The death of cable TV, finally!

I saw this and thought, “cable TV is dead.”

For many TV viewers, the only reason to keep paying for expensive cable subscriptions is to watch sports. And for that, they invariably need ESPN, the powerful network that has exclusive rights to many of the country’s most popular football and basketball games.

Now, that linchpin is being removed. For the first time ever, sports fans will be able to watch ESPN’s programming streamed online to their tablets, laptops, smartphones and TVs—all without paying a cable or satellite bill.

Everyone I talk to hates the cable company. And whenever I ask why they don’t dump it, the answer is ESPN.

We’ve been without cable TV since 2003, and really haven’t missed a thing. If I want to watch a big game that isn’t on a network live, I visit a relative. Otherwise, I just go to the ESPN 3 Web site and catch the replay for nothing.

For network shows, all you need is a digital antenna. If you have had cable for years, you don’t know that the broadcast quality you get with a $30 digital antenna is amazing. In D.C., I get 40 channels, and about 10 of them are foreign language, many with subtitles. Of course digital TV has limits based on where you live.  Do we really need 15 religious channels in Louisville?

For other entertainment, spend $100 for an annual subscription to Amazon Prime. Thousands of movies and TV shows. And while you’re at it, get a Fire TV stick. All of the Prime content is there, and you can add apps for more free entertainment. I found an app that lets me watch a train moving through Norway from a motorman’s perspective (Honestly, when I lIved in Europe it was one of my favorite channels.)

Hook your computer to your HD TV, and you can watch what you normally watch on your tiny computer monitor.

I’ve thought this through for a long time. One more advantage of not having cable: I never have to accidentally land on Fox News. When that happened at other places I’ve been I felt like someone just opened the door to their house and let a vagrant come in and take a dump on the floor.

I’ve measured the cost of all this. A monthly cable bill is about $100. I’m spending about $150 a year, plus a monthly Internet fee that is nowhere near what cable TV (with the fixin’s like the premium movie channels and premium sports packages) costs.

Save some money folks. Oh, and if you want ESPN, that will cost $240 a year, but you’ll get a few other channels.


You’ve got to see this music video

Go here:

Unfortunately, I can’t figure out how to embed this on a WordPress page, but here’s what you have to know.

It’s the official music video from Bob Dylan for “Like a Rolling Stone.” Yeah, I know, the song’s almost 50 years old. But this video is new and is an amazing interactive experience.

You’re sent to a television screen, complete with multiple channels. Flip the channels, and everyone is lip syncing the song. On ESPN, on the History Channel, on “The Price is Right,” in movies. On a Food Channel. There’s even a channel with a young Bob Dylan.

Or you can watch the whole thing on one channel.

It is definitely one of the most amazing things you’re every going to see on the Internet.


Kevin Ware’s Top 10 list

Outside of a horrific injury, Kevin Ware has had a really good week. He’s now one of the best known players in Louisville basketball history, and he isn’t even a starter. He’s the talk of the nation in terms of inspiration. He’s done an interview with ESPN. And he presents David Letterman’s Top 10 list.
Oh,yeah. And his team is in college basketball’s Final Four.
UofL’s Final Four matchup is today. The cards are favored by about 10 points, and Ware will attend. Expect lots of shots of Ware watching the game during the CBS coverage.


Trying not to offend

Newspapers constantly struggle with the issue of not offending readers when a story involves someone doing something extremely offensive.

Case in point: ESPN college football announcer Ron Franklin was fired for making demeaning comments to the network’s sideline reporter, Jeannine Edwards.

According to the Washington Post:

Franklin, 68, allegedly called Edwards an insulting seven-letter word after she objected to being called “sweet baby” by Franklin during a conversation that took place at a pre-game production meeting Friday, hours before the pair were to cover another football game for ESPN.

You have to let your mind wander to figure out what that seven-letter word was. A mainstream newspaper isn’t going to provide it.

I thought a while, and two possibilities came to mind, but I’ve heard both on prime-time TV. Are those words too sensitive for newspaper readers’ eyes?

That’s why we have the Internet. According to the Huffington Post:

Before Friday’s Chick Fil-A Bowl, Franklin said to Edwards, “Listen to me sweet baby, let me tell you something.”

After Edwards told him not to address her like that, Franklin responded by saying, “OK, then listen to me a-hole.”

Yep, that’s one of the two words I was thinking of. And Franklin never apologized to Edwards. He needed to go.