Monday, October 4, 2021

Streamers are turning streaming into cable

This might hurt some feelings. If so, too bad. I'm not intending to hurt anyone's feelings, but this is how I feel about it, and I'm going to share it. If I step on your toes, take a moment and consider if your toes should have been there.

The recent dustup between Google and NBCUniversal over the latter's channels continuing to be included in the former's YouTube TV service emphasizes that the troubles we, the consumers, had with cable and satellite services and TV channels.

Think about how many times there would be a scroll across the bottom of the screen where the service would tell you to contact the channel or channel's parent company to let them know you want them to keep the channel on your cable or satellite service.

That was how the cable or satellite service conducted a public part of their negotiations with the channel or the channel's parent company.

Sometimes, the channel would be lost for a period fo time, but many times there would be no interruption. It would be a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Only I wonder if we were the idiots.

For those that don't know their Shakespeare, according to the play Macbeth, about the play itself:

It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

The cable, satellite, and TV companies were the ones telling the tale. And we were the ones paying for it, We didn't fight back. We didn't tell them that we would just put up an antenna and watch the channels for free.

No, we let them fight it out, sometimes even taking up their cause and fighting for them, and then paying more in cable and satellite subscription packages.

But, hey, we're streaming now, right? We don't have those issues, right?


The NBCUniversal dispute with YouTube TV shows us that the disputes we left behind ... they have found us. And both sides of that dispute did the same thing the cable, satellite, and TV station companies did. They sent emails, set up Websites, wrote blog posts, and posted on Twitter, urging us, the consumers, to take up their cause. And some did.

I didn't. I blame both of them.

I don't subscribe to YouTube TV, so if the channels were lost, no big deal. I already don't watch them live. And, the only NBCUniversal channels in the lineup that I do watch, I can either watch on Hulu ($6/month) or live via antenna. None of the other channels are on my radar. Neither really matters.

I do like the way Google handled it. They said if the channels were lost, they'd reduce the price. So, props to them for taking that approach. And, for now anyway, it looks like nothing came of it.

A lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Told by an idiot. To a bunch of idiots, who put up with it.

I'm not excluding myself from that, by the way.

You see, the live streaming services have simply brought the cable experience to streaming. That includes the disputes and outages and such. Anyone who subscribes to a live streaming service has contributed to this. And while I am quick to say that I don't subscribe to a live streaming service, right now, during football season, I do. And I'm a part of the problem.

I want to be able to subscribe to sports and not have to finance the rest of the channels. But, that's not what we have. In order to watch the football games I want, I play along with the live streaming services, and help support the system that contains all the problems.

I want a simple Streaming Life. But it's not. Not really. And it's your fault. And mine.

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