“Pirates of Coax. Landing,” opens our 3 part investigation of
Cable Television in America.
Pirates of Coax.:
1. Pirates of Coax.
2. Looking Glass.
3. Cannon Fire.
“Where’s my skinny bundle?”
Rodney King was not a pirate. But he did sail through the night, under serious suspicion. So does cable TV.
Who knows what Rodney held deep in the hold on any given night. He rolled fast and low, except that night he drove the van. Rodney rolled, for a while, and then was on television, like the president. Rodney’s biggest problem was he didn’t know The Donald, and he had no personal power. Sailing the L.A. freeways late at night? Have one of those, or worse. Rodney was also visible. King was spotted sailing the bodacious Santa Anna winds while flying the black flag. Out-numbered does not describe the result.
Rodney was also wrong. No, we can’t all just get along. Can anyone claim with a straight face that cable and its’ customer base share a smiley space? Back in 1980 cable bored a hole in your wall and began broadcasting. They turned free viewing into paid viewing. The industry drew it’s first breath in 1948 in rural/remote Arkansas, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. It was called Community Access Television, or CATV. Large “community” antennas brought signals deep into the remote and mountainous areas and “cable” provided a feed to individual homes.
Pirates bring cable to the New World. Next came asphalt.
Cable began as a TV pipe laid deep into the remote, and mountainous. By ’81 cable TV was becoming bright and beautiful, while zip-lining America like the chlamydia ferry.
That exciting cable TV wave curled and splashed national in the early ’80’s. Only later did piratical pricing became their way, as impatience or exasperation became the customer’s way.
Cable changed America like the shove of a sand-blasting nozzle down a fire ant dome.
Tastes have grown more edgy. No surprise. Logically it makes sense. Viewers are stronger now. They’ve bulked up after years of witnessing the lists of pharmaceutical-caused side-effects in every drug ad. Thus, “Breaking Bad” now makes perfect sense. The splintering media landscape forces both the shifting customer base and investors to respond. Dawn will divulge more data and data will be the bouncing ball to follow. Will your investment dollars be in the game?
Black matter-sucking holes never cease to suck. Neither do cable providers. Giant accretion disks roil both the universe, and the media world. Economic gravity’s bending media space/time just as Albert suggested it would; like a dog’s back leg. Absolutely everyone is getting into, or being dragged into, this deafening media melee. What is media doing now, and what do they think? All think they can lure and up-sell you.
Pirate beach villa–pirates not shown.
Within the industry assets are switching hands. Video’s going full mobile at concussion speed, motoring south straight out of cooling Cable Land. Cable customers are clearly seeing their future brighten rapidly as choice expands. Having been held hostage for decades by the pirates of coax, StockJaw sees no customer love for cable providers based on anything they have done lately.
Perceptions matter–so much indeed that Washington is over-amping the term “optics.” That stiff snake springing from the safety plate in the living room more symbolizes spiking cost then joy. Once it meant liberation. Less so lately. Besides, the very signals it pours forth are all in the wrong order now.
Liner TV passes before our eyes, as it continues it’s slow exit from prominence. Meet the new boss SVOD, much better than the old boss. By the way, that SVOD, streaming video on demand, also has to be mobile, fast, and reliable. Increasingly timing matters, as life speeds into higher gears, attention spans shrink, along with patience. Broadcasting “schedules” symbolize a bygone time, hopelessly eclipsed. Ads suck consumer’s time, time now much more jealously guarded.
The old-line broadcasting “schedule” has grown brittle. “We’ll air it when we’re ready” will no longer work. Are the constituent cable companies fully comprehending customer voting–voting by feet? They shall.
Lion tamers use whips. Broadcasters use a bag. If you get in, they’ll pour the ads in after. Or, if you like, it’s ads first. Strictly viewers’ choice. Bag TV.
Full-strength Bag TV brings us the Superbowl every year. So, there is that. What are media companies uncovering? Media’s discovering far fewer fixed viewers, wallets and bags open. Fewer viewers are willing to take a firm seat regardless of programming quality or content. If cable customers advertised to the industry, their new ad spot to cable providers might look like this;
A cable service tech stands alone. In the sun glistens the chrome spike of a coaxial feed. Statuesque the tech holds aloft a forgotten feed, all growing dim in the churning dust of a powering convertible driven by thirty-year-olds.
Part 2. Pirates of Coax. Looking Glass.
Images sourced from Pixabay.