Dear Cable Guy. Sorry it is you, not me

cable guy


We have finally rid ourselves of our cable network!  In Canada there is pretty much a choice of two service providers Bell and Rogers (courtesy of the medium’s regulator, the CRTC), and this frustrating minimal competitive landscape has hindered the overall service levels and of course the price of said services.

We pay a whopping $190 a month for cable TV, Phone and Internet, which is an apparent “good deal” after 2 years of haggling and spending copious amounts when we go over our data limit.  As a proud Brit I was pretty disappointed with the TV programming and interface in Canada.  The main hoity complaint from yours truly is the lack of highbrow shows that we get on the Beeb but a close second, third and fourth is the is the glitchy interactive display, ridiculous amounts of advertising and PRICE, did I mention price?  I was paying the equivalent of $90 a month with BT Vision in the UK and it was a much better experience user wise and I got unlimited internet usage. I love BT Vision.

So goodbye traditional cable with your endless adverts and “scheduled programming” and hello streaming and Netflix on demand, ridding myself of 18 minutes per hour of advertising time versus maybe 6 minutes an hour (on average) via streaming.

I am part of a growing crowd that are leaving traditional television to move to more affordable, better quality and more tailored viewing that comes with Netflix, Crackle, CouchTuner and Hulu to name a few. Ok there may be some limited advertising with the likes of Hulu and CouchTuner but it is still greatly reduced and we have freedom to watch what we want and when we want.

I am presenting a biased opinion, as I am a HUGE fan of Netflix and this is where I see real benefits to the collection of my personal data. Not only do they make good recommendations based on my previous viewing but they have also provided the most riveting shows recently like Derek, House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. Why so successful? They are looking at our viewing behaviours and making awesome choices through what we are watching. Take “House of Cards” for example, they found through our data that those of us who had watched the original BBC miniseries (also by the same name) were also likely to view movies with Kevin Spacey and/or directed by David Fincher. They combined the three of these and committed $100 million for two 13 episode seasons. Thank you again Netflix… genius. There is also another big advantage with this, they do not have to spend millions on advertising and promotion which we find rather intolerable anyway, they just influence us through suggested programs

“We don’t have to spend millions to get people to tune into this,” “Through our algorithms we can determine who might be interested in Kevin Spacey or political drama and say to them, ‘You might want to watch this.’” Steve Swasey, Netflix’s V.P. of corporate communications, told GigaOm last March.



  1. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but
    after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr…

    well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say wonderful blog!

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