Time to Cut the Cord for Good
Now I don’t have cable, and my nightly routine hasn’t changed in the least.
I finally cut the cord last week.
I understand that I’m late to the get-rid-of-cable-TV party, but better late than never.
It’s nice to save about $100 a month, but even more satisfying is knowing where my money won’t be going any longer.
To Disney, NBC, Warner and Fox, among so many other woke corporations drunk on DEI, ESG, CRT and Pride. The problem is, if you give them money, it only encourages them. If the greed-crazed Murdochs and Robertses get used to grabbing all this money automatically from millions of us every month, no matter how outrageously they insult and belittle us, they’re never going to change.
I had Comcast cable. I still get Internet from them. But going down to the Dedham office and saying “I’m outta here!” was a good start.
Comcast owns NBC, so I was subsidizing MSNBC and all of Joe Biden’s amen chorus. I could list some of them, but it’s too depressing to even type their names.
I never watched MSNBC, or CNBC or any of their other wretched channels, but I was paying for it.
Except for NFL football, Tucker Carlson was the last thing I watched on cable. (Newsmax is available on line.)
Come Labor Day and the return of pro football, I’ll have to figure some way to watch the games. It won’t be that difficult.
When I mentioned on the radio what I’d done, my listeners kidded me about how long it had taken me to take the step they’d made years earlier.
“Welcome to 2013,” one texter said.
But the cord-cutting has accelerated lately.
Last year, 3.5 million cable subscribers checked out, 2 million of them Comcast customers. According to the numbers, Comcast lost another 614,000 subscribers in the first quarter.
Same trend in satellite TV – DirectTV lost 1.5 million paying customers last year.
But what are – or were – you getting for all that money? Some surveys show that most cable subscribers only watch five or six channels.
My personal bill of fare included Fox, ESPN and Turner Classic Movies. And not much else. But then I drifted away from TCM – how long has it been since they had a Charlie Chan film fest? And now Warner is apparently gutting TCM with layoffs and (much worse) editing the old classics so as not to offend anybody who would never watch the channel anyway.
Then there was ESPN, key word was. I used to watch college basketball, especially the team from the college I went to, UNC.
UNC won the national championship in 2017, but the coach refused to let the team go to the White House because… Donald Trump. That was it for me. See ya later, Tar Heels.
ESPN has a lot of baseball too, but even before the Woke Sox put the giant Black Lives Matter sign on the wall of Fenway facing the Turnpike, I had moved on. Baseball’s beyond boring.
According to statistics, ESPN represents $9.42 a month of the average cable TV bill. So my annual tribute to the wokesters in Bristol was close to $120 a year. And for that all I got was to watch maybe 15 or 16 Monday night NFL games.
Didn’t seem like a good investment.
In the last fiscal year, ESPN shed two million subscribers. So did its “sister” Disney Channel.
Two million here, two million there, pretty soon you’re talking real numbers.
Since I cut the cord, people have been suggesting different entertainment options for me. Some recommend buying one of the more efficient new high-tech antennas to pick up the local broadcast channels. But why?
What do I care about prime-time network programming, or local television news? Are you kidding?
Remember in 1990 when John Silber lost the governor’s race to Bill Weld because he was rude to Natalie Jacobsen, the anchor-madonna of Channel 5?
If that happened today, not only would it not affect the campaign, practically no one would even know what had happened, because so few people watch local TV news.
A few years back, NBC decided to start a new local news operation on Channel 10. I couldn’t identify a single on-air person from… whatever it is they call their newscast. (I think I know a cameraman who used to work at the Herald).
Actually, a couple of months back, Channel 10 did do a good story on a local dirtball selectman in Holbrook. Someone called and told me about it and I watched it… on line.
The only programming I ever watch on any of the NBC networks is the Sunday night NFL game. The trade publications say sports, largely pro football, is all that is “saving” mass media. Maybe short term, but not for long.
Back in the day, I’m sure that the Hearst execs running the old Record American realized that their trend lines weren’t looking too healthy either. But they figured they could hang on as long as the Record carried the daily number.
They were right, until they weren’t. Something happened. It was called the Mass State Lottery.
Something new is always coming along. Joseph Schumpeter called it the “creative destruction” of technology and economics.
Millions of people have replaced cable with streaming. Not for me. If I want to watch an old movie, I’ll find something on YouTube. Most nights, though, I’ll just put on the internet radio and read a book, or just check out the internet.
In other words, the same thing I was doing when I had cable TV. Now I don’t have cable, and my nightly routine hasn’t changed in the least.
Some things are easier to get rid than others. Bud Light for instance – you can always find another lousy beer. Amazon Prime is a harder habit to break.
So far, I’d put ditching cable TV as closer to quitting Transheuser Busch than to getting rid of Amazon Prime.
Cable TV – include me out.