Cord-cutting

What is cord-cutting?  This term refers to consumers terminating their cable tv  subscriptions.   Today, I read an article on NPR.com from November 5, 2010, written by The Associated Press entitled Cable Subscribers Flee, But Is Internet to Blame?  The first two paragraphs of the article state

TV subscribers are ditching their cable companies at an even faster rate in the past few months, and many of them aren’t signing up with a satellite or phone competitor instead.

Their willingness to simply go without  pay television could be a sign that Internet TV services such as Netflix and Hulu are finally starting to entice people to cancel, though company executives say the weak economy and housing market are to blame.

My two cents?  Because of this “Great Recession”  consumers realize that cable tv is NOT A NECESSITY.  One can EXIST without cable tv.  Moreover, if a consumer must make a choice between cable tv or internet access (because the consumer doesn’t have enough money for both), paying for internet service is better bang for the buck.

I purchased my house in January 2005.  I have declined to subscribe to cable or satellite tv.  I knew it would, frankly, be a waste of money.  And coming from a condo where there were 280 units and the cable bill was a fraction (about $25/month), I could not get such a sweet deal in a single family home.

Sure, I missed some channels – Discovery, ESPN, the History Channel, cable news when a major news event was happening.  But when I lived in the condo, the tv was more often OFF than ON.  When I did turn on the tv, I often flipped channels bored with the offerings.

Last year I was forced to get that digital converter since I don’t have cable or satellite tv.  I watched some television but not much.  One digital converter was purchased for the tv my late great aunt watched.  Since she has passed, I have rarely turned on the tv.

I was weened off of tv some time ago.  In the early to mid 1990s, I was stationed in the United Kingdom while in the United States Air Force.  I lived off the installation.  In England (at least back then) you had to pay for a yearly license to get BASIC tv, i.e. four channels.  The cost was about $150 to $175/year.  I, coming from America, where we had free “commercial” tv, with more than four channels, though the price for a license was outrageous.  So I watched no tv during my two-year tour in England except if I happened to be on base and watched tv.  (My brother was kind enough to record a couple of my favorite shows and I did watch them on the vcr.)

So, how did I survive?  RADIO.  In England there are variety of formats on the radio.  There are game shows on the radio, a soap opera (The Archers) on the radio.  Of course there’s music.  And there was sports on the radio (I believe Radio 5 at that time).  I listened to a show called “The Dirty Tackle” (fishing) [not that I paid much attention; just background noise].  I listened to Formula One on the radio (yes, that’s possible).  And, it was exciting listening to the World Cup on the radio (because they are so enthusiastic about football).

I’m still a big fan of RADIO.  What I love about RADIO is that you can listen and do other tasks.  For example, yesterday afternoon,  I cleared one of my vegetable garden plots, added composted cow manure, planted two native perennials (in a different location) and added mulch.  While doing all of that work, I listened to the football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Indianapolis Colts.  What an exciting game and a surprising result!

I’m not completely “tv” free.  I have a combined vcr/dvd to watch movies.  And I download video podcasts of the Suze Orman show, GardenFork.TV, and Delicious TV VegEz.

So, give it a try!  Ween yourself, your family off of cable tv.  Cut the cord!  And you may have extra money in your checking account at the end of the month.  😉

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