Uh-oh: Cable companies threatening crackdown on password sharing …

Will Amazon Prime be next?


You had to know that this one was coming.

According to Bloomberg:

“Using someone else’s credentials to stream for free will soon be a $10 billion problem for pay-TV companies.”

Apparently, the problem isn’t just a matter of sharing passwords across extended families.


There’s reportedly a thriving market for passwords-to-buy (at deep discounts, of course) or password swapping (I give you my NFL password and you give me your HBO password).

And, the problem has reached epic proportions: as many as “30,000 simultaneous streams from a single account.”

So, what is the cable industry going to do about it?


The good news (for consumer “pirates”) is that there are no easy solutions and no industry consensus.

You see, the pay-to-views know that they have to cater to mobile delivery of content.

That means that they have to provide access across multiple devices.

And, they know that most subscribing families have multiple legit users … who may be in different places, wanting to watch the same show.

So, cutting the number of simultaneous users to too few deprives legitimate users of access … 2 simultaneous users is too tight of a restriction; 30,000 is probably a bit to liberal.

Another contemplated approach is to force account owners to frequently change passwords … expecting that the password change would be hard to implement across a wide password-chain.

The issue with that: the inconvenience that comes along with any password change.

Imagine sitting down to watch game 7 on you phone and finding yourself locked out because daddy changed the password and forgot to tell you.

One option that isn’t being considered is ending the cable practice of monopolistic price-gouging.

Maybe if cable fees were more reasonable, folks would be less tempted to share passwords.

Or, maybe not …



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