[Excerpt] Cable Companies versus Sports Fans

The Raptors are the only reason I have cable and I’m sure I’m not alone here.

I was reading this article in Time and the following resonated with me from a Raptors context:

More importantly, these networks, and the powers than be in general in sports and TV, are well aware that live sports is the largest reason many Americans continue to cut a check for a monthly pay TV bill. Time Warner, which owns TBS, TNT, TruTV, CNN, and many other cable networks (and, for a little while longer, Time Inc. and Time.com), obviously has great interest in keeping levels of cable-paying households high. They want cord cutting to hurt, or at least be difficult and impractical for sports fans to circumvent, and moving the Final Four to cable does just that.

This is totally true. The Raptors are the only reason I have cable and I’m sure I’m not alone here. With Netflix, Hulu and “other sources” of getting your entertainment plentiful, the primary motivation for someone like me to even think about cable is live sports. The bad news for cable companies is that that won’t last either, because with increasing bandwith caps, the existence of offerings such as NBA League Pass combined with easy ways of circumventing location blackouts, fans will find a way to get to the content they want.

The issue here is ease. It’s not very easy for the “normal Joe” to get a VPN service or proxy service, configure and fire it up, startup league pass, and somehow project it onto your TV.  Things like Chromecast might help but that technology is a little ways away from being perfect. Certainly, it’s not a one-click solution like your TV, but give it time and someone from Silicon Valley will see to it that I don’t have to have the third-level Rogers package just so I can enjoy the local basketball team.

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