Cutting the Cable Cord? Savings Aren't What They Were

Megalith

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It is starting to become apparent that getting rid of cable may not necessarily save you more money: the reason is that more and more digital platforms and internet TV services are entering the market, adding to fragmentation and the need to pay up for exclusive programming. It could be too costly to subscribe to a sufficient number of products to build the range of content a consumer desires.

“If cord-cutting was originally seen as a cost-saving measure, I would say that’s no longer the case. I don’t really see that happening,” eMarketer principal analyst Paul Verna told MarketWatch. “Once you total up the cost of all your digital platforms, and then if you’re a sports fan, too, you’re probably not really saving money.” As cord-cutting has eroded the traditional cable bundle, the variety of new and existing streaming and internet TV offerings could give way to a new kind of bundle, and the industry is beginning to think that way.
 

Spidey329

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Well if you're cord cutting just to supplement that cord cutting with a ton of services, sure.

But many cord cutters do it because 90% of what is on the cable bundles is garbage. You don't need to spend over $20 in packages to get a lot of the premium content.
 

TwiceOver

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If you expect to give up nothing, then expect to gain nothing.

Honestly, once you're a season or two behind on a show and it shows up on netflix, or amazon, or whatever, then it's new to you. Rarely does anyone talk about new TV shows anymore openly anyway.
 

NeghVar

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of course there are those people who would pay an arm and a leg to make sure they get their Star Wars and Marvel fix. Depending on their prices, there may be another jump in piracy.
 

CombatChrisNC

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We had Amazon Prime anyways, so getting their TV service is icing on the cake. And Netflix. That's IT. I will NOT be paying the kind of money these places want for perhaps 1 show. No way, no how.
 

Cyraxx

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Yes, if you subscribe to the likes of HBO Go ($15/month), Hulu ($10/month I think?), and Netflix ($10/month I think?) you're already talking $35/month and you aren't that much better off.

That's why I cut the cord and haven't subscribed to any. Either a 'la cart in full or nothing. I'm not paying $X/month to get Show#1 and $X/month to get Show#2.
 

tungt88

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I had Spectrum (formerly Time Warner Cable here in NY) up until about 1-2 months ago (internet only), paying around $100/mo.; but ended up going for Verizon FIOS instead (they had the $70/mo. Gigabit up/down special, so I bit).
Went with FIOS due to the reliability factor; speed was secondary (was getting a solid 300up/25down with Spectrum). Spectrum let me down way too many times when I had lots of work to do at night (email/conference call/messaging/documents/etc) -- especially when their employees had a big strike that lasted for the better part of 2-3 months earlier this summer. :(
With FIOS, it's been incredibly consistent (no problems whatsoever), and I can even watch livestreams directly from the TV network websites (courtesy of Verizon's arrangement with them, I suppose).
 

Semantics

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Yes, if you subscribe to the likes of HBO Go ($15/month), Hulu ($10/month I think?), and Netflix ($10/month I think?) you're already talking $35/month and you aren't that much better off.

That's why I cut the cord and haven't subscribed to any. Either a 'la cart in full or nothing. I'm not paying $X/month to get Show#1 and $X/month to get Show#2.
Netflix doesn't really have TV series anymore, Just subscribe to Hulu which covers 90% of tv series that you'd get from cable then just subscribe to HBO when you need it, like 2 months for this year(game of thrones) and netflix when you feel like you want to watch a new series they have or w.e
 

mord

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I cut out cable tv over a year ago. I already had Netflix. I have Amazon prime for the shipping and some deals also. I dont need anything else. Heck, I dont even use Netflix much, I have a queue a mile deep and never get around to watching it.

Sign up for 10 services at ~$10 each? Ha. I might drop Netflix, just because I want to keep prime for the shipping and either of them have more stuff to watch than I will ever work through. I just don't watch much TV.
 

raz-0

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That's why I cut the cord and haven't subscribed to any. Either a 'la cart in full or nothing. I'm not paying $X/month to get Show#1 and $X/month to get Show#2.

You boggle the mind sir.

Paying $X/month is exactly the fullest interpretation of ala cart. The other is paying $X/month per channel. The point of ala carte is paying for the bits you want.

