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EricBall's Tech Projects - channels watched versus available


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A Neilsen report (picked up by USA Today, then by Slashdot) says, on average, people only watch 20 channels of the 200 they are subscribed to.

Is this news to anyone with a normal cable or satellite package? It's called bundling. In order to get those 20 channels, they have to subscribe to the 200 channel bundle.**

In my case, my bundle includes over 100 English language HD channels. (Included in that count are some semi-duplicate channels, like "regional" versions of the two major sports channels which mostly show the same programming, and major networks in different cities / time zones.) The bundle also includes a large number of SD only channels, non-English language channels, shopping channels, and audio only radio / music channels, not to mention the video on demand and pay-per-view channels.

And I don't even subscribe to the top tier bundle! Even only considering those 100 channels, there's plenty of content to watch and PVR.

But I'll let you in on a secret. I don't watch channels - I watch programs. Does it matter to me Forged in Fire is shown on History (Canada) versus one of the other 100+ channels? Nope. In fact, I had to look that up because I didn't know which channel it was on.

** Yes, have to. In order to watch some programming (e.g. NASCAR for my wife), we need to subscribe to channels which are only available in a bundle. They aren't available a-la carte, nor online. The upshot is we now have a plethora of content available to us at zero incremental cost. OTOH, given what we have available it's tough to justify any additional incremental cost for "nice to have" programs (e.g. GoT or the streaming service series).

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