Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Not Counting on Cable

Viacom is just the latest in a series of cable TV content owners to pull their channels from a major TV subscription service. While the middlemen in the cable business point fingers at each other, the experience of a few weeks without Comedy Central and MTV (or whatever channels it will be in next month’s blackout) gives viewers a chance to see how optional cable really is. It is something viewers will remember, perhaps later this year or next, when their circumstances change or their current discount period expires and they have to decide whether to keep their television service or let it drop. Price changes also take away from the perception of television as having a lasting or permanent place in a person’s lifestyle. The more television comes across as fitful and haphazard, the easier it is for subscribers to change their minds too.