If you want the opinion of this reporter, the cable business model worked better back when the TV was the only device in your house that lit up and showed pictures. Since it was your only source of entertainment besides books, it made sense to pay for as many channels as possible. Nowadays our attention is divided between so many devices, websites and apps that most cable networks go unviewed, especially those networks where 90% of their programming is super-cheap reality shows and the other 10% is infomercials. Not only are many cable channels useless, but the prices demanded for them are outrageous. Something is going to give soon.
And it’s giving already. The various corporations in the cable industry, all one of them, have been rocked by repeated concessions to a growing throng of consumers who no longer feel it’s worth it to pay nearly $200 a month for 5,000 channels they’ll never watch, just to get two or three they will. New internet streaming programs, most of them much cheaper than a cable bill, allow customers to get closer to a-la-carte than they have ever been before. A big domino fell last month when ESPN finally became available on a streaming service, SlingTV.
The other pillar Big Cable had to worry about was HBO, and that concession seemed inevitable too when Home Box Office announced their own streaming plan called “HBO Now.” Somewhere between then and this very day, though, someone got cold feet: at today’s Apple news conference, which was mainly about their smartwatch, CEO Tim Cook revealed HBO Now would be an exclusive service of Apple products. Meaning if you don’t own one of their super-expensive pieces of hardware, you’re SOL.
If you’re desperate, there’s a workaround: HBO Now will also be streamable through the company’s website, which any computer, PC or Mac, can access. If that doesn’t satisfy, you have one month to find a cheap Apple TV: Game of Thrones Season 5 starts this April.