Cut It Out With The Cord Cutting

Maybe this is one of those old man things, but I really don’t understand cord cutting. If you’re trying to save money and all you ever use your TV for is the odd movie or something here and there then perhaps it makes sense to ditch cable and just pay $10 a month for Netflix or whatever, but if you’re actually somebody who watches TV on the regular, why would you ever do this?

There’s a lot you can say about the companies that offer it, but cable itself is pretty easy. You plug it in, turn it on and everything is there. All the news, all the sports, all the movies, all the silly ass reality shows are there for you to find and consume. And if you have the right device, you can do it all on your own schedule. Don’t have a station you want? Hit a few buttons or call in and add it for an extra couple of dollars.

That’s right, you can add single channels. It’s amazing how many people don’t know this. No matter what the rep on the phone tells you, you don’t have to buy a gigantic extra package just to get the one more thing you want. It hasn’t been that way for years, at least not with our Rogers service. You start with a main package, then add on until it’s exactly how you like it. And if you ever want to change something, just call in and change it.

Ironically this package thing is more of a streaming problem now, which is kind of my whole point. If you’ve got Netflix but there’s something on Crave that you want to see, you have to sign up for Crave. If all of the Disney and HBO stuff disappears from those two, you’ll need to sign up for HBO Max and Disney+ to get it back. Then if you like a certain sport, you need to get the streaming packages from TSN and Sportsnet, plus the service run by that sport, assuming it has one. If it doesn’t, maybe you need to sign up for something like DAZN or B/R Live. And if you want to watch something on an actual television station and don’t have an antenna or can’t get the signal over the air, you’re ponying up for YouTube TV or somesuch and before you know it, you might as well just get cable again. All of this, by the way, assumes that you’ve got good enough internet and technical skills to get any of the above to work seamlessly with your television.

How nobody saw this coming I have no idea. It’s so obvious that I’ve been saying it for years to anyone who will listen. And it’s going to get worse before it gets better, because any idiot with some money and some content can start his own streaming service.

I’m not saying all streaming services need to die in a fire. Some competition is good. It’s already starting to make the experience of subscribing to cable better, for one thing. What I’m saying is that in our rush to embrace new technology, we’re starting to get carried away. More importantly, we’re starting to recreate the very same problems that all of this was supposed to solve. We’re repeating history, just with a different wire.

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