The clock strikes midnight and Valentine’s Day arrives. Local wrestling referee Tony Ceto awakes from a rare nap, and while he may have an entire day full of romantic activities ahead of him, his focus is on the immediate present.
It’s the middle of the night, yet he’s wide awake and the strategic slumber he has partaken in has provided him the ability to stay up and watch the show he’s been waiting all week for, a live sporting event broadcast from Japan. For Ceto and many others, this is a now common occurrence amongst Westerners.
While the youth of his generation are tapped into the technology providing him this form of entertainment, there’s an entire town around him that may infact be stuck in the past, for it’s not cable he’s watching, nor a pay-per-view provider.
The broadcast comes direct from an online subscription, a new form of pay-per-view just now coming to fruition. While this may be hip and common in areas of California such as San Francisco and Silicon Valley, the question remains: has the Yuba-Sutter area done enough to keep pace with this new form of in-home entertainment?
As 2015 has arrived, and 2020 is on the way, the writing on the wall is pretty clear. Much like newspapers and other forms of media in the past, cable is likely nearing its final days. While that may not affect breadwinners and family shot callers now, the day will come when we switch from the likes of Comcast and Viacom and begin subscribing to the specific areas that pique our interest.
The wheels are already turning and the revolution of Internet-based television is in motion. Major League Baseball, for one, has been ahead of the curve, with an entire network at the fingertips of fans willing to pay to see every team play every game.
Sports entertainment juggernaut Vince McMahon and his World Wrestling Entertainment brand soon followed suit with the assistance of MLB Network, and have now begun broadcasting its previously exclusive-to-cable pay-per-view events on their online network for a fraction of the previous cost.
While cable companies of the past have charged somewhere between $40 and $60 for big events, the “WWE Network” now charges only $10 per month to view not only their big shows but an entire catalog of shows from years past, even going so far as to mock fans still paying 4 times as much as the price of their monthly subscription for only the 3 hours of cable television featuring these big events.
The hang-up for folks of the Yuba-Sutter area may lie within the configuration of their living rooms, specifically their entertainment centers.
While black and white televisions with wire hangers serving as antennae provided decades of entertainment in the past, they are no longer able to compete with the likes of smart televisions and Apple TV devices.
While youth like Ceto may be ahead of the curve, staying up to par with the constantly changing technology, many in the Yuba and Sutter areas may not fully understand the concept of a smart TV. Inevitable, however, is that the time will come when basic cable is a thing of the past—a relic. Wire hanger antennas will have to go back in the closet with the old beta max and 8-tracks. Computers will be used for more than just checking emails and preparing one’s homework.
Whether or not the lands of California this far north are ready to embrace this change is a question only time can answer. That time, however, may be a lot closer than some think.
Note: This article was featured in The Prospector Spring 2015 print edition.