Is Television History?

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This generation is becoming alarmingly addicted to TV shows and movies, but at the same time, the amount of cable and satellite TV subscribers is declining. Hundreds of thousands of people have ditched their TV providers for the more affordable and convenient ways to watch their favorite series. With sites like Hulu, Netlifx, and Xfinity, and HBO Go, people can watch shows anywhere, anytime, with limited commercials.

The popular video streaming site, Netflix, is only 4 million subscribers away from passing Comcast for the title of the leading TV and Movie service provider. As it currently stands, if Netflix were a TV network it would be the 15th most watched in the United States.

Because of people’s busy lives, it makes it nearly impossible for some of them to catch the shows they want to watch when they air on TV.

“Because my day is filled with play practice, band, and homework it makes it hard for me to catch shows on TV, and sitting through commercials is so annoying and such a waste of time,” said Senior Gabi Latimer. “Netflix makes it so much. I can’t even remember the last time I watched TV.”

Gabi Latimer is not alone with her opinion on Cable TV. 26.5 million people worldwide have the same frustration with commercials, inconvenient show times, and high monthly rates. All these factors made the switch to Netflix inevitable. It costs only $9 dollars a month for unlimited video streaming compared to cable, which can cost up to hundreds of dollars.

But for some people the convenience of Netflix comes with strings attached: addiction. “Once I start a new series, I can’t stop,” says Senior Amanda Langan, “On Netflix all the episodes automatically play one after the other, so you lose track of time.”

According to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, viewership exceeded 1 billion hours in June 2012. That’s a monthly average of about 38 hours per streaming subscriber.

If the popularity trend of Netflix continues and the viewership of cable TV keeps decreasing, in the near future it is possible that Cable TV could become extinct. At this rate, Cable TV shares a fate with the VHS tape and the cassette tape before it.

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