Should You Ditch Streaming & Go Back to Cable?

Every Tuesday we run the latest news in the world of cord-cutting, and yesterday was no different. Today, however, we’d like to bring you this alternate perspective.


by Andrew Heinzman

Streaming video was supposed to save us from the wicked grasp of cable TV. But as prices rise and streaming selections fall, it’s getting hard to justify the frustrating, expensive streaming experience that comes along with being a cord cutter. People subscribed to services like YouTube TV could actually save money and get more channels by with a cable subscription. But is going back really worth it?

Why Did We Ditch Cable In the First Place?

Nobody expected Netflix to become a full-time cable replacement when it started streaming shows and movies in 2007. The idea, as outlined in a now 13-year-old New York Times article, was to compete with Blockbuster, iTunes, and cable-owned video-on-demand services.

It just happens that Netflix struck gold. Not just because streaming is cheap or convenient, but because Netflix had an incredible library of shows and movies—a library that puts all modern streaming services to shame. What we didn’t realize at the time is that this was the start of a new concept: cord cutting.

Distributors were happy to license their catalog to Netflix because they thought that streaming was, at best, an alternative to rental. That’s how Netflix managed to net classic Disney films, the full Pixar catalog, NBC Universal’s best shows, brand-new AMC hits, Nickelodeon, Warner Brothers, FOX, Cartoon Network, and more in its first years of streaming. By the time 2009 rolled around, publications like Wired were pushing articles like “Netflix Everywhere: Sorry Cable, You’re History.”