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The Internet vs. Cable

GigaOM’s NewTeeVee site posted an open thread for discussion yesterday. The question they posed: Are Cord Cutters Hip, or Poor?

I first saw the post via Tweet, and my instant response was “Shouldn’t there be a third category here? Or even a fourth? Maybe they’re just smart. Or busy.”

I get my mobile service through Verizon, my home Internet through Comcast, I have a basic Cable subscription with Comcast, too, and I am Netflix subscriber. So I can’t claim to actually be a cord cutter myself, but the amount of programming I actually watch on a regular basis by actually sitting down in my living room and turning on the TV is extremely minimal these days. Seriously, it boils down to maybe 1 or 2 episodes of The Daily Show or Colbert Report each week, and, if I’m around for it, I’ll watch 30 Rock at it’s actual scheduled air time.

By contrast, my usual consumption via Netflix or Hulu each week usually contains some mixture of the following: An old episode of TopGear, The West Wing, Weeds, Family Guy or something else via Netflix, the past week’s 30 Rock episode on Hulu, maybe the past week’s episode of The Office on Hulu, and if I can carve out the time I might stream a full movie via Netflix either on my Playstation 3 or on my computer. And it’s not like I’m relegated to watching Steven Seagal’s latest direct-to-video abomination. I streamed Iron Man last week. It rocked.

I haven’t done it, but I know that I can also get full seasons of Mad Men, How I Met Your Mother, Lost…you name it.

Netflix and my Comcast broadband costs me about $40/month. I could add Hulu Plus for another $10. The Cable portion of my Comcast bill, with HD, is about $65.

So yes, I would save money by cutting the cord…maybe I really should (my roomates might have something to say about it, though).

But that is hardly the driving reason for me in doing so. I like network and broadcast television.  But the fact is, I’m not around usually to watch The Office when NBC wants me to, and the Internet lets me do it when I want. And yes, it does it without charging me extra fees for a DVR, On Demand service, and access in extra rooms. So yes, cutting the cord would save me money.

But I’m not sure that makes me poor. Or Hip.

This post was first published by Nate Hubbell on March Communications’ blog, PR Nonsense, and may be viewed here.

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