Quick Tips - Don't focus on channels

One of the first things that everyone inevitably thinks about when they begin to think of cutting the cable cord is 'how can I live without {insert channel name here}'    

We get it.  We hear that question every single day from Canadians we talk to.

They are tired paying for dozens of channels you don't want or use in bundles to get access to one or two channels you do want.   

That's traditional cable though. It's a world of channels and bundles. That's the way it's been for years and for many of us it's the only way we've ever known.   

For that reason it's tough to imagine any other way of watching TV. 

Here's why you want to think beyond the channel model. Think of a channel you think you couldn't live without. Now think of the show or shows you like to watch on that channel.   

Now ask yourself the most important question. In a 12 month year, how long is that show or shows on? How many new episodes in a year long period does that show you like produce and broadcast?    

The truth is that most shows that we like to watch only produce between 10 - 22 episodes in a season and many of the seasons are stretched out over a 12 month period. 

Let's look closer at a few of the most popular shows on TV. A favourite of ours is AMC's The Walking Dead. Each season of this show there are usually 16 episodes. Wikipedia gives us a good overview of the episodes of the 2016-17 season and the broadcast schedule.      

As you can see the show starts in November and runs until mid December. It then takes a two month break and comes back on air in February and runs until early April. That is 16 weeks of episodes or 3 months.

Let's look at another show that is on one of the basic networks. ABC's Modern Family that Canadians can watch on ABC or CityTV. What can Wikipedia tell us about their broadcast schedule? 

It's similar to the Walking Dead except they have more episodes and start earlier in September. 19 weeks of episodes with breaks December and April. So Modern Family is only on for 4 months of the year.

So why are any of us paying for channels in months when the shows we like aren't on? With streaming you don't. Sure you may like other shows on some channels but even if you do, most people don't like every show on that one channel. 

So paying for one channel for only one or two shows that are only on for 3 or 4 months a year is the same as paying for a bundle of channels you don't want just to get what you do want. You are paying for that channel for reruns and other filler content for the other 8 or 9 months.

Let's also not forget that you can catch up on a show at anytime when you switch to streaming because most of the services have full seasons on demand to catch up on whenever you want.  As a cord cutter of 6 years that is something I do a lot now with the majority of content I watch on TV. 

Streaming is a way to pay for the content you want only when you want to watch it. Want to watch Walking Dead? Subscribe to SlingTV for 3 months of the year when the show is on, more importantly walk away from the subscription when the show goes on hiatus.  

That's why the notion of channels is something you want to forget about. Channels are a concept that will eventually end up extinct in a world of on demand streaming.