good point

FlowTV | The Anachronism of Television Subscription Packages

Television shows can be found on iTunes, video rental stores, and networks’ own websites not long after they air, but cable companies recognize no such preference for individual selectability. This stance has thrown many of the cable companies’ own words into a contradictory light. Companies like Bresnan Communications, a subscription cable provider, claim “It’s personal” as their corporate slogan, but require customers to subscribe to packages that would be hard to justify as satisfying the personal desires of individual cable customers. Other cable companies like DirectTV and Time Warner air commercials for themselves explaining how their service offers more choice over their competitors’, but both require their customers to subscribe to packages. The “choice” being offered is simply over who provides the packages, but the packages themselves are strikingly similar and non-negotiable for individual consumers. If television viewers are not able to use that medium to gain access to the content they want when they want it, then the medium itself can only continue to make itself an increasingly irrelevant part of that viewer’s media lifestyle. One recent survey by IBM, for example, indicates that younger generations are trending away from television time in favor of other media time, predominantly the Internet (“IBM Consumer Survey,” 2007). Without a justification for such obstinacy on the part of the cable companies, one could not blame viewers for abandoning television for other venues more accommodating to their media desires and whims.

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