs, I prefer them to be on demand because I get to decide when to watch them and how I want depending on my mood.

sickavme's picture

All the channels that I get for free with the antenna are the same exact ones that I would be paying around $45/mon for with cable...


Yea, thats not happening... Only kept the cable for internet...


Besides, the TV's just sit there collecting dust...

The kids don't even play console games on them anymore...

DemandSider's picture

Those TVs make great monitors

Bad Goy's picture

Just get an antenna.  For the price of one months cable subscription you can get a decent antenna.

That being said, everything on TalmudVision is garbage.  Just get your news from ZeroHedge and

Naruhodo's picture

Well if you live in some 3rd world backwater country like me, the antenna will not give you any reliable local news source. Only way to access more reliable international content is through the internet pipe.

NoWayJose's picture

Just last week I chopped my full 100+ channel plan down to a basic 40 channel plan with local news and a few crap channels. Saves me at least $50 a month.

Naruhodo's picture

$50 a month is still too much to pay when all news channels are supposed to be propaganda feeds. Nowadays most major news channels provide FREE live feeds and broadcast over Youtube or their own websites.RT News, CNN, Bloomberg, France24, etc. all have heir own free live channels on their websites.

You can buy your own Android TV box and stream these channels over a decent internet line on your TV without needing to pay any monthyly subscriptions.All of them are official sources and apps are provided by the content creators themselves.

LA_Goldbug's picture

DO you remember in that far past the promise ? "No commercials".

Ha ha ha .....

Naruhodo's picture

Download your favourite movie and watch it offline. Total commercial free, pause, reverse and forward as many times as you wish. No sudden buffer dropouts, no need to worry about peak hours when internet is congested.

asavet1952's picture

Some really good posts you all!!!


Jtrillian's picture

One of the best things people can do for themselves is CUT THE CORD. 

Kefeer's picture

They are making up for it with ridiculously priced internet and cell services in an arena with price collusion, crappy customer service, and more of the same in the future.  Five years ago I paid $20/month for "high speed" internet and today I pay $50 and going up to $60 for "high speed" internet service.  


My phone bill is greater now than ever and I do not own a SMART phone.  This is why monopolies were banned and why when real capitalism is in play it works for everyone, for the cream rises to the top and the turds just float away.

Posa's picture

Monopolies ARE real capitalism... get real...

Ace006's picture

A pathetic take on a complex phenomenon.  And there were no "monopolies" in the Soviet Union.  Real competition there in your view, I assume.

LA_Goldbug's picture

I call it the "Toblerone Effect"

Golden Phoenix's picture

...And then when it doesn't work instead of fixing it they keep trying to get you to upgrade to a higher transmission rate that'd only further compound the problem.

HillaryOdor's picture

You don't need to ban monopolies.  That does not help anyone.  You just need to stay away from regulations.  Regulations lead to cartel formation.  That is the real killer of capitalism, government.  Monopolies do not form naturally.  When firms get too big they get too bureaucratic and can end up inefficient.  Everyone likes to talk about Standard Oil.  Well take a look at its market share in the decades leading up to its breakup.  It certainly doesn't fit the ubiquitous paranoid leftoid myth that it would grow forever until Rockefeller own all of America.  Unfortunately we are a late stage civilization where the brainwashing is nearly total, so now these zombie firms get propped up by government when they should have died long ago.

Lucky Leprachaun's picture

I used to be the quietist most anti-racist guy you could meet. Now the incessant negro-worship makes we want to kick the screen in.

Jerky Miester's picture

... and I though I was the minority in that school of thought.  Many years ago, I had plenty of empathy in my tanks.  Now my empathy tanks are empty and I'm much better for it.  If you are a SJW and need empathy from me ... you're shit out of luck!

lakecity55's picture

No cable at the Ranch.

Off-Air TV when needed, otherwise, internets!

Fuck Cable TV.

Vilfredo Pareto's picture

Cut the cord.


I haven't owned a TV for years.  I won't pay for the privilege of being preached to.

Lucky Leprachaun's picture

Football still has a hold on me but it's rapidly declining. Now it's a case of your negores versus my negroes. Why should I bother?

GoyimUprising's picture

Its more than that.  I haven't owned a TV in years, but still have cable TV service, because they packaged it with my Internet at a special deal.

wide angle tree's picture

the companies just started charging more for internet connection so they make the money. I pay the same for internet asI did for internet and TV before.

Now going totally wireless is possible with a good plan if you are not streaming all the time.

