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Sunday, February 27, 2011

I got 57 channels and nothin' on....."

I upgraded my cable a few months ago to about 400 channels and I still don’t have much on. For some unknown reason, I saved $5 a month by EXPANDING my service.

When I called Cox Cable initially, I inquired about how I could receive the Fox Business Channel. The representative told me “no problem” and when I asked him how much more it would cost, he said he could give me a few more tiers of programming along with Fox Business and it would save me $5. Since I believe the old saying about not looking a gift horse in the eye, I took the offer and hung up before he could change his mind.

With the competition among the satellite dish companies, the phone companies, and the cable companies, I think it is pretty easy to get deals these days. It is a buyer’s market now and may become more of one as many people are streaming shows through their computers now. Plus, as Bruce said in 1992, he had 57 channels and nothin’ was on. That was a lot of nothing for that year and it is a lot more now.

For example, how many of you watch any of the three C-Span channels? Hallmark Channel? Lifetime? Oxygen? SoapNet? Or those shopping channels? That’s what I thought. We are all paying for that stuff and never watch it. Why can’t cable companies let us go a la carte and buy what we want? I know that is rhetorical as we are stuck with those channels because they make the cable guys money.

A recent survey showed that between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. channels like the Golf Channel, TV Guide Channel, and BBC America receive less than 0.1 per cent of households that have those stations available. A TV writer for a Midwest newspaper lists the following channels as the “10 least wanted channels” on cable TV. These channels have been on the air at least three years and these numbers indicate their average nightly prime time audience during the last quarter of 2010:

Current (18,000 households), DIY, 80,000, ESPN Classic, 19,000, Fox Soccer Channel, 33,000, GAC, 49,000, LOGO, 39,000, Outdoor, 46,000, RFD TV, 56,000, Sleuth, 81,000, VH1 Classic, 31,000.

I’ve never heard of five of those channels. They are only taking up space but we are stuck with them. There is a lot of back scratching in that business and I’m sure those channels piggy back their way on to systems.

So, what comes next? I watched a 1997 film the other night called “Jackie Brown”. In that film there was a scene in a music store and they had shelves full of cassette tapes. The cars looked old fashioned too compared to now even though now is only 14 years later. Change comes fast these days.

Cable TV is cumbersome and they are wheeling and dealing. Look for some drastic changes soon.


PROUD 2 BE said...

I "click" from 1 to 57, so fast it don't much matter!

Still said...

I watch 2 or 3 channels of our hundreds, Jim. Fox News, of course, and then I record a handful of shows on Biography or I.D. (true crime). Otherwise, the t.v. is tuned to whatever it is the kids watch (or the news). Too many choices, I think!