Cord Cutter. Claw Back. Your Time, Your Dough.

 

Music

 met television and they couldn’t keep their hands off one another. House on fire. MTV once played music and drove cable by outer space-sized leaps. Homes lacking a hookup became campsites overnight. Cable’s allure soared ethereal and glittering. None could resist yet genetic mutation set in, driven by the oozing greed produced by all heady power storms. That music stopped long ago, prices spiked and service sucked, together producing only a nation-wide hangover of singed resentment.

 

Resentment soaked over to ill revulsion, and surveillance and ad targeting. Thank TiVo and now Samsung for that.  Cable’s once glorious gift of deliverance from network’s smothering captivity and prudish censorship soured. Few cared anymore. Today the shocking brilliance of cutting-edge creators runs more free than ever. Cable brought that, over outlets such as AMC and FX.

 

You know what we’re talking about. Walter White would never have cooked his way to meth kingpin over creaky ABC. No way. Yet pure nonsense is devouring cable. Broadcasters lost their heads, failing to realize that you can’t beat the piss out of people with both price and ads.

 

 

The

constitutional framers understood.  The entire point of being an American is getting what you want, especially once you’ve paid. Television both then and now remains the ultimate expression. In America great TV is a birthright.  Both Jefferson and Hamilton knew that.  Why else be here? But cable has no intention of providing such, not without cruelly adulterating said. Their model is done. Broadcasters grew deaf and blind over decades, left solely interested in collecting from an obdurate system blinking on “Autopilot.”


Indeed, cable faces a butt-nasty triple-pronged plague; bag-ramming pricing, soul-sucking ad loads, and a calcified linear format. Filling time isn’t the point anymore. Who knew?


Three weeks back Apple flounced out it’s subscription bundle; video, games, news/journalism, and yet another credit card. The card’s meant to juice Apple’s widely ignored payment scheme. None of those are ready for prime time. However the delivery format is.

 

Digital delivery means now. Remember, we’re Americans, lazy, violent, and impatient. On demand is how we think, and with each passing day video moves direct-to-consumer on their “now.” Youtube says it all–“You.”  Streaming video on demand, or SVOD, is the blinking neon of our video lives. Ad-driven linear television is the savagely confused dinosaur backing and flitting on a rapidly broadening digital frontier. Cord Cutter. Claw Back. It’s you time, and your dough.  

 

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Television before the Bill of Rights.  Beach TV, the New World.  See?–no antenna.  Cable pirates were already here–before constitutional law.

On

August 1, 1981, Viacom launched MTV.  This move proved for the cable television industry an immaculate moment, forever marking its’ own New Age.  America had been surviving strictly on ad-choked censor-ridden air TV.  That over-the-air broadcasting system beamed for everyone.  Roof-crowning antennas spread to the skies to pluck this celestial magic from heaven, or Burbank.  Inside America’s homes glowed a new electronic campfire, complete with caring honey-dripping “sponsors.”  A special shimmering warmth rolled over a prospering bright America.

 

Broadcasting was seen and sold as “event television.”  That was on occasion true, then.  Programming  lived on soap operas and game shows during work hours.  At 5:15 it went national with the news–at first only 15 minutes in length.  Prime time offered sit-coms and hour long dramas.  Saturday brought enduring shows such as ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” with Howard Cosell.  Mohammad Ali’s fights were broadcast live for free–the big ones.  ESPN covers nothing from the cutting-edge of boxing.  Looking for that now?  It’s on pay-per-view for $50.00 per.

 

Television was magical, a moving window on our vibrant world, our  fast-stepping lives.  Turning in for ads and for free might mean catching Neil and the moon landing, live from radio-crackling black and white outer space.  The nation watched Billie Jean King punish some fugly-talking vitamin gobbler named Bobby Riggs on a tennis court, and television.  Billie pounded Bobby in straight sets–over.