Boris Badenov's picture

Internet and Cable go Hand-in-Hand. How stupid do they think we are charging us TWICE for the same wire into the house?

I cut BOTH cords and use Sprint/ Samsung phone's Hotspot for my home internet (I don't stream any shows, just YouTube).

Ace006's picture

I have internet separate from cable.

redmudhooch's picture


Goldennutz's picture





Calculus99's picture

I called Sky TV (sports) here in the UK because I was pissed off at the amount of adverts for Bookies (who pay a lot) and said I wanted a cut of the revenue otherwise forget my sub. So they halved it for 6 months.

Will do it again in 6 months because they're DESPERATE not to lose subs. Basically play these fuckers at their own game...

Lucky Leprachaun's picture

Bet it took you about 3 hours on the phone to get that done. They deliberately make it hard.

Golden Phoenix's picture

If you're calling the main support line that's true because they have no authority. The trick is to call the disconnect line whether you're actually going to disconnect or not. They have authority to give you all sorts of deals for customer retention purposes and they will because their bonus depends on it. A while back I noticed my internet bill had creeped up so I found their disconnect department number and in less than five minutes it was reduced by half for the next two years. Reduced my mother's landline cost per minute to a quarter of what it was. At the end of the bonus period lather, rinse, repeat.

SpinyNorman's picture

Way back in the pre-cable days, the news of this new idea how we get tv into our homes started by saying, "You will pay a subscription fee, so there won't be any commercials."


silverer's picture

Yank its umbilical cord from the wall and drag it to the curb. All useless propaganda that has ruined the quality of life and culture of all the countries of the world. Imagine how different your life would be today if TV was never introduced.

Dragon HAwk's picture

Haven't owned a telivision in over 43 years.

rtalcott's picture

Well...they do make nice, cheap and large 4k displays for the computers.

silverer's picture

That makes you eccentric. lol. Normal, but nobody knows what that is anymore. lol

EcoJoker's picture

These mother fuckers did it to themselves with exorbitant prices, bundling of bullshit channels nobody wants (who the fuck wants 4 Big 10 networks or golf channel?) and absolutely the worst customer service anywhere in the world.   FUCK them

CajonRat's picture

The internet is going to be way worse than TV ever was...

Lucky Leprachaun's picture

Depends on the extent to which our overlords allow us access Thought Crime on the net.

EcoJoker's picture

You might be right on this.

silverer's picture

Well, probably. It all just migrates to the internet somehow.

JoeTurner's picture

The collapse of ESPN is having a disproportionately large impact on the cable companies because it subsidizes so many other channels. The cable operators are pissing themselves over the recent weaponization of ESPN against the white middle class becuse they are the only ones that still pay $150/mo for cable... 

847328_3527's picture

The only cable worth watchng is ESPN so you can see multi-million dollar paid athletes piss on America before they throw a ball around.

JoeTurner's picture

monkeyball is so over....

Old Hippie Patriot's picture

Over the air television and cable are doomed by optical fiber connections. With an incredibly possible bandwidth, a properly designed optical system would be almost immune from lightning damage. Smart cable operators should start stringing optical fibers. Soon, wherever the power grid is connected, optical fibers will follow. That will render terrestrial, over the air television obsolete. The need for more cellular services bandwidth will eventually put enough pressure on the RF frequencies used for television and crowd it off the air. The only people left out in the cold would be off the grid and in the wilderness. They would use satellite services.

Naruhodo's picture

My neighbors have fiber internet connections at home. Every year they have to call in the cable guy to repair their lines due to weather damages and pests chewing them. I went wireless instead with 4G+ connection. Latency is just slighly slower than fiber but I could get my internet running within minutes. No need installation appointments, no contracts whatsoever. I'm also immune to lightning damages, as the modem I'm using is an indoor unit without the need for external antennas. Just hook up the power cords and ethernet cable, I'm already getting speeds above 100mbps.

5G is even more promising. Latencies below 1ms and gigabit speeds, fiber internet is so yesterday.

wally_12's picture

AT&T strung optical fiber adjacent to their cooper wire in our back yard about 10 years ago. A technician was working in our area and said he didn't know why AT&T wasn't connecting fiber optics to current users. The answer was obvious. The optical cable connection would allow competitors access to services they did not want to provide at the current profit levels. The optical cables are still strung in the back yard.

ebear's picture

Yarrr, that be dark fibre, lad.  Like the rigging on Flint's old ship.

BendGuyhere's picture

I cut the cord in 2012.

One of the best things I ever did.

tee vee is a profoundly toxic mind-poison.