Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Anti-Cable Rant

A fellow blogger here on the East CoastSamster Mommy, recently wrote about the cancellation of All My Children.  At the end she posed the following question: "I’m curious, am I the only one who feels this way or have you been run over by the big guy?"  The following post is my response to her question.

I have been run over by "The Big Guy".  I am man, hear me roar.  As required by the Man Code and programmed into my DNA, I am a HUGE sports fan.  If there is any chance that I might witness someone losing a tooth, breaking a bone, tearing a ligament, or sustaining a concussion, I'll be watching.  Not that I get upset if none of the preceding happens, I just like a nice collision from time to time, whether it be baseball-to-chest, helmet-to-helmet, fist-to-face, or cleat-to-shin.  I am a man.  A man with a single income and a family to support.  A man with a wife who likes to watch cooking shows.  A man with a daughter who likes Yo Gabba Gabba.  A man without Cable.

I do have a subscription to Netflix, but where is that getting me these days?  They've raised prices and apparently have plans to change things even more.  And, yes, I do have internet access, but there's more than one way to fry a fish, if you know what I mean.  I use the internet to stream Netflix into my home.  But now even Netflix is making changes.  They will no longer have the option to stream AND have DVDs sent to your home.  The DVD service has been cut from Netflix entirely as they "prepare for DVDs to go the way of VHS."  The good news is that they will now be lowering prices for their streaming service, back down to $7.99 per month.  The bad news?  If you want DVDs sent to your home, we will have to subscribe to Qwikster (Huh?) for an additional $7.99 per month, putting us back in the same sinking boat we were in when they raised prices last month.  Why do I need the DVD service?  Well, to put it simply, their streaming selection pretty much sucks.  And with their contract with Starz about to expire, it's not looking to get better any time soon.

There was a time that I used the internet to stream live sporting events directly to my computer and on through my TV.  We even rang in New Year's 2011 with and HD cable running from my laptop to the TV.  But that was almost ten months ago and those days are in the past.  Last night I tried to watch my beloved Washington Redskins take on the hated Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football.  I did this last year by using, which I tried using a few weeks ago when the season started, hoping to find some college football to watch, only to find that it has now changed to  What's the difference you might ask?  Well, let me tell you.  Now, in order to watch an event that is being televised nationally, you need to be a subscriber to one of three major cable providers, none of which I can even subscribe to given the location of my house (curse my suburban life!).  But that's not the only reason.  The price of cable has skyrocketed in this country, and, with the digital switch-over, you can't even watch network TV without a $50.00 box per set.

So, after much searching on Google, I found a free streaming webcast of my football game, only to be disappointed by a knuckle headed quarterback who tried to escape a defensive end when he can't outrun his own offensive linemen.  This play resulted in a fumble, and dashed my hopes of getting to see my team start 3-0 for the first time in quite a few years.  We live in a money-hungry society and I've had it with these cable companies who rake in millions of advertising dollars every month.  And their profits continue to grow.  Why?  Because they are constantly raising prices and ripping people off to no end.  And it's not just the TV companies that are doing this to us.  Now, because of the popularity of the internet, our local newspaper has limited their website to subscribers only.  If you don't pay for the daily online paper service, you can't read the stories.  What's next?  Am I going to have to pay every time I open a Microsoft Office product?  Let's hope not, but they way things are going, I wouldn't be surprised.  I'll be looking into Google TV in the very near future, but don't expect a review on that any time soon, as their devices cost around $250 per box, and I'll have to wait until the money tree in the back yard blooms in the spring to get one of them.

So I pass the question on to you: Have you been run over by The Big Guy?

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