How to Cut The Cord and Still Watch Cable

Image: Daniel Horacio Agostini

By Danny F. Santos (doddleNEWS)

I’ve been talking about cutting the cord for more than a decade with my friends, long before it was technically feasible. Of course, I assumed it would be more about purchasing a television episode or season online, and then downloading rather than streaming, but that technology was still not far along at the time.

These days, cutting the cord is a popular option, but not always necessarily the cheapest. Both The Verge and Slate have calculators which will let you figure out if you should cut the cord or stick with your current cable package. Time recently put together its own cable packages which you can see below, and take into account a la carte show purchases through iTunes or Amazon, as well as indoor TV antennas.

The Basic Cable Junkie

If you’re into non-premium cable television.

  • Hulu Plus (FOX, NBC, ABC, the CW, and other networks): $7.99/month
  • CBS All Access: $5.99/month
  • Sling TV (AMC, TNT, TBS, A&E, ABC Family, and other networks): $20/month

Total: $407.76/year or $33.98/month
Savings: $391.56/year or $32.63/month
Add up to 13 additional show seasons before cable becomes more cost effective.

The Prestige TV Grazer

If you’re into premium content.

  • Netflix: $8.99/month
  • Amazon Prime: $99/year
  • HBO Now: $15/month

Total: $386.88/year or $32.24/month
Savings: $412.44/year or $34.37/month
Add up to 13 additional show seasons before cable becomes more cost effective.

The Omnivore

If you want it all.

  • HBO Now: $15/month
  • Netflix: $8.99/month
  • Hulu Plus: $7.99/month
  • CBS All Access: $5.99/month
  • Amazon Prime: $99/year

Total: $554.64/year or $46.22/month
Savings: $244.68/year or $20.39/month
Add up to 8 additional show seasons before cable becomes more cost effective.

The Serial Binger

If you binge watch an entire show at a time and buy a la carte.

Indoor TV antenna: $8.55/year
Savings: $790.77/year or $65.89 per month).
Add up to 26 additional seasons of television before cable becomes less expensive.

Sports Fans

For local sports there’s no getting around cable, so these options only work for casual sports fans. And some sports (NBA, NHL, MLB) are usually on cable.

Option 1:

  • Sling TV with sports package and an indoor TV antenna.

Total: $308.50/year or $25.70/month
Savings: $490.82/year or $40.90/month
Add up to 16 additional seasons of television before cable becomes less expensive.

Option 2:

  • Sling TV with sports package, indoor TV antenna, and one sport-specific streaming package.

Price: $418.50/year or $34.88/month
Savings: $380.82/year or $31.74/month
Add up to 12 additional seasons of television before cable becomes less expensive.

Personally, I binge-watch almost exclusively, and many times after a series has wrapped up, so watching a show years on Netflix after it’s had its run is my general M.O. I want the fans to tell me if it was worth it at the end, rather than being dissapointed tuning in every week for six years (thank you, Lost!).

Having said that, there are a few shows I watch when they air, and the only HBO show that I really watch right now is Game of Thrones. Ordering HBO NOW for two months, and then cancelling at the end of season five may be the way to go about it. I think of it as paying for seasons.

Some major television networks even offer free episodes on their sites via your web browser, so if you’ve hooked up computer to your television set, you even have more options to save. If you’re really diligent, you can save a lot of money and still watch all the cable you want. But live sports, especially when some major and college leagues and teams air mostly on cable, can still be tricky.

About doddle 16437 Articles
Doddlenews is the news division of the Digital Production Buzz, a leading online resource for filmmakers, covering news, reviews and tutorials for the video and film industry, along with movie and TV news, and podcasting.

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