Wednesday, October 5, 2022

How much does cable really cost you?

If you've been doing some streaming for a while and still subscribing to cable or satellite TV, it may be time to ask if you are ready to cut the cord.

Now, be aware that while I'll be primarily using the phrase "cable" much of this also applies to satellite TV, okay?

If you still have cable, ask yourself why is it you're keeping cable, after all? Are you getting that good of a price for cable? If so, look at your cable bill again. Look at the section on fees.

See the fees for local channels? Sometimes they're listed as "broadcast fees" or something similar? That is also part of your cable cost. That's above and beyond the "Basic service" (or whatever) listing for cable. That earlier part may be $50 (could be less, but it is probably more). Add that broadcast fee to that total.

See the fees for sports channels? Perhaps it says "regional" or some other such phrase. See that? Add that total as well.

In fact, most (not all, maybe, but most) of the fees there are directly related to cable service. If you dropped cable service, that would go away.

So, add all of those numbers up. Now you have a better idea of what you're paying for cable TV. If you cut cable, that's how much you would save.

But what about the content you watch on cable? You would lose access to that, so what do you do to replace that?

There are a few things you can do. The easiest (but not cheapest) is to subscribe to a live streaming service, such as Sling TV, YouTube TV, DirecTV Stream, Fubo TV, Vidgo, Philo, Frndly TV, or others.

But not that's a cost involved, right? Well, yeah. Which is why I only subscribe to services like that part of the year. Most of the year, I find I can do without entirely. For me, it's college football season that I'll subscribe. More about that in a minute.

Right now, consider how much you save by dropping cable. Include the cost of the service, plus all those fees listed separately that are directly from cable. Add all those up, and that's the money you are saving. And, you can use that to subscribe to a live streaming service.

Ask yourself if you truly need a live streaming service year round. You may find that you can drop it for a few days (every little bit of savings helps), weeks, or even months. There is plenty of free ad-supported television (FAST) with content similar to what you're watching on cable. It may even work year round for that. If not, it may certainly work long enough to allow you to drop it for periods of time throughout the year. For me, it's eight months out of the year. That's a significant savings.

First, though, look at the total cost of cable, fees and all. Imagine what you could do to improve your Streaming Life if you had that amount of money in your streaming budget.

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