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5 reasons why we still keep a cable subscription




Recent surveys indicate that a growing number of population is turning their attention from regular TV and shifting to other screen. Majority of the shift is directed towards internet-based screens — smartphones, tablets and computers with on-demand services.

After not having over-the-air and cable TV for about 10 years at home, I decided to subscribe to cable plan from Sky (I pay around Php700+ a month to hook up two TV sets which is a little cheaper than the Php500 a month Destiny Global I used to have over 10 years ago). Aside from the fact that I was looking to watch a lot of cable news (CNN, ANC), the other people in the house (driver and house help) were also longing for regular TV shows and occasional schedule of movies.

And while I have also moved my habits to multiple screens — Chromecast for YouTube streaming, Apple TV for podcasts, Hooq for older episodes of TV series and a few movies in the archives — there are still some compelling reasons why a cable subscription is necessary.

1) Access to Premium Channels. Domestic, regional and international channels are still mostly available in cable-only subscriptions. If you mostly watch international broadcasts such as CNN, Bloomberg or Al Jazeera, then getting a regular cable subscription is the easiest and cheapest way to watch them round-the-clock. Same goes with sports channels and entertainment channels (The Food Network, Cartoon Network, History Channel). Let’s face it, there is not much to watch in local free TV channels and cable channels still offer the widest range of selection.

2) Pay Per View. The name Pacquiao can be the single biggest reason why pay-per-view is still a hot ticket. Granted that it is expensive at times (the last Pacquiao-Mayweather fight costs Php2,500 on PPV), it is still the single biggest venue to watch huge global events from the comforts of your home.

Aside from that, there are other special content in the line-up that can be pulled from the catalog at any time although you’ll have to add premium payment for that as well (like Sky on Demand).

3) Self-produced Content. HBO is very good at producing their own content and one of the best ones that is currently running is Game of Thrones. That series alone is well worth paying the monthly cable subscription.

4) Faster Internet Speeds outside of Fiber. Fiber connection is still the most stable and reliable form of internet connection. But, access to a fiber line is very sparse. The only other alternative that can offer speeds ranging from 24Mbps, 55Mbps, 100Mbs and 200Mbps would be cable (e.g. SKYbroadband). Granted that they’re not that affordable and will cost you somewhere between Php5k to Php20k, it’s still an option if your work heavily relies on the internet.

5) HBO Go. Unlike most other streaming services, HBO GO allows you to enjoy immediate and unlimited access to every episode of every season of the best HBO shows, movies, comedy, sports and documentaries within 12 hours of its US release. No more waiting months before the episode gets listed so this will be more attractive to those who fervently follow their favorite TV series.

To access HBO GO, down download the app on the iTunes Store or the Google Play Store. HBO GO service is free for SKYbroadband subscribers 5Mbps unlimited and up with SKYcable Asia.

For the most part, people who have access to fast internet might have other means to get good content. There’s Netflix (VPN connection and cheaper monthly subscription), and other subscription-based services like Blink, iFlix and Hooq.

The ABS-CBN TV Plus is also a good alternative since it offers local and free TV for a one-time fee (I use it in the office instead since we don’t have cable there) although content is very limited.

However, in other areas where internet connectivity is not that reliable (which is like most parts of the country), a wired connection (or even satellite like Cignal) to a cable provider is the next ideal thing to get good content.



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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11 Responses

  1. diego delos santos says:

    Sir abe 10 yrs na ata kmi wala cable tv sa house. What i miss are the discovery natgeo history classic 30’s films and documentaries. I grew up watching cousteau’s deep sea adventures and attenborough’s life on earth. Now We watch thru Downloads and internet. I digress, for me the best hbo ever produced was the series CARNIVALE. Again, for me i find the games of thrones very primitive and boring.Pag bumilis internet dito for sure mawawala n cable tv. Local channels have nothing to offer except iskul bukol mentality and endless teledramas.

  2. dodong says:

    Paid write up? This article’s premise is so poor I wouldn’t even bother pointing how ridiculous it is. But for the record, I would say cable still has some value in the Phil market because of the piss poor internet that we have and going all online just isn’t worth it at the moment.

  3. skybroadband has shitty after sales service

  4. keep gettin' dem checks says:

    Nice native advertising

  5. kamz says:

    for obvious reasons, kailangan din ng mga ganitong sites ang mga paid write-ups to ensure the WEBSITE up and running.

    we never had cable connection at home. but everytime may access ako sa ibang bahay/tv, NatGeo and Discovery Channel ang pinapanood ko.

    ay, food channel pa pala.

  6. paeng says:

    And i have more than 5 reasons why cable subscription for me is unnecessary.

  7. roiji says:

    The only reasons that I have a cable subscription is we cannot attach an aerial antenna on the balcony of our condo and we can’t run the cable through the concrete walls. My neighbors don’t even have a balcony.

    I haven’t tried rabbit ear antenna though..
    Might as well do kasi nasisira yung connection ng Sky cable kapag #aldub na or climax na nung tele serye.
    I don’t watch HBO, Pacquiao fights, nor other premium shows; I can live without them;I am content with free OTA channels.

    IMO

  8. Vince says:

    I have Netflix, Hulu, iFlix, and Hooq. The only one I don’t have yet is Amazon Prime. I still subscribe to Sky Cable for some of the reasons listed above, but just got the basic plan. I add on NBA Premium and ASN during the NBA and NFL seasons then unsubscribe during the off season.

  9. paolo says:

    I’d want to invest in subscriptions to iFlix (Yay for CBS Sitcoms) and Netflix when that comes out (Orange is the new Black,) but I know my experience with streaming services will be AWFUL because Philippine internet is just awful to begin with, one of the most awful in the world. I mean, in our house on a 2MBPS PLDT line, the Internet on one phone slows to a crawl when at least one of us starts to watch Youtube (Just one! And 24/7 there’re at least two phones connected on the Wifi line.), what chance with trying to stream ENTIRE episodes?

    So cable still makes sense, until the Internet here catches up to make streaming practical,…

    • jim says:

      You’re accusing PLDT of having awful service because your internet service slows to a crawl when you watch youtube videos and have multiple phones connected? You’re only subscribe to a 2mbps connection. What do you expect? Maybe the youtube video is set to play at hd / full hd. Maybe during this your phones are set to auto update apps. Know its limits. I blame PLDT for not repairing our phone line the soonest, but I don’t complain about not being able to download gigabytes of data when I’m only subscribed to 1mbps.

    • paolo says:

      No one’s phones are auto-updating apps and the videos are 480P at best, Jim. It’s inaccurate to accuse us of asking what can’t be delivered, I’m pointing a reality. And the reality is how PLDT positions the faster lines and its pricing is out of reach of many, many people and families,…

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