 

TV, fantasy
In the beginning we were led to believe no life existed beyond the grainy light. Once the pirates of cable landed in the new world, no life existed beyond the coaxial lead. We all paid, like cocaine rats and lived like kings, we believed. Soon life beyond the lead was forgotten, erased from collective memory and ultimately forbidden. Land beyond the lead became modern exile.

cord cutter:

n., informal; 1. any person who cancels or forgoes a cable television subscription or landline phone connection in favor of an alternative Internet-based or wireless service.

2. a. former cable purchasers now streaming video in an alternative manner; i.e. box, Roku, etc.  2. b. any such empowered action-centric person displaying the willingness to depart the mother ship; voyagers outside normal boundaries.

3. pioneer/time traveler, by means of participating in the leading-edge movement of eschewing cable or systematic legal theft; esp. adoption of newer models assured to eventually become part of the mainstream, or the dominant model.

Surfing

means searching, which isn’t watching.  Searching to see while actually not watching means working during your wait.  Searching means paying to work, which is an utterly backward form of instinctual hunting and gathering.  Actual watching, the substance of things hoped for, yet means more paying for soul evaporating adverts not worth searching for, let alone paying for.  Meanwhile, ad avoidance surfing actually returns us to paying to work, simply for more paying to be further evaporated, and then more waiting later.

 

 

The CNN production Parts Unknown averaged 42.5 minutes in length.  The remaining 16.5 minutes was eaten by advertising.  That means 27.5% of your hour was given away to people you neither know nor want to hear from.  Additionally, you paid for that delay and abuse with your money, money you already spent time to earn.  Advertisers love that and cable providers depend on it. 

 

“Cable” you say?  If you want cable you’ve assuredly got it.  Modern cable means bundling and always fat.  That terrific streaming video on demand stuff(SVOD)–think Netflix, still typically comes through cable operator provided broadband.  And frankly, hard-wired broadband is the standard to beat.  Ask anyone relying on the limited capacity of AT&T’s U-Verse service.

 

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The things that keep us up at night The collective damage of advertisements is incalculable. Time is money and time is irreplaceable. The psychological torture comes on top of that. Enjoy.

Consumers

are both fatigued and feed-up with cable and satellite television.  Increasing price is the reason.  Increasing choice comes a close second.  

 

“Another factor driving the acceleration of cord-cutting is the availability of compelling and affordable live TV packages that are delivered via the internet without the need for installation fees or hardware,” principal analyst Paul Verna said in his report. “Consumers increasingly choose services on the strength of the programming they offer, and the platforms are stepping up with billions in spending on premium shows.”–eMarketer research report, July ’18.

 

eMarketer recently upped its’ estimates to 50 million U.S. households expected to have cut the cord by 2021.  That represents a cool 25% on U.S. households, and they say the pace is only “accelerating.”  Understandable.  The firm also suggests those households will at current rates be saving $85 a month.  Others put the savings between $115 and $203.  That’s enough to buy a car.

 

 

Cord cutters are flooding to sources “…that eschew the channel line ups altogether. Google’s (GOOGL, +0.75%) YouTube pulls in 192 million U.S. viewers at least once month, followed by Netflix (NFLX, +1.80%) with 148 million monthly viewers, and Amazon’s Prime Video with 89 million viewers,” says eMarketer.  Excerpted from a story by AARON PRESSMAN , July 24, 2018. Fortune.com

 

 

Three large players are taking the increasing bottom line hit: Comcast(CMCSA), Charter Communications(CHTR), and Altice(ATUS.)  It’s widely known that AT&T’s Direct TV service is hemorrhaging.  Recall that Direct TV has and yet is their television offering anchoring the U-verse bundle.

 

Replacing or rebuilding that with a patchwork from the Time Warner acquisition will take time, and money.  This cost comes on top of AT&T’s 72 billion dollar debt load related to that massive acquisition.  HBO stands on its’ own strengths, but can’t carry T’s system-wide weight, or on-going costs created by their sprawling chaotic company.  The level of consumer discontent my be even be much worse, as disclosed in a Fortune.com article from late last year.

