Whether you knew it or not, 2014 was a huge year for cord cutters. Between growing dissatisfaction for cable companies and the expanding ubiquity of streaming services / devices, the cord cutting movement has never been stronger.
There have been numerous news stories involving cord cutting this year; and it would be impossible to discuss them all in one post. To save you time and effort, I took the time to compile the 5 Top Cord Cutting News Stories of 2014.
Here they are:
For those that don’t know, Aereo was a service that allowed you to watch Over-the-Air (OTA) broadcasts through the internet for a monthly fee. Not only did it provide OTA services, but it also allowed for digital video recording as well. Unfortunately for Aereo, the major broadcast networks did not seem to appreciate their services and consequently sued Aereo, claiming copyright infringement.
After months of legal battles, the case wound up before the Supreme Court. Ultimately, the court sided with the broadcast networks. With no backup plan, Aereo was ruined and was forced to declare bankruptcy months later. Although many considered this a huge defeat for cord cutters, the rest of the year was much kinder.
If you’re a cord cutter, then odds are you have at least purchased an OTA antenna to pick up free broadcast television (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CW). This is all well and good, but you’re out of luck if you want to watch broadcast television on something other than the TV or if you want to catch a show you missed.
Networks like NBC offer online streaming, but sadly you have to verify with a cable subscription. This year, CBS broke away from the competition and decided to offer its very own streaming service, dubbed CBS All Access. For $5.99 a month, you get access to all the latest CBS shows; both current and previous seasons.
You also get access to classic CBS television that is not widely available on other streaming services. Aereo may be dead, but CBS is keeping OTA streaming alive with CBS All Access.
When it comes to cord cutting, it can be inconvenient switching between your OTA antenna and your streaming devices. It’s not difficult swapping out HDMI cords, but it’s certainly something that you’d rather not waste your time on if you don’t have to. That’s why it came as a great relief to cord cutters when Mohu announced the release of their newest product: Mohu Channels.
Mohu Channels is one part streaming device, one part OTA antenna; and offers a seamless experience between the two features. No switching out cables, no interruption to your television viewing. You can also browse the web; and since Channels is written on Android, you can add any app from the Play Store to Channels.
With Mohu Channels, cord cutting has become a lot easier.
Like HBO, Showtime is steadily becoming more known for their hit television shows than the movies they play. This has created a lot interest in the network, but sadly that interest has failed to generate new subscriptions. Instead, fans are resorting to illegal downloading. However, as many “pirates” will tell you, it’s not because they’re cheap; it’s because they don’t want cable.
In response to the changing market, as well as responding to the competition, Showtime announced this year that they will be launching their very own stand-alone streaming service for $6 a month. This comes on the heels of the recent announcement that Showtime would be reviving the hit David Lynch series Twin Peaks.
If successful, Showtime stands to upset the balance of power in the cable TV industry.
HBO’s streaming app HBO GO has been wildly popular with cable subscribers. With HBO GO, you get access to every episode of every HBO television show as well as every current film and documentary currently airing on HBO GO. For years cord cutters have been ravenously lusting after HBO GO, and this year cord cutters finally got their wish.
In April of 2015, HBO GO will go stand-alone in conjunction with the premier of season 5 of Game of Thrones. This only makes sense because not only is Game of Thrones HBO’s most popular series, but it was also the most pirated show of 2014. If even half of those who pirate Game of Thrones switch to HBO GO, it will be considered a huge success.
The reason this story is number 1 on our 5 Top Cord Cutting News Stories of 2014 is that most of this change came after HBO GO announced it would go stand-alone. CBS and Showtime announced their streaming service briefly after HBO announced theirs; and there is a reason behind that.
While most networks are afraid to buck the system, they also would love to ditch cable like the rest of us. HBO’s courageous leap enabled CBS and Showtime to make the jump as well; and as a result we will continue to see a domino effect from that decision echo into 2015.
2014 has been a wild year for cord cutting, and 2015 stands to be an even bigger year. Why not start the year off right and end your toxic relationship with the cable companies. If HBO can cut the cord, then so can you. So what are you waiting for? Take the leap, cut the cord, and kill the cable bill today!
Dave Kennedy is a long time cordcutter who became increasingly frustrated with the high cost of Cable TV and decided to make a stance. In 2011 he launched KilltheCableBill.com, a site dedicated to helping people save money through providing simple, cost-effective cable TV alternatives. Since then, David has helped 1,000s of people cancel their cable subscription while keeping the shows they love.
This week's latest in cordcutting news and trends: New OTA stations, why it might be time to rescan your antenna, a look at Pay TV's sneaky hidden fees, Mohu's Independence Day sale and more.
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A new report found that there are over 100 available over-the-air stations you can watch for free with an antenna.