Cord Cutting: How I Got Rid Of Cable & You Can Too!

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One day, back in 2015 I opened my cable bill. It cost me $175 a month for cable and internet from Cablevision. I watched quite a bit of TV, most of it from my DVR, with shows like, "The Walking Dead", "Game of Thrones", "Dr. Who", or "Homeland" - to name a few.

Even while I had cable, I also had Netflix ($10) and Amazon Prime Video ($12.50 monthly). Just watching movies or TV shows I was paying almost $200 a month, I started to question...was it worth it?

I had been thinking about this for a long time. There's only a few channels that I really watched, like HBO, Showtime, AMC, aside from regular basic stations. Many TV shows and movies are available on Netflix or Amazon a year later, and I was able to buy a season pass to The Walking Dead which costs $40 a year. I don't really watch much else on AMC besides TWD or Talking Dead. Showtime only has Homeland that I want to watch. BBC only really has Dr. Who. I found this was often with a lot of channels, there was only 1 or 2 shows from each channel that I liked, but as a whole wasn't THAT important.

If I cut my bill down to "basic cable" my costs would basically reduce by $100, or $1200 a year. Even if I bought season passes for all my favorite TV shows, I seriously questioned if I could spend more than $1200 a year on them. 

The biggest key issue with cord cutting is loss of sports. My favorite teams are in Philadelphia, so I have been used to the idea that I can't watch my favorite teams play aside from subscriptions to, or DirecTV NFL Sunday Pass. This is the biggest issue with cord cutting, and quite frankly that's how the cable companies and DirecTV know they got you. There's no "basic TV plus local sports" option. Cablevision only offers Broadcast Basic (FOX, NBC, CBS, ABC, WB, Public TV) for $13 - and the next jump up is value package for $65. It's a $52 jump. That's absurd. There really needs to be a better middle ground here, for $25 a month you should be able to get basic TV plus MSG/SNY/NBCSports/ESPN. Ideally, you should be able to pick a-la-carte what channels interest YOU, there are plenty of people who hate sports, and would rather spend $12 on a few channels that are important to them. Interestingly enough MLB.TV announced this year: "Follow Your Team feature will allow MLB.TV Premium subscribers to watch their favorite out-of-market club telecasts without blackouts for $10 more a month."

The day will come that this happens sooner or later. One reason is Amazon and Netflix are starting to produce their own TV shows and movies. Secondly, people are cutting the cord nationwide. Almost 200,000 Canadians cut the cord in 2015. Eventually the cable companies will have to react.

HBO ($15), Showtime ($9) and Starz ($9) now offer seperate streaming services for their channels. I could buy all 3 of those channels, get "Game of Thrones", "Silicon Valley", "Homeland", "Black Sails" and all their movies for $33 a month. Even with basic cable $13, plus $33...i'm still only paying $46 a month if I bought those streaming channels. Right now i'm holding off on getting Showtime & Starz, but will be getting HBO soon because I love Game of Thrones.

My second favorite show, The Walking Dead (TWD) - I was able to buy $3.99 per episode the day after it airs on Amazon (I cut the cord mid-season, so it didn't make sense to buy the whole season for $40). Total cost I spent was about $24.

Once I started to add it looked like this:
HBO per month $15

Basic TV per month $13

TWD per month $3 ($40/3).

Showtime $9

Starz $9 (single team package - estimated $8 a month, I don't have the pricing handy for next year) (single team package $85 a year, or $7 monthly - i'm skipping it this year since Phillies are in the dog house)

Total Cost $59 with Basic/HBO/Showtime/Starz/NHL/TWD. Not including Internet or including existing Netflix & Amazon. 

That still bascially leaves me $41 to spend a month on any other subscriptions or movies. 

It's really a no brainer. I haven't even come close to spending more than that on my favorite shows and movies. Again, my biggest issue is missing out on live sports and while annoying, especially when Villanova was on TBS for the national championship, it wasn't the end of the world to go to a bar to watch the game.

The sooner more people cut the cord the sooner cable and satellite companies will be forced to fix the problem. Do it!


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This page contains a single entry by Furey published on April 8, 2016 12:43 AM.

Why Everyone In Philly Needs To Root For Villanova was the previous entry in this blog.

Everyone Needs Something To Motivate Them is the next entry in this blog.

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