Frankly, if all the stuff I watched was released on iTunes or something similar the day it premiered, I'd just buy it per show. It'd be cheaper.

Outside of that, subscribing to streaming services is EXACTLY like the ala carte most everyone was demanding. They wanted to buy only the channels they wanted. They just don't like the price per channel and the number of them.

People are also just whining because of Disney and sports. Well duh. most of the absurd pricing is because of cable companies making their own BS filler channels and... Sports. If you don't care about either, you have options that will save you money.
 
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Each person's circumstance will vary, I already had Direct TV, Netflix, Amazon so I reduced my bill from $120 or more per month to $40 by getting rid of direct TV, using an antenna (much higher quality) and subscribing to Netflix and Tablo's TV guide.
 

BigJayDogg3

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You boggle the mind sir.

Paying $X/month is exactly the fullest interpretation of ala cart. The other is paying $X/month per channel. The point of ala carte is paying for the bits you want.

Frankly, if all the stuff I watched was released on iTunes or something similar the day it premiered, I'd just buy it per show. It'd be cheaper.

Outside of that, subscribing to streaming services is EXACTLY like the ala carte most everyone was demanding. They wanted to buy only the channels they wanted. They just don't like the price per channel and the number of them.

People are also just whining because of Disney and sports. Well duh. most of the absurd pricing is because of cable companies making their own BS filler channels and... Sports. If you don't care about either, you have options that will save you money.
Pretty much. That's how I watched Top Gear UK for the longest. Amazon would get the shows a week after they aired in the UK, and I'd torrent them same week then buy them by the episode as they released.

The other thing is just sharing logins. I pay for Hulu, Mom pays for Amazon Prime and adds us as household members, I pay for Hulu. Only one of those services explicitly states not to share logins, and frankly, if they want to become sticklers about it, I'll just drop them.

I pay more for music services than I do video because I want the "native" application on a few different platforms.
 

Rahh

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Keeping up with many different subscriptions is annoying but I do like my content and quality better. Am I saving much? No, not really but I am gaining more content for cheaper.
 

SGTGimpy

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There are a lot of different options available for those who want to ditch cable/Sat and do it for a cheaper price while getting a better viewing experience. Just have to do a lot research on what is available in your area and trial & error testing.

Personal Example: I had Direct TV with 5 boxes @ $210 p/m, Netflix 11.99, Hulu w/o Commercials $14.99 p/m Funimation $5.99, Crunchyroll $6.99 p/m for total of $250 p/m. After doing about a years worth of research and testing, I finally made the switch off Direct TV to Playstation Vue two weeks ago. Now I have PS Vue Ultra $75 p/m on 4 TV's using Amazon fire TV's, Netflix $11.99p/m, VRV.co $9.99. for a total $97 p/m. That is little over $150 in savings and I am able to watch every show / sporting event I normally did with a lot better experience.

Unfortunately this only works for me because where live due to the streaming rights PS Vue has for the Los Angeles area. But for someone like my friend in Ohio. PS Vue is crap due to the streaming rights available in his area. After a little more research, found that DirectTV Now was available and he was able to get everything he needed at a cheaper price than his AT&T U-Verse. This is a good example of the fragmentation issue that is arising with the age of streaming and what also makes it a pain in the ass to cut the cord. There should be no difference in what is available to watch in the US whether I live in SoCal or out in middle of bum fuck Ohio.

If you really want to cut the cord and save money, you can do it. Unfortunately you are going to have to work for it and do a bit of research to find what is the best option for you in your area. Whether it is OTA options, Streaming TV services, or streaming apps.
 
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zero2dash

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$120 for DirecTV
$45 for Sling + Hulu + Netflix
Nah, no savings here. :rolleyes:

This is another pay TV shill article written by an idiot who thinks cutting the cord = you have to buy EVERY SERVICE YOU CAN. Sure, if you do, you're not saving money. Who the fuck does that?

Secondly, cutting the cord is about CHOICE in addition to saving money.

