Why do cable companies exist if we have to watch commercials on every channel anyways?


So I understand that business-wise it works and there is money to be made by charging people to watch TV, but I’m wondering what dish/direcTV/etc actually do in terms of innovating and getting entertainment on the air? My understanding is that the money from commercials goes straight to the networks, what incentive is there for the networks to not just allow free streaming on their websites so that more people see the show and the commercials in it?

In: 24

The networks get paid by the cable companies. If they feel they can make more money from streaming and running ads on their own website, they’ll do that, but it has to outweigh the amount of money the cable companies pay them and the amount of eyes they’ll lose if they aren’t on TV anymore.

Cable companies directly send the TV signal into your house via a cable, so that the picture is always clear and they can offer 100’s of channels. Prior to cable, over the air TV signals were often had lots of static and we were limited to a handful of channels.

In the beginning, there were a handful of say 5 networks that broadcasted their shows over the airwaves so anyone with an antenna could listen to it for free. It was like radio. You couldn’t charge for it because you couldn’t keep people from tuning in to it. So they recouped their costs through commensals and other ads.

Cable started off as an ad free alternative to antenna TV. People paid a subscription and in exchange they’d gain access to more channels that were ad free.

Then those ad free channels slowly started adding ads. They could do this because cable packages were still offering more channels than just antenna TV.

That’s how most forms of media tend to end up. It keeps progressing until the addition of one more ad would make the average user quit. At which point it reaches maximum money making potential. That’s what they are obligated to try to do on behalf of their stock holders.

>what incentive is there for the networks to not just allow free streaming on their websites so that more people see the show and the commercials in it?

The networks also get money from the cable providers in exchange for allowing them to carry their channel. Cutting out the middle man cuts off this revenue stream.

Also not everyone wants or have the need for the internet. They can be perfectly happy with just cable.

To add to what others have said, at this rate, there might not be cable companies anymore in a few years. People are replacing them with streaming on a massive scale.

Commericals are not from the cable company they are from the networks

Cable takes your money and uses that money to keep the infrastructure running and pay networks like nbc and Disney to show their channels.

The networks run ads to make more money.

The networks also buy content to run. That’s why sometimes the same show can be on multiple channels and movies and stuff.