He Said: Cable vs. Streaming


By Anthony Santino

Perspectives Editor

In this age of streaming, the world of digital media is really at your fingertips. Pretty much any movie, television series, song or anything of the like is accessible to you if you have a screen to watch it on. What about cable though?

Especially at college—at least from my experience—cable doesn’t get the love I feel it deserves. I know a good number of people who elect to exclusively stream content from the internet rather than invest in cable.

As an avid sports fan, I like the freedom of cable. Sure, I can watch the Knicks, Mets, or even national sporting events on my computer and connect it to my TV. But it’s not the same. Not only does cable expedite the process of finding the event you need to watch—even if by only by a few clicks worth of time—but it also provides the comfort of tradition.

I cannot begin to describe how important television was to me growing up. As an only child, I was always able to handle being on my own, but at the same time having the TV on was like a safety blanket; it was company for me. Not to get too cheesy and nostalgic, but cable television makes me reminisce and feel cheesy and nostalgic. Boy Meets World and Family Matters and their contemporaries were the soundtracks to my childhood.

Because of all that, I still have a deep appreciation for television, both traditional cable and its new forms of streaming. That’s why I’ll always defend the relevance of a possibly soon-to-be bygone era for the medium.

I actually don’t fault college students who don’t have cable because it can get expensive. And why pay a lot of money for something you can get on Netflix at a fraction of the cost, right? So even though I see it differently, I understand that end of it. As the great Desus Nice would say on the best podcast in podcasting, ‘The Bodega Boys”, “Gotta hear both sides.”

And let’s be honest: I’m one of a super small fraction of the population who would actually stream a Mets game in September for the heck of it. Even if the Mets are 0-161, I’ll always be down to watch the best broadcast team in baseball go to work on a telecast.

I do find if very interesting to see the streaming war that’s brewing, namely with the introduction of YouTube TV and PlayStation TV. It makes life for the big cable and satellite providers harder than they probably anticipated, even if they predicted such a development. It’s an unpredictable world—so much so that even the TVs are evolving more drastically than ever.

To be honest, I think the big providers are going to either be phased out or remodel drastically within the next twenty years. They have to. You can’t sit back all cozy while YouTube evolves from viral cat videos to partnering with every company ever to take over the world.

It’s pretty wild, though. I feel like every generation has predictions of what’s to come with media, and when the time comes, the latest technologies and models exceed our expectations.

To conclude this commentary, I’ll say that I don’t really care how you’re watching your television. As someone who wants to work in television one day, I’m just happy that people are still watching.


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