Executive Strategy

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So I cut the Cord

So I Cut the Cord

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Let me set this scenario for you. I was a Direct TV customer for years. Then I moved to an area where the only choices were Time Warner or AT&T. AT&T worked well for us and for the discounted, combined package plus the year commitment I enjoyed all channels including the premium ones. Then our contract ended…. and I wanted to see what else was out there.  

I have had experiences with Time Warner / Spectrum with rental properties and friends and to be frank, it was bad.  I was a little afraid to cut the cord, I have Amazon and Netflix, but I love watching live sports and I was afraid it was going to be difficult to navigate.

Not to insult anyone or any organizations, I based my scale on a few factors that are relevant to me: Quality, Interface, Customer Service and Ease of Use. As a buddy once compared wines: good, bad and alright; not the most technical approach but fast and efficient.

I decided to try the popular selections that offered a week trial with the understanding that these services are new, and they will all vastly improve in the future.

Direct TV Streaming: From my previous experience with Direct TV and the size of their company, I expected to be blown away, but I was simply not. There interface was alright, the pricing is higher, and they do not have recording capabilities.

Hulu: With all the hoopla, the anticipation was that Hulu was the best. Its interface is slow as well as cumbersome, and to be honest the green / aqua colors got on my nerves. The pricing is higher and when you compare it to what you are getting, I was disappointed. I heard the plan is to revamp the system but for now it is nice to have other choices.  

Sling: A good second place. The tiered pricing was nice, the system would freeze from time to time on live events, but the user interface was easy to navigate. I can see this company taking off as a clear alternative, but I wonder do they have the marketing dollars to compete. 

YouTube TV: Hands down #1. I tried YouTube TV first and everything else was not as good. Their user interface is excellent so is their DVR capabilities and when I did have a question their customer service was on point. The only drawback was adding multiple devices, which was a lengthy process.

Yes. YouTube has been doing this for years but then again so has Direct TV / AT&T. With the marketing dollars for campaigns like Hulu, I was expecting a more.  Sling is moving up but they too, are carving out the niche for the next generation of television.

Please leave a comment or drop me a note, I would like to hear about your experience on cutting the cord.


By Dane Flanigan

Dane Flanigan is a business consultant who helps companies build strategies to grow sales.