Over the past couple years, we've seen a shift in television. With the advent of devices that can stream directly from the internet and services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu, the landscape is changing. No longer are we tied to a television schedule, as our favorite shows will be available when we want to watch them.
The Netflix show, House of Cards, is yet another shift. The producers of the show weren't held to several restrictions that shows that are shown on 'normal' television. They didn't have to worry about the length of the show. It could be 5 minutes longer than normal, or 2 minutes shorter. They also didn't have to worry about breaking scenes up because of commercial breaks. They also aren't restricted in content. They aren't forced to 'dumb down' or censor anything. They can also develop without fear of cancelation. HBO and other premium networks can do most of this, except for length. They have a maximum length they can be.
We're starting to see the age of a la carte television entertainment. More and more people are getting their entertain on their schedule, and the shows they want. The exception to this is sports. The television sports networks have a stranglehold on the broadcasts. ESPN has rights to many sports. They do have a way you can stream events, but only if you are a cable subscriber on a participating cable provider. Not all providers have joined this streaming, which means that even though customers are paying for the same service, they are receiving less.
Until the strange hold of the sports networks is broken, cord cutting will never fully happen.