The slow death of cable TV

Cable TV is an unnecessary expense causing less and less households to use it.


Kaden Boyer, Editor

Streaming services are dominating the new age of televised media. Cable TV, for a good portion of the past 30 years, has had a majority over U.S. households. The rise of the internet has increased the user base of platforms of streaming services that are slowly killing cable TV, which might be better for the American consumer. 

With cable TV having been the primary source of televised entertainment for the past decades, companies have in some sense been able to monopolize their service. Allconnect, a website where TV users report their feedback, found that the average monthly cable package cost was $217.42 per month. Cable companies for the most part have faced no external-market competition and have been able to overcharge for their service, simply because it used to be the only plausible way to watch TV. The competition from streaming services is cutting into that advantage. 

The streaming service market itself is very diverse and full of competition. Netflix has had the majority of market share for the past decade, however recently companies like Disney, Amazon, Apple, HBO, Paramount and more have been entering the market with their own streaming service. Competition between companies is good for consumers as it forces companies to appeal and better suit their product for the customer since they are competing with others. The diverse lineup of services also allows for consumers to be more selective with the content they want to see, so they won’t have to pay extra for content they have no interest in. 

According to a CBS News poll, 63% of Americans watched cable TV in 2016. Since then, it’s down to 45%. Cable TV is dying, primarily because of price and an outdated model. Utility bills are significantly cheaper without cable and installment, extra fees and customer service de-incentivize purchasing cable TV. With its slow death comes benefits for the future.

What could be anticipated is that most cable companies will be forced to alter their service or charge less to stay relevant. If they fail to accomplish such, it’s possible there’s hardly a market at all for cable companies within a decade. For Americans that use streaming, the ever-growing competing market is good as it is preventing monopolies from forming.