Thursday, February 21, 2013

Aereo: Positioned to be a Game Changer in Television

I was driving into work listening to Morning Edition on NPR like I usually do. I heard a story about a company called Aereo that peaked my interest. So today's rant, I mean blog post will focus on cable television and what may be a game changer in the industry. 

I don't know about the rest of you, but I despise having a cable bill. I hate the fact that my only options are to go with the provider that serves my town or subscribe to Direct TV or The Dish. Sorry, but I refuse to have those satellites hanging off of my roof or screwed into my siding. Outside of the aesthetics  my main issue is that as consumers we don't have choice. My cable bill is close to 100 dollars a month (and that's with bundling my Internet and no extras like HBO or Showtime). I know I don't watch one-third of the channels I have. Do you? For years I've wondered why I can't customize my cable and pay for the channels I actually want. Doesn't sound right to me. 

Well, a group of a savvy folks at Aereo, have found a way around the system by allowing users to watch broadcast TV over the Internet. Unfortunately, only residents of New York City can get the service. Full access to Aereo only costs eight dollars a month and allows users  to get broadcast signals of local shows, plus one can DVR up to 20 hours of programming. Not bad. One of the drawbacks to Aereo is that you aren't going to get the plethora of cable channels like AMC, Disney,  ESPN, FX, HBO, Showtime, etc., that you currently have with cable. When I think about it, is that really a drawback? Our problem in society is that we've become accustomed to paying for stuff we don't use, but think we should have. It is my belief that our regional cable monopolies have spawned online media companies like Netflix and Hulu. People are sick of traditional cable packages and want more options.

Planned markets for this year.
Folks, Aereo is a game changer and the cable industry and network television wants to stop them in their tracks. As I write this post, they're facing legal challenges. If Aereo can get through their legal issues they plan to expand to more cities, which will be a much needed change for consumers. 

We can choose our music, food, leaders, but we can't choose what we want to watch on TV or the company that provides us that service. I'm rooting for Aereo and I think you should too! After all, don't we live in the country of opportunity?


ChaChanna said...

I'm with you! I don't understand why cable companies are allowed to have this monopoly. Even more that they keep raising the prices and taking away channels from the plan I already have.

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