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Alex Nelson

Mrs. Cramer

College Comp 1

17 November 2017

The Rise of Netflix

Netflix is taking over the television world. The chances are that when you come home at

night and lie on your couch and consume an entire tub of your favorite ice cream while you

watch your most beloved TV series, you are watching it on Netflix. Every show you want to

watch is at your fingertips at any time that you want. Because of this awesome power that we

consume on a regular basis, cable television is dying out. Companies that are competing with

Netflix are going out of business and are going away. All of the new shows and series that

everyone wants to watch are all stored on Netflix. The older style cable channels with repeats of

old outdated shows that you would watch in the early 2000's are being destroyed by the new

technology and entertainment services such as Netflix. Netflix shows no commercials between

shows as well, unlike cable. Cable services do not have a chance to survive the ever-growing

world of instant entertainment and streamed television shows. As the world of television show

streaming continues to grow, the world of cable continues to decline and die off.

The history of cable television dates all the way back to the 1940's. Cable started out

small and only consisted of a couple channels. Broadcast networks sent electromagnetic signals

that carried TV programs exclusively over the airwaves through tall towers. The signals from the

towers was only effective for residents that lived in cities that were close to the towers. Once

anyone got far away from the tower, they would lose the signal and couldn’t watch any of the
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channels. Millions of Americans living in rural areas found themselves with either very poor TV

reception, or no signal at all. Americans then started thinking of better and new ways to watch

television instead of the noneffective and outdated methods they were currently using. Within a

few years of the start of TV broadcasting, creative citizens who wanted television access began

experimenting with alternative ways to transmit television signals so that broadcasts would reach

small towns and rural areas (Gale). The first successful alternative transmission method was

through antenna. Antenna television was a great alternative for people outside of the normal

range of the television towers. The antennas were able to receive a better reception and a larger

selection of existing TV stations much further away than they were before. With technology

growing rapidly, more and more people started to enjoy TV and wanted better options and

services to watch. The expansion of more and more reception towers and antennas in better

locations started to spread and demand went up.

Major networks began to come up with better ideas in order to please their customers.

They began to service cable television to consumers that bought it. The overall amount to

television watchers increased and a very fast rate. More and more cable televisions were being

used to satisfy the ever-growing market of television entertainment. But as the market grew,

competition grew as well. In 1969 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued

regulations that limited the growth of cable TV. These regulations prevented cable TV systems

from entering the urban markets, where they competed heavily with the broadcast networks

(Gale). The rules also tied cable operators more closely to rural communities by requiring them

to air their own programing in order to protect broadcasters in the growing market. For instance,

cable systems were forbidden to show movies that were less than ten years old or sporting events

that had occurred within the past five years. Just like in the past years, despite the FCC's efforts,
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cable television continued to grow and take over older ways of broadcasting TV. By 1970 there

were 2,500 cable TV systems in the United States serving 4.5 million subscribers. By the 1980's

the sudden reduction in FCC regulations led to tremendous growth in cable TV systems (Gale).

The number of networks grew to 79 in 1990 and gave audience groups much different shows that

were unique and new to the American society and culture. Soon in America almost every person

and family owned cable television. Cable gave many people lots of different, interesting shows

to watch. But as history had showed us, technology changes for the better. Television services

such a Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon prime started to take the cable audience away from cable, and

to their services (Gale). The progression and evolution of cable television has given us lots of

entertainment, all the way from antenna TV, to cable TV, and to present television services such

as Netflix

Netflix is the leader for television streaming in America. Netflix provides an experience

much better than cable TV can provide with instant streaming whenever, and wherever you want.

The convenience of being able to choose any show you want to watch at any time is a very big

appeal to Americans (Smith). Also, Netflix streams new shows that Americans are interested in

watching, rather than old and outdated shows that people have already seen before. Cable TV is

typically stuck with reruns of shows during the majority of the day. When cable TV does play a

new show, it is only played once and at a specific time that the viewers must be available for to

be able to experience it. If they miss the show, then they must wait until it comes back on again

at a different time. On Netflix, all you have to do is search for any show that you desire to see.

The shows it provides are new and appealing to Americans. This is why 73% of cable TV

viewers have made the cross over into more advanced entertainment (Risen).
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As you can see, Netflix has made Americans lives a lot easier and better than it was with

cable television. Everyone's favorite shows are right at their fingertips at any time, and at any

place with Netflix. Cable has made an impressive run throughout American history, but like all

technology, it becomes outdated by the latest and best. The future of all television lays in the

hands of online streaming services that bring convenience and comfort to all customers. Cable

has out done all of the older technology before it, and now Netflix is doing the same to cable.
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Works Cited

Andrews, Travis M. "Six days worth of commercials: That's how much watching Netflix instead
of cable saves the average TV viewer annually." Washington Post, 11 May 2016.
Opposing Viewpoints in Context.
Mele, Christopher. "Too Many Shows? Just Speed Them Up." New York Times, 13 Dec. 2016, p.
B7(L). Opposing Viewpoints in Context.
Risen, Tom. "More Americans Pay for Netflix than Cable." Comcast, Netflix, and the Death of
Cable. N.p., n.d. Web.
Smith, Chris. "More Americans Pay for Netflix than Cable TV." BGR. N.p., 15 June 2017. Web.
Snider, Mike. "Watch Netflix over cable? Yes, it's for real." USA Today, 4 Nov. 2016, p. 02B.
Opposing Viewpoints in Context, Accessed 25
Oct. 2017
"The Rise of Cable Television." Television in American Society Reference Library., n.d. Web.
Weinman, Jaime J. "Killing cable: with higher revenues and mire viewers, Netflix believes its
defeat of cable TV is finally at hand." Maclean's, 13 May 2013, p.42.