Maybe 10 or 20 years ago, the thought of not having cable or satellite TV seemed ludicrous. Today, it's becoming more like commonplace.
First, let's get one thing straight: Comcast, the largest cable company in the United States, is far from worried when it comes to losing customers, more like a combination of awareness and annoyance. The same could be said for Direct TV, Dish Network or Verizon and its Fios.
These major entertainment providers jockey on a daily basis for dollars, whether it is customers looking for home-based internet, businesses services or the antiquated home phone. But this isn't about ancillary services offered by those aforementioned entertainment moguls.
This is about our good, old reliable friend: television. Weekly sitcoms, movies, sports and everything else that you need Comcast, Verizon or Direct TV for -- until now. Escalating cable and satellite bills has more customers leaning toward canceling those services in favor of piecing together such services as Netflix, HULU and sports-related subscription services through their smart phone or tablet.
But can you actually survive without cable or satellite? Yes, of course.
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The average cable bill flirts with around $200/month, with about half of that for cable, DVRs and additional cable boxes. Netflix checks in at less than $8/month and HULU is about the same. The former is a perfect compromise of catching up on past TV shows or watching movies. HULU is more of a direct competitor to network TV as the service allows you to watch current sitcoms and the latest episodes. Together, Netflix and HULU won't cost more than $20/month, a far cry from the $100-120 offered by cable or satellite TV.
Yes, cable and satellite TV lure customers in with lower prices initially or for a particular period of time but once that expires so does your patience with increases in cost. HULU and Netflix are set and work well together for TV and movies in place of cable.
So what about sports? The NFL and MLB, among other major sports, aren't solely confined to television or dish. NFL.com offers a $14.99 in-season package that allows fans to watch any game they'd like to on their tablet or phone. MLB has a similar service for around the same price -- known simply as Major League Baseball At-Bat. Even buying both of those packages, coupled with HULU and Netflix, is much less expensive than the average cable or satellite bill.
And also keep in mind that the NFL and MLB don't run year-round, thus the service can be canceled and re-started as soon as the first kickoff or pitch, respectively, come around again.
Cost-cutting measures sometimes start with a careful check of the cable or satellite bill. Canceling might not be necessary but it's always a plus to know that doing so won't totally eliminate all your entertainment needs.
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