Big media wants cord cutting to stop? How about a la carte pricing like people have asked for for well over 10 years now? Of course they don't want to do that. :rolleyes:
 
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James Robinson

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The problem is ALL providers for every form of service have 'joined the club' in bundling useless crap. If you've already GOT a subscription or plan you're probably good for now..

However, if you want something new and/or different, maybe raw internet, etc... the only way you get the top tiers is if you buy THIS or THAT as well, or the fees become freakishly unreasonable. It's just so frustrating...

somehow the BASELINE for family/household disposable income for broadband/cable sits @ $100... 45 years and it's STILL the baseline
 

ecmaster76

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The great thing about streaming is you don't have to lock into a contract to get the "real" price and you can cancel at any time

HBO might be $15/mo but GoT was 7 episodes so if that's all you want you only had to pay for 2 months

Streaming is binge friendly, broadcast not so much
 
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jtm55

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Hi All

I guess it depends on the individual. I dropped cable more than 5 years ago. My TV is OTA Prime & Netflix.
 
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Wierdo

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I cut the cord because the programming style is for an older generation, why get 50 channels of pre-programmed shows broken into year long series and chopped into five minute chunks with overly intrusive advertising between them?

The newer generation prefers to get their entertainment on-demand instead, and they like to binge watch, cable is not competition to Netflix in that regard, it's outdated and clunky by comparison.
 

Kardonxt

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I know it's just business doing what business does but these arguments have a huge flaw to me..... They are operating under the assumption content providers can keep their profit margins the same.

Of course it looks like things will be too costly giving customers what they demand while keeping shareholders happy. At some point content providers are going to have to adapt and focus on staying in business. Their viewer base is getting increasingly tech savvy and getting paid content for free is getting less complicated.

Hulu, Prime, and OTA have worked great for me.
 

JSumrall

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Honestly I find the entire situation kind of sad. There is so much great content out there right now, but it's gotten to a point I don't really care if I have to wait over a year to see something new because of all of the fragmentation. I pay for Netflix, Amazon Prime and HBO Now. And after Game of Thrones is done, I really don't see me holding on to HBO Now.
 

rive22

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Commercials make me want to bash my head into the wall, it's really that simple. I haven't had cable in over a decade and I will never pay for a service that has them ever again in my life.

As for the argument of; it pays for the content, if Hollywood would lower salaries and incomes and they'd still be banking it and they could get away with far less advertising.

The only form of advertising I would find acceptable would be at most two 45-60 second commercials. One half way through and one at the end. And they can't be some loud volume over zealous crap with crackhead people talking fake like you're winning the lottery if you use their product/service or go to their sales event. At least in Europe they have funny commercials that are laid back and tolerable. US advertising is hideous.

All that aside, I only binge watch stuff now once seasons are complete. Weekly cliffhangers are fruitless.
 
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Lenard

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the trick is to forego any content and just do the porn. It's ubiquitous, it's free, and totally safe.
 

Madoc

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The fragmentation problem will fix itself as those new entrants go out of business, since regular people aren't interested in subscribing to a 100 different services.
Yep. Let the free market, and personal choice, prevail.
 

Krazy925

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Pretty much. That's how I watched Top Gear UK for the longest. Amazon would get the shows a week after they aired in the UK, and I'd torrent them same week then buy them by the episode as they released.

The other thing is just sharing logins. I pay for Hulu, Mom pays for Amazon Prime and adds us as household members, I pay for Hulu. Only one of those services explicitly states not to share logins, and frankly, if they want to become sticklers about it, I'll just drop them.

I pay more for music services than I do video because I want the "native" application on a few different platforms.
This is the part people miss.

I pay for Netflix
My fiance's sister pays for Hulu (ugh but not commercial free)
We got HBO from my old roommates with the entire cable package and logins
I pay for Prime and we have OTA

Our internet is $51 a month after taxes 200/10 down/up and combining that with my Netflix price internet and cable cost $70 a month.
We're even going to split the cost of both the NBA and NFL packages to get all the games.

The only thing I can't get is CSNBA because it's owned by Comcast. Also CBS would be more but I grab it off OTA.
 

auntjemima

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But why would you lock yourself into shitty MPEG2 2004 era Comcast cable boxes... or any "box?"

