The average American spends about 141 hours per month watching TV, according to data compiled by Nielsen. To put that number in perspective, there are 168 total hours in one week; thus, many Americans spend close to one week per month consuming media on television.
Consumer Reports states the average cable or satellite bill is $123 per month, or nearly $1,500 per year. Those who already pay for broadband or unlimited Internet access from their smartphones are unnecessarily throwing away money because most of the shows, movies and sports you watch can be seen without paying for cable or satellite services.
Here are three ways you can cut the cable cord and subsequently your spending:
Sports fans have been forced to have a cable or satellite subscription or go to sports bars when they’re favorite teams are playing. There are only so many games you can attend in person, and only special events like the Super Bowl and NCAA Basketball Tournament are (legally) broadcasted live online. Dish Network now offers a solution to satisfy your sports appetite.
Sling TV allows you to watch several popular cable channels live, including ESPN, ESPN2, TNT and TBS right from your smartphone, tablet, Xbox One or laptop. You also get the Food Network, HGTV, Cartoon Network and Disney Channel. The best part is that the basic package costs only $20 per month with no contract, credit check or long-term commitments. There are also add-on packages (at $5 each) such as “Kids Extra,” which provides access to Disney Jr., Boomerang and Baby TV. Additional news and sports packages will also be available soon.
Movie buffs have lauded Netflix since its launch in 1999. The world’s leading Internet television platform currently boasts over 62 million subscribers in 50 countries; and for good reason. You get access to a vast library containing thousands of movie and television show titles that can be streamed online. Most that cannot be instantly accessed can be sent to you via DVD and returned at your convenience.
The best part about Netflix is that there are numerous ways to try it for free before paying for a subscription. For example, those in the market for a new smartphone can purchase a Samsung Galaxy S 6 on the T-Mobile network and get a free one-year subscription to Netflix.
The Basic Package, which includes unlimited movies and shows, is $7.99 per month whereas the Standard Package, providew high-definition streaming of your movies and shows for $8.99.
Sony also has decided to provide a service for cable cutters through its PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 devices. PlayStation Vue is an online service that offers around 50 to 80 channels, including Comedy Central, FX, MTV, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Syfy and TLC. Although it does have some news and sports channels, the service does not include ABC or ESPN.
PlayStation Vue works as a cloud-based DVR, which allows you to save shows and search for new ones based on your tastes or what is popular. This service’s packages run between $50 and $80.