Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Just how much is cable?

If you're like me, you're a streamer, not a cable TV customer. But the reality is, some are both. For a long time, my mother kept cable even after she started watching TV via streaming exclusively. She had a hard time dropping cable, although she had no trouble not watching cable. To her, it was her insurance policy.

She had a difficult time realizing that if Comcast Internet went down, Comcast TV would be down as well, but it was her decision, and I helped her with it, so she could watch what she wanted, when she wanted.

She eventually cut back on cable, keeping only local channels -- this was before I put up an antenna at her house -- and saved a lot of money. But until she did that, she was paying a shipload of money for cable TV.

A lot of people pay a lot of money for cable TV, even today. A recent report from U.S. News & World Report says that the average cable TV customer pays over $200/month for the service:

Using data from a variety of public sources, the site found the average monthly cable package is now $217.42 per month. That’s more than the average household’s monthly cost of $205.50 for all other major utilities combined.

However, that cable bill might be for more than simply television. Cable companies may advertise one price for service and then tack on broadcast fees, cable box rentals or other costs that can easily add $50 or more to a monthly bill. Another common strategy is to upsell bundled service packages which make it difficult to understand exactly how much is being spent on cable television itself.

The article goes into a lot of detail about what makes up those numbers, so give it a read if you're curious. But this is a good example of why I cut cable, and why my mother eventually cut way back on cable.

My Streaming Life doesn't involve cable TV. I get local channels form an antenna, and pay very little for the rest. I'm happy, and spending a lot less money than a lot of family members.

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