UVM cuts cable in dorms - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

UVM cuts cable in dorms

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Hundreds of students with piles of stuff are ready to start another year at the University of Vermont. But one thing they won't have this year is access to cable TV.

Reporter Deanna LeBlanc: So, how do you watch your shows?

Joseph Oteng: I am always online. I am on Netflix and Hulu and even YouTube sometimes.

Oteng is president of UVM's Inter-Residence Association, the group that decided to pull the plug on the cable service.

"Personally, I've moved in-- with my executive board-- 55 students-- and I've only seen one TV so far," Oteng said.

"I'm completely fine with it," said Patrick Strobel, a freshman. "I don't really watch cable at home either, so I'm fine with it."

Even those who brought TVs, like freshman Ally Eardley, say they plan to link them to laptops or gaming systems and watch shows over the internet.

"I like knowing when I want to watch it because I don't want to wait for it to come on," Eardley said.

Four years ago, a survey of students found that 80 percent still preferred cable as their way to watch TV, but a recent survey shows those number have changed substantially.

Only 55 percent of UVM students polled even have a TV in their dorm rooms. And those who do reported watching cable TV an average of just 30 minutes per day.

On the other hand, 86 percent of students reported watching content online about 90 minutes each day.

"It's not appointment television anymore. People aren't sitting down and watching their televisions to view their favorite shows," said Traci Griffith, a media expert and St. Michael's College professor.

Griffith says online streaming is creating a new trend in the way we watch TV.

"Quite often the younger demographic does what is called binge watching, where they watch a whole season of a particular show in one sitting," Griffith said.

Many students say they don't mind paying for online subscriptions and canceling cable is saving the school some money.

"Last I heard it was $200,000 is what we save from cutting cable, so that's going to go toward building up the infrastructure of the internet, covering up the dead spots and speeding up the bandwidth," Oteng said.

High-speed hookups that reflect a growing trend away from traditional TV.

And it's not just students, a recent study by the Consumer Electronics Association shows more than a quarter of all U.S. households now use the internet to watch shows on their TVs.

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