Over the years, the popularity of cable television has increased dramatically. Likewise, the price for “triple play” services increased more exorbitantly. “Triple play” is a bundle of phone, television, and internet services provided by cable companies, such as Comcast, Verizon, and Time Warner Cable.
According to an article on CNN, “The cost of those "triple-play" services has jumped about 6.3 percent on an annual basis for the past three years, a time when overall inflation was running barely 2 percent.”
With disputes between broadcast networks and greedy cable providers, cable television begins to decline in popularity. The article states, “When Macquarie asked consumers which service they would cut first if they had to save money, a whopping 76 percent said they would get rid of their pay-TV service. The remaining 24 percent were split evenly between broadband Internet and wireless phone service.”
However despite cables popularity, with the rise of Netflix and other streaming television options online, cable continues to become a necessity of the past. Yet cable providers want to hike prices up for their own selfish desires. This will lead to more people unable to pay their monthly cable or “triple play” payments.
For example, Comcast’s television packages are considered expensive. They attempt to draw customers in by giving deals for the first six or twelve months. Most people do not read that once that set trial is finished, “regular rates will apply.” For example, the Digital Preferred package costs $49.99 per month for the first six months. This package gives the customer around 150 channels and On Demand service. However, once the six month period elapses, “the price ranges between $73 to $86” with extra for HBO.
All of these prices do not account for Internet and phone, the other two legs of the “triple play” plan. Instead of paying these steep prices for cable television, one can buy a Netflix account for $8.99 a month. Although they do not have every television show out there, they have several original shows and many favorites. The moment that Netflix expands their programming, cable television will take a massive hit.
Many cable networks have pulled programming from several broadcasters due to conflicts in negotiations. According to the article, “CBS blocked out its channel for Time Warner Cable customers after the cable provider refused to meet the broadcaster's rate increase demands.”
The networks are the problem, and they are the largest reason why rates for cable continue to increase.
This leads to unhappy customers and broadcasters bundling the programming together, making customers pay more for the one channel they may want and several others they will never watch.
One way to improve upon this situation is to allow customers to handpick the channels that they want. In that case, each person or household is paying a specific amount for only the channels they know that they will watch. There is no sense in paying extra for the “sports tier package” if the only channel you will watch on it is NFL Network.
Cable television needs to watch their next step because video streaming continues to make the climb to customer satisfaction.