I’m not a cord-cutter, but lots of my friends are. I don’t know that I’ll ever be a cord-cutter – I just watch too much TV and don’t want to deal with streaming my shows online or resorting to piracy; I just let my TiVo do its thing. But cord-cutters are becoming more and more prevalent and it’s something more content distributors are addressing. And – surprisingly – they’re not all on the same page.
The big ticket for cord-cutters – the Holy Grail, if you will – is HBO Go. It’s no secret that HBO puts out a lot of great content, and everyone wants in. That’s why companies like Comcast and Time Warner are putting out HBO-centric TV and internet bundles. But they’re not cheap – well, not cheap enough, anyway – for most people, and the fees go up after a year anyway. Plus, HBO’s CEO is apparently totally okay with you sharing your HBO Go password, so why fork over money to a TV conglomerate when your roommate’s dad’s co-worker does? SPREAD THE WEALTH!
But while networks like HBO are (ever so slightly) opening their doors to cord-cutters, others are slamming them in their faces. Earlier this month, for example, ABC blocked all of its on-demand content to anyone without a cable login. But at the same time, ABC also made it possible for cable subscribers to login from anywhere at any time and watch ABC (or ABC Family) live. That’s awesome … especially for my sister, who’s mooching off my parents’ login and is addicted to all things ABC Family has to offer.
We’re in a weird place right now when it comes to content, and it’s more confusing than anything else. I pay for just about every channel FiOS has to offer, but that still doesn’t entitle me to use the FX Now app on my Xbox One. Why? I have no idea. Just about every other major cable provider seems to be included, but I guess FiOS and FX never worked out a deal. (And it would certainly be nice to be able to stream every episode of The Simpsons without ever having to get off my couch to swap out DVDs.)
I get that there are a lot of logistics and deals that need to be signed to have even a single provider offer up an on demand or streaming library, but it shouldn’t be this needlessly complicated. We’re about to reach a tipping point in TV content – if we haven’t already. I want to see how this all shakes out.