December 18, 2008

JAMES RUMMEL on canceling his cable. “Yesterday I finally bowed to the inevitable and canceled my cable service. I kept the Internet connection, obviously. . . . Does anyone else out there remember when cable TV was the wave of the future? Most cities had three broadcast channels, and that was it. The first cable services would usually bring in an independent channel station or two from larger cities, TBS, CNN, and MTV. If you were lucky you got ten extra channels coming through the wire, which seemed to be pretty amazing at the time. The world turns, though. Now I am dissatisfied with close to 100 channels, all because they don’t provide the content I want when I want to watch. Instead of cable, I now look to free video-on-demand to entertain me for the four hours or so a week where I actually want to watch television.”

Other bad news for cable companies — every financial-advice guru I see advises folks strapped for cash to cancel their cable as one of their first money-saving moves. How many people who do so will go back later, when they have more money? Fewer than half, I’d guess.