Cable Viewers Demand Fewer Channels for Less Money

How many channels are you paying for that you never, ever watch?

In what may be a covert ad for Sling TV, Consumerist is reporting that most viewers don’t want 500 channels of drek for a mysterious amount of money that seems to get larger every month like they didn’t think you’d notice. What do the people want? Survey says they’d prefer to pay about $38 for a bundle of 17 channels they’d actually like to watch, which turns out to be mostly the stuff you’d find on basic-basic cable.

"And the number one answer... 'Porn for Free.'"

“And the number one answer… ‘Porn for Free.'”

ABC tops the list of what viewers crave, so we’re guessing the survey was done immediately prior to the finale of How to Get Away with Murder. What channel comes next on the “can’t live without” list? The Discovery Channel. Really! It was surprise to us, too, but it might have something to do with sharks. Who doesn’t love soulless predators? Which also may explain why NBC made it to the top five.  Hannibal. Who did you think I meant?

What? They fired my ass years ago!

What? They fired my ass years ago!

What didn’t make the top 10? Survey says: ESPN. The Disney-owned sports megastation came in 20th, with only 36% saying they’d include it. Disney will be taking legal action against everyone as soon as they’re finished crying in the corner like a cartoon princess.

[Editor’s Note: We were going to insert a photo of crying Disney princess here, but our legal team advised against it.]


After the old-timey networks, PBS came in 8th, one place higher than HBO, so we’re pretty sure people were just trying to sound smart.


“What's up with Bert and Ernie? They seem kind of gay.”

“What’s up with Bert and Ernie? They seem kind of gay.”

Looks like they weren’t polling in our neighborhood, as BET, Univision and Telemundo are all so far at the bottom they barely register. We know Sábado Gigante isn’t what it used to be, but seventy-second out of seventy-five?

"Not dead yet."

“Not dead yet.”

The top 20 dream-bundle channels are below. The green bars represent the percentage of households that want each station:


Full chart of all 75 channels at Consumerist

You may be asking yourself: What, no E? No Bravo? No AMC? And can’t these people just check the weather on their phones? It may help to know the survey was commissioned by Digitalsmith, which is owned by TiVo, and the respondents probably still watch all their television on the television apparatus, maybe in a nursing home, in Florida.

Marion Stein

Marion writes television recaps and reviews for the Agony Booth, and books you can find over at Amazon.

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