Exactly! When I left Bell satellite 2 years ago they were STILL only braodcasting in 720p or 1080i.. What the fuck is this, 1998?
 

pcgeekesq

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Doesn't matter to me what all those streaming services cost in money: they're not worth spending my time to watch.
And I've pretty much stopped getting new content unless it's 4K, Disney movies being the exception, and I expect that to change soon (I got GotG2 in 4K, more to follow I'm sure).
Our 65" LG OLED, which we watch from 7 feet away, has spoiled me terribly.
 

Merc1138

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So true, even today still some networks continue to broadcast in 720p. It blows my mind.
It gets even worse when you consider that some providers will even further compress the shit out of video for certain shows they deem "unworthy" so not only are you only getting 720p or 1080i, you're getting a smeared artifact filled mess.
 

waderunner

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What's nice about the online streaming services is that they are easily stopped and started. So, subscribe to Netflix for a few months. Once you're caught up with what you want to watch, go to HBO Go for a few months. Then to Acorn TV, and so on. Then, circle back to Netflix once they get some content you haven't yet watched. I guess you could do it with cable, but probably not as easily.
 

MavericK

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Yeah, the idea of "subscription services" has become a bit too prevalent. Between video, audio, software, etc. you might end up paying more than before, on top of being raped by your ISP in the first place to deliver said content.
 

jnemesh

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These articles (and this isnt the 1st I have seen like this) are misleading. If you are trying to replicate the CRAP content you get on cable...then no, it's not cheaper to "cut the cord"...but if you are willing to live with certain limitations, it most certainly IS cheaper. My bill went from over $180 to $95 by returning all of my cable boxes and cutting my subscription to Comcast to internet only. So $85 saved. I already subscribe to Netflix ($10/mo), commercial free Hulu ($13/mo) and Amazon ($99/yr)...but I was ALREADY SUBSCRIBING to those services before cutting the cord! Even if I added those services now, I would be at about $32/mo for those 3 services...and I am not adding any more to try to replicate the ad infested mess that is "Cable TV"! The TRUTH is that we have more "TV" available to us than ever before...more than I have time to consume anyway. If there is a show, like, say, The Expanse, that isn't on the services I subscribe to, I just pay for a "Season Pass" on Google Play and watch them COMMERCIAL FREE. Even by paying show by show, it's STILL cheaper than $85./month! Cable can bite me, I am NOT going back!
 
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Fragmentation is a great way to describe it. I am at the point right now where I'm just keeping my cable subscription because it's easier. I have free Netflix with Tmobile and along with my cable sub that's really all I need/want.
 

Lukas06

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I went from 2 TV boxes with Comcast at $188 per month to $50 per month for a slower internet connection and no cable. I got tired of the added fees and taxes. The worst one is the "gross receipts" tax that is basically a tax on a tax. I ordered an HDTV antenna from Newegg that should be here on Saturday. That and Amazon Prime and I am happy and a little less poor. In order for this article to be true for me, I'd have to sign up for a lot more services.
 

steakman1971

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I've been without cable for about 7 years now (well, I actually did have cable for 6 months during a TWC promo - it was actually cheaper to get cable + internet for that promo, canceled as soon as it was over though). My kids have grown up with Netflix, Amazon Prime, and ripped DVDs on my Plex system. No commercials. Good picture.
We also have OTA on a tv in our bedroom - my wife likes to watch college football so that gets her checkbox. I occasionally subscribe to stuff like Starz or HBO Go for various shows (GoT, American Gods). We cancel afterwards. Works fine for me.
 

nutzo

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The less TV you watch, the more you will save cutting the cord.
If you have a family, and everyone like to watch several shows on different channels, you are not likely to save much unless they are going to give up watching the shows.


The fragmentation problem will fix itself as those new entrants go out of business, since regular people aren't interested in subscribing to a 100 different services.

This will likely be the end results, Until then, we'll have a few years of pain or being stuck with cable, etc.


of course there are those people who would pay an arm and a leg to make sure they get their Star Wars and Marvel fix. Depending on their prices, there may be another jump in piracy.

And more piracy will be the end results of fragmentation and over pricing of the separate streaming services.
 
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