June 15, 2011
Netflix vs. "The Keystone Cable Cos."
by Thurston Howell
I’ve found it amusing the past week watching all of the headlines about the cable television executives having their meeting of the minds regarding their bleak futures and The Netflix Problem. I have long maintained that Comcast shareholders and CONSUMERS would be better off if Netflix and Reed Hastings could put together a highly leveraged buyout of Comcast.
I use a Comcast cable modem and watch movies ON Netflix without any technical difficulty. Yet, I’ve had Comcast “On Demand” for over a year now and every time I have ever tried to watch a program on it, the screen freezes like a DVD dipped in Molasses. It seems ironic that I watch movies without difficulty through the Comcast PIPELINE - yet Comcast can't deliver me a TV show on demand without invariable difficulty. I haven't been able to watch an entire show on demand yet!
I only use Comcast because they have fiber optic lines and the Internet service is better than DSL. As for Comcast as a CONTENT PROVIDER - it really disturbs me off how they make customers pay for trash like M-TV, VH-1 and other left wing propaganda channels most of us DON’T WATCH (an don't want our children watching). They need to get out of content & be seen as a utility and nothing more.
I get 99 channels and only watch 3 of them. The one OTHER channel that I WANT is the NFL Network. These swindlers tell me that I have to order a whole additional package of 30 MORE channels that I won’t watch, just so I can now have 4 channels that I actually watch.
The other TRASH channels that have long served to debauch morals and indoctrinate our youth wouldn’t even EXIST if it were not for these cable clowns breaching their fiduciary duties by running the companies to advance their own leftist agendas. Instead of giving customers what they want, they have for DECADES taken –disappointed customer’s money- and have paid M-TV and other propaganda networks for their trash, WHILE STICKING IT to you and me, essentially giving us the one finger salute. I have repeatedly pleaded with Comcast’s inept customer service department to vocalize my disenchantment, requesting they offer NFL Network in a basic package (the way the satellite services do). They outright LIE - and blame it on the NFL. But I get these ads in the mail offering me the ONE network I want – if I “upgrade”.
They have also lied to customerss about the feasibility of offering customers something remotely resembling an À la carte menu that would give us even a diminutive amount of choice as to our basic package. I’m not buying it. The upgrades give you many choices of various channels. They screw us on basic because they have a monopoly. My cable is through my “master homeowner’s association” so I pay for it without choice. To go out and subscribe to Direct TV when I’m already forced to pay for the Comcast monopoly makes as little economic sense as upgrading to the premium package so I can get -1- channel. My other option would be to move to another neighborhood that doesn’t have cable built into the association dues. It’s not quite practical.
This matter will be moot when these canle scoundrels are essentially driven to obsolescence. In the 90’s the hype was centered on tales of “500 channels!” as though we should be impressed. In a matter of a couple years, the whole notion of “channels” will be an unmitigated joke. The notion of channels and programming “schedules” will be laughed about like record stores. It’s all about content and anyone with a web domain will be able to produce and distribute their content as long as they can hold the interest of an audience. We will not need Comcast to offer us programming like the NFL Network. I know where the NFL website is and I will be able to go there and watch it through the Internet on my TV (if we still use the word TV).
The only thing I want those cable idiots for is a pipe to my home. I want bandwidth – that’s it. These people are far too incompetent to survive this. There will be some with enough acuity to survive as aggregators and even controlling content by helping to fund production. Those cable execs are in WAY over their heads in that game. That is why intelligent shareholders would want someone like Hastings and his team to run their companies.
I will revel in their demise. The TECHNOLOGY of cable is the ONLY worthwhile asset. The incompetent swindlers who currently RUN the cable companies are about as much an asset to shareholders as John Riggas and sons.
They should be in prison with Riggas truth be told. Get Reed Hastings in ... there and despite the leverage required for a Netflix acquisition – the value of these cable companies will rapidly escalate over the next decade.
Also, they need to either lower their prices for movies on demand. They would make up for it in volume. These geniuses just can't understand that the public has a price point for the average cost they're willing to pay per home movie - and cable companies exceed it. I believe that price is around $3.00 per. That is a major reason why they can't get critical mass and become the standard. They are their own worst enemy. - Thurston@ThurstonHowell.net
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