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Will streaming services replace cable TV?

Culture

Will streaming services replace cable TV?

Starting March 1, the CRTC released a new basic cable package for the reduced price of $25. This basic package excludes many premium networks and channels. The new deal for cable providers is likely a response to the growing popularity of streaming services. Providers such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime provide streaming services that are far less costly and have much more content when compared to basic cable.

First of all, with internet streaming services, you have a greater flexibility regarding sign-up. Usually, you can get a free trial period for a month or two. In addition, these services do not charge you a cancellation fee, so they are very simple to join and cancel. These services offer a much different viewing experience than traditional cable television. On Hulu and Amazon Prime, for example, you can subscribe to your favourite TV shows and they will be displayed on your homepage when you sign in.

Streaming is a much more laid-back way to watch TV series, and it doesn’t require tuning in at the same time each week to see every episode of a show. Unfortunately, if your internet connection is lacking, streaming can be difficult and frustrating.

On the other hand, cable television offers viewers a wider range of shows and viewing experiences. However, having more shows comes with the higher price of cable packages. While streaming services offer a wide variety of series and movies, they do not have many of the programs that you find on popular networks.

There’s no way around it: if you watch sports, you know there is nothing more painful than streaming a game live and having to deal with constant glitches and buffering. Major sport networks like ESPN are included in basic cable packages. On top of that, richer viewing experiences often come with cable offers such as NFL exclusive packages. Exclusive offers such as NFL All-Access provide viewers with an unparalleled viewing experiencing in which the NFL consolidates all games into a single viewing platform, despite regions and alternate channels. It can be rather difficult to catch your team’s Sunday morning games when they’re not prioritized to the viewers in Alberta. These packages are a must-have.

While streaming services offer a quality viewing experience, cable television still maintains certain benefits that are not currently being replicated by these services. That said, cable TV is quickly losing its advantage.

Photo by Casey Pollon.