Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cutting the cord on Rogers Cable

The other day I was talking about how television content distributors are buying up the content creators, so that they can continue to charge high cable subscription fees whilst cutting costs at the same time.

One of those content creators I mentioned was sports.

There's a reason for this being important today:  

Whilst normal shows and movies go to Netflix where you can see most of the same content at a discount of some 80% or more compared to cable, sports and live events can't.  If it's not on live, people will look up live scores on the Internet.

The cable companies know this, and so you pay through the nose for the privilege of watching it live.  Just take the 2010 Olympic debacle at NBC to see how far hosing can go.  They delayed the entire Olympics till evening in EST, by which point anyone with an Internet connection had already heard who won which events.

So last night I called Rogers to cut our cable.  After five minutes of explaining that our shows come over the Internet (Netflix, Apple TV, iTunes, etc) and there's no value to paying $70 a month for bundles of channels we don't need and previously had unsuccessfully asked Rogers to unbundle, the Rogers "Customer Retention" guy went to pull out what he thought was his ace cards...

Rogers: "You need news!"
Me: "Twitter points me to the stories on the Internet".
Rogers: "Well", he says with a knowing chuckle, "You gotta have your sports!"
Me:  *goes off on a soapbox lecture about Rogers, the Skydome, the team they own, and how they didn't pay a fair price for the Skydome, the fact that sports is a premium channel, the fact I don't like waiting on hold for ages for Rogers, their crappy service, the high prices, and the fact there's absolutely no value whatsoever to me*
Rogers:  "Ok, well if that's how you feel, we will disconnect - however there is a 30 day notification period on this, so you will be charged one more time."
Me: "Thanks. I fully expected you to shaft me with one last bill for a service I've told you I'm not using and would like to have cancelled immediately."

Yeah, Rogers is a real stellar company like that.

However, I'm just the tip of the iceberg.  Cable TV is just a way to get you to pay for something that used to be free... it's a product of the baby boomers.  If you want to see where the other 4/5ths of the iceberg is that's slowly about to smash into the Rogers Titanic, look at the teens and kids in college.  They already have Netflix and iTunes and so forth.  They've never paid $70 for cable.  

Do you honestly think that they'll start paying $70 for the same content, not on demand and peppered with adverts, when they finally leave home?