Online Video Threatens Local TV Stations

Here’s a good argument that local TV stations could soon be in the same straits as newspapers. I’m dropping DirecTV this weekend and just going with Netflix streaming video. I haven’t gotten local stations for seven years.  #

12 Responses to “Online Video Threatens Local TV Stations”


  • I have considered doing that very thing but the main thing that stops me is the fact w/my DSL at home it is constantly buffering the video I’m trying to watch. So a 30 min video on Hulu b/c a 45 min. stop and go process. I don’t know how to offset that or if its possible. Good idea though…

  • Sometimes TV Watcher

    I think online video will gain a stronger foothold as long as it stays free/inexpensive and deals with issues like the buffering HES talks about. I guess watching on even a decent computer screen seems foreign or too small to people. I gave up cable years ago due to cost and use my digital conversion box infrequently to tune in to broadcast TV.

    That said, there is a place for local television still: elections, weather and sports for example. Perhaps online services can replace those functions.

    I like HULU and other online television websites that allow me to watch when I want from anywhere. No longer am I tied to TIVO or a VCR. Better yet the commercials are much fewer and less intrusive.

    Here’s an example. I would have liked to have seen the Lost finale in real-time, but I couldn’t. When I watched it the following day it was 100 minutes online instead of the 150 minutes live broadcast with all the commercials. Yes I had to watch commercials – maybe 20 at 30-seconds each.

  • We stream movies from netflix to our wii and so can watch them on the TV. I can’t believe the number of things we’ve been able to watch for free this way.

  • I no longer watch television. Not as it was when I was a kid.

    I refuse to pay for Cable/Comcast. I refuse to buy DishNetwork because they are owned by SBC Global now known as AT&T and in my experience of them (from an unwitting scab employee perspective) they are crooks.

    I might eventually get Direct Tv. But only if I can have a West Coast Feed and only after I’ve got my ideal home theater system installed. ut right now my Home entertainment center isn’t worth the expenditure.

    Where I live I can only get NBC 29 via Rabbit ears, and the quality isn’t that great. I can’t get any of the other stations, nor any of the PBS stations.

    Thankfully I can find some worth while free PBS shows streaming online- Masterpiece Theater for example. Why bother with the rest of the crap?

    So when my main Tv died from old age. I gave it up.

    I only watch TV online now.

    None of the Big 3 networks stream/simulcast their news shows online so I have not seen National network news broadcast for well over a year and a half. Unless I was visiting a friend who had tv and cable at the time. Podcasts don’t count- why should I want to watch yesterdays news today?

    Occasionally I might remember that NBC29 streams their local broadcasts online… so might catch them.

    But otherwise I watch my tv shows online exclusively.

    I can pick and choose the shows I want to watch, and can watch them when I want to watch them.

    As long as I don’t need to watch the show the day it is aired… I am not tied to a network’s artificial schedule. I can make my own TV viewing schedule.

    I don’t have to sit through and hour or two of “Reality Tv” or similar crap.

    Because I can pick and choose only those shows that interest me… I watch less TV. Maybe 1 or 2 hours a night… if that.

    Overall There are less commercials. I can see exactly where in the show they will occur. I can pause the show and go get a snack. Or I can let the commercial run (muted) while I check out another website or news article.

    Because I can pause the show and check out another website… the viewing of the show stretches out longer… thus I spend less time actually watching tv show.

    So yeah, I can see how the financial model of broadcast and cable tv is threatened.

    And I’m not much bothered by it either.

  • I dropped cable programming over two years ago (and my telephone land line over 5 years ago). I don’t miss it. Instead I just pay for Comcast’s data service only. I get my online video mainly from Hulu, Netlfix, and a few other media sites. I put together a small HTPC, and that’s driving my TV now. Anything I can see in a web page is “on TV”, and many of the various media web sites now stream video at a good enough data rate that it looks way better than standard definition TV did on my same TV when I paid for programming. I recently put an antenna on my TV just to see what I was missing, and it didn’t take any time at all for me to remember why I canceled programming: Having to meet a broadcast schedule that doesn’t match my schedule, poor transitions/cut-off shows, mega-amplified commercial volume, and news shows that deliver 1/10th the content in the 1/2 to 1 hour format that I could read for myself in 10 minutes online at far greater depth. The one thing in recent memory that I absolutely wanted to see broadcast was the last presidential inauguration, so I drove to a friend’s house.

  • And the last inauguration was actually available via C-SPAN’s website, so you could have watched that online, too!

  • We’ve been Hulu and Youtube only for a couple of years.

  • Ditto. We dropped our dish service a few years ago and then when the digital switch happened last year I just never got around to getting a conversion box.

    My kids have no idea that TV in the formerly conventional even exists. They either watch DVDs, downloaded stuff on the computer, or streaming video from Netflix.

    Heads up, those of you who work in broadcast television. Your industry will not exist in 10 years. Your entire audience will consist of elderly people who never figured out how to use a computer and there will be fewer and fewer of them every year.

  • I loathe Comcast… I watch only sports on tv and nexflix and Roku everything else.

  • I’d dearly love to ditch my $65 a month Dish Network service BUT:

    – the DSL at our house goes down for a day at least once a month (it’s out right now)
    – Comcast doesn’t come within 5 miles of my house
    – cell signals are spotty: AT&T has no service and Verizon gets me two bars on a good day from the second floor
    – over-the-air TV is hit and miss and VERY annoying to try to watch. It used to be snowy when it was analog, now that it’s digital it freezes constantly

    And this is NOT some far hollow; we’re two miles off 29 North in Albemarle County.

  • I’d love to switch and get off cable, but there’s no acceptable option for live sports. Until there is .. stuck with comcast. :\

  • @ Just Bob,
    DISH is not owned by AT&T, fwiw.

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