Will HBO Now mean more cord cutters?

Will HBO Now prompt more cable subscribers to "cut the cord" without giving up must-see "Game of Thrones?"

Search the term "cord-cutters" online today, and you will find a lot of articles.

According to Technopedia , cord-cutting refers to the process of cutting expensive cable connections in order to change to a low-cost TV channel subscription through over-the-air, free broadcast through antenna, or over-the-top broadcast over the Internet. Most of the articles claim that cord-cutting is a growing trend that is adversely affecting the cable industry.

Since Netflix starting streaming TV shows, movies and documentaries in 2007, there has been one article after another on the cord-cutters, and for good reason. In the past eight years, many new streaming options have emerged for people who want to turn off cable and toss the TV in the closet. There's Hulu , Amazon Prime , CBS and Comedy Central , which all have online apps. NFL, NBA and MLB games can be watched online on a smartphone. ESPN officials say they are close to streaming-only service.

And, of course, in the big news from this week, HBO is available without a cable or satellite subscription. HBO Now is available for $15 a month on Apple products, such as an iPad.

So now thousands of Rochester residents are going to call Charter and cancel their cable, right? Probably not. For all of the talk about cord-cutters, the simple fact is people are slow to give up their 400 channels.


Between August 2014 and February 2015, the percentage of Americans doing so edged up only a bit, from 14.6 percent to 15.7 percent, according to a report by Clearvoice Research . The report also pointed out that the majority of the people who did cut the cord were baby-boomers who probably never watched much cable anyway. Viewers in the much-loved 18-49 demographic continue to pay the cable guy. Why? For starters, cutting the cord is expensive.

First off, all of the streaming services are powered by a broadband service, which in most cases is provided by the cable company. We have all seen those pay only $29 for high-speed Charter internet ads on T.V. Well, that is a bundled price. To pay only $29, you also need to pay an additional equal amount to have Charter Cable and, for some weird reason, a Charter landline phone.

If you decide to cancel cable, you Charter Internet costs increase by at least $15 a month. Add in HBO ($15), Hulu Plus ($7), Amazon Prime ($8.25), a baseball package ($15) and suddenly watching TV costs $90. And that $90 is for a small fraction of the channels available with cable or sateliate.

It's not all doom-and-gloom for TV fans, who are tired of rising costs. Losing HBO is especially painful for cable and satellite companies. HBO is home to must-see TV, especially "Game of Thrones" which conveniently starts its fifth season the weekend after the launch.

HBO Now is a competitor to cable companies like Charter and sataliete providers like DirecTV, which is why DirecTV has threatened to make life difficult for the pay channel.

More market competition traditionally means lower prices So I guess my advice is don't cut the cord, just threaten to.

What To Read Next
Get Local