 

“The industry lost 1.2 million video subscribers in the third quarter, for a total of 91 million subscribers, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence’s Kagan research group.”

 

 

 

Comcast(CMCSA; NASDAQ), 4-26-19.
Chart, CMCSA, 4-26-19
Over the past five years Comcast has laid down a very consistent record. Three year total return(including dividend reinvestment) 48.9%, and over five 84.3%. That’s performance worth owning.

 

Comcast(CMCSA), the mother of CNBC, reported results on Thursday morning with an EPS beat; $0.76 vs. consensus $0.68. Yet revenue of $26.85b. missed the $27.27b.  estimate.  That’s against the company’s $22.79b last year.  Regardless of the miss, the y/y difference represents a nice 17.8% revenue growth rate.  CMCSA’s current price of $41.30 sits within striking distance of the company’s 52wk high of $42.83.  Morningstar sets a “Fair Value Estimate” at $45.00, which is also the average current analyst’s PT..  Current dividend yield 2.01%.

 

For clarity’s sake, we are probably just like many of you.  We are small investors making the most out of our assets.  Our future depends on our success.  We work our asses off and enjoy every minute of that.  Fact.  Amazon reported on Thursday.  The price began falling quickly just prior to the close of the regular session.  We panicked out.  That was our second mistake.

 

Back on February 15 we committed our fist mistake in buying only three shares of AMZN.  We rode it up for ten straight weeks, ready to stay in for the longer haul.  Yet the X-mas Fugly and J. Powell’s Spam Hole Apocalypse still haunt.  We bailed on AMZN on the 25th, unwilling to ride it through earnings.  Result.  STOCKjAW banked $868.76 on AMZN in ten weeks.

 

 

alien-1294088_1280
The City on the Hill is with us now. The chains of linear broadcasting have now mostly been broken. The relentless beatings dished out by brainless advertising mostly come from live sports feeds. Living well is an art. The video side of that is known as SVOD.

Apple

has just now thrown its’ hat into the SVOD arena, joining Disney’s new platform, and their OTT ESPN platform.  Add to those CBS All Access, Sony’s PlayStation Vue, Dish’s Sling, Hulu, HBO,  HBO Now, HBO Go, Amazon Prime Video and the gorilla Netflix.

 

“Nobody ever got hurt taking a profit,” so the saying goes.  We continued attempting to console ourselves with that, as Amazon climbed further toward the moon on Friday.  The point?  Money maters to our daily life.  A bit more helps.  Money saved is more for you, and us too.  Linear ad-riddled television seems increasingly ridiculous with every expansive break through in SVOD.

 

Grasping the impact of a grass roots shift from bloated paid TV bundles foisted upon increasingly unwilling recipients means adding both losses and gains.  This is mainly a zero-sum situation.  The U.S. population of 327.3 million is relatively stable.  Gains for streamers mean mounting losses for cable and satellite.  That swing continues, in what seems an accelerating fashion.

 

Cable TV has from the beginning operated on the mall model.  Like malls cable survives on anchor offerings such as ESPN and CNN.   For years malls survived on Dillard’s, JC Penny, Sears.   The model supporting both of these in now dated, much like satellite TV.  Simply put, people won’t wait, and paying to wait is even more dated.  Everything changes.  Wishing you the very best of life, as always.  Sj Crew.

 

Jam of the Day

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaSlPkI5jX4   

 

Always looking for the good stuff.pig-3033965_1920

STOCKJAW

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Additional resources:

Investopedia.com.  Seriously Wonderful.  Fact.
http://www.investopedia.com/
Charles Schwab.  In Our Opinion, the best broker going.
https://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/client_home
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STOCKjAW

Dollars Are Employees. We Make Them Work. Slack Dollars Reborn Busy. STOCKjAW helps You make the dollars you worked for work back. Do it simple and streamlined. Or do it Full-Bore. Stocks, ETFs, and more. It's Your cash. Sj helps you point it in the correct direction.

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