With streaming television becoming more and more popular, and providers like Aereo making an end-run around cable and satellite providers, a lot of attention is being paid to the future of bundled cable. In a world of growing choices and a weak, jobless economy, how long can something last that charges customers a ton of money for dozens of channels they never watch?
Bundled cable is, in my opinion, one of the greatest hustles ever perpetuated against the American people. The worst part is how it works as a kind of affirmative-action program for left-wing programming that likely wouldn’t survive in a world where we weren’t forced to pay for channels we never watch. Chief among them, CNN, and MSNBC.
As this discussion heats up, analysts and experts are fessing up that in a world without bundled cable, only 20 television networks would survive (that means that around 80 would not). Presumably, the survivors would be the twenty most-watched channels throughout the cable world. This would be terrible news for CNN, MSNBC, and HLN — networks that usually rank in the thirties and forties.
Fox News is usually in the top 5.
Network executives — whose bottom lines are boosted by as much as 50% from cable subscriber fees that have little to do with merit and everything to do with being able to muscle a cable provider into carrying a low-rated channel — are, for obvious reasons, opposed to the idea of unbundling bundled cable. Some even claim that the profit loss would hurt the viewer the most because there would be less money to conduct the experimentation that produces the television shows we love so much.
Nobody is really buying that.
What really terrifies the big media conglomerates is how the end of bundled cable would financially devastate their companies and along with it the cultural stranglehold they enjoy that is propagated through artificial means. The end of bundled cable means the end of tens of billions of dollars per year earned only by forcing consumers to pay for something they don’t use, and the end of dozens of channels — like MSNBC, CNN, MTV, etc. — that affect our culture and politics in the worst ways.
When you remove merit from television, what we are seeing now is what we get — cultural, left-wing rot.
Something CNN and MSNBC might want to consider as the existential threat of cord-cutting looms over them (people who cancel cable television) is that one reason this might be happening is Obama’s failed economy — you know, the economy they keep telling us is acceptable–the one created by the president and the policies he champions…
If the economy actually was something close to acceptable, people wouldn’t care about the size of their cable bills, which means we probably wouldn’t even be having this discussion.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC