We have more channels than ever as part of our pay-TV packages. Yet, we’re watching the same exact number of channels, according to Nielsen.

Since 2009, the average household has gained 60 new channels. However, they are watching the same number of channels, ~17 on average. It makes sense that we’re not watching more channels. There are only so many hours in the day, and our attention span can only handle so much.

This is one of the things that frustrates people the most about TV. They pay a perpetually rising bill for 172 channels per month that they don’t even watch. People are desperate to get an unbundled experience, where they choose the channels they want.

TV people say the economics would not support that. Think about a channel like AMC, which didn’t have much until Mad Men. It was supported by the pay-TV bundle, which gave it enough money to eventually fund Mad Men, Walking Dead, and other shows.

Of course, the flip side of that is that AMC should have been producing Mad Men quality shows to entice subscribers all along. That’s what Netflix is doing. It has no bundle to lean on, it has to fight for its users, and it’s doing quite well.

Chart from Statista

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