Are Cable and Satellite Services Really Worth the Cost?

How often does the average person watch TV? Most people think of television service as something everyone has to have and without question, shelling out the $100 to $200 a month depending on the package of their choice. But are cable and satellite services really worth the cost and are there better alternatives?

I signed up for DirecTV as I prefer their interface over Comcast cable service, but I was mainly sucked in by their free NFL Sunday ticket service for the first year. However, after analyzing all the money I am going to pay over my two year contract, even with the free NFL Sunday Ticket, I am starting to think there has to be a better way.

In my case, I signed up for a one year promotion, which discounted my bill to $80 a month. However, the second year I am going to have to pay $130 a month. After my two year contract is finally up, I will end up paying DirecTV $2520, for an average monthly cost of $105. That is a fairly substantial monthly bill, which made me question, how much TV am I actually watching?

For these reasons I have research alternatives, which I plan to take advantage of once my money sucking DirecTV contract is up! I am already paying for Amazon Prime, so their streaming service is just like a free bonus to me. But for people who don’t see it that way, their service comes out to be $8.25 per month. For those who still like watching their favorite TV shows, Hulu, the strategic alliance between 21st Century Fox, Disney and NBCUniveral, is a great add on for an affordable $7.99 a month. Then there is the very popular NetFlix, which also comes in at just $7.99 a month for streaming.

Of course for the sports fan, this leave a problem. All the options listed above are for shows and movies, but the sports fanatic has limited options… Or do they? As of right now NFL Game Pass is only $49 a season, discounted from the regular price of $99. Holly Smokes! Why was DirecTV going to bill me $270 next season for almost the exact same product?

It does not stop there, maybe you’re a basketball fan, NBA League Pass is also just $99.99 a year. Baseball fans can also rejoice, with MLB TV for just $84.99 a season. NHL fans can enjoy their favorite team every season for just a onetime fee of $39.95.

The point is, no matter what you like to watch, there is a cheaper way to do it. However, it doesn’t have to stop there!

Local stations are also part of my life and a part of most regular TV watchers lives, so let’s not forget about these guys, best of all, local stations are always free once hooked into the right equipment. Now of course there are tones of options when it comes to picking up HD local channels. For those whose favorite shows, sports and events are on ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX, an indoor antenna is going to give you everything you need and at the great price of free!

With that said, for those who already don’t have one, an antenna is going to have to be purchased. These can range anywhere from $10 to $100 to even more. However, if you really want to pick up the best in local channels and at an affordable price you can pick up the Xbox One TV package. This includes an amplified HDTV antenna for $29.99, a Digital TV Tuner for $59.99, and an optional remote for $24.00. In total that is $113.98 one time charge to pick up local channels in high definition. The best part about the Xbox antenna setup is that it gives its uses the ability to pause live TV just like one does with a DDR. Of course, an Xbox One system is also needed to implement this system.

So what is my plan once my next TV contract is up? I am going to spring for the Xbox package for a onetime fee of just $113.98, I am going to just keep my Amazon Prime at $8.25 a month, and add the NFL Game Pass for an average monthly cost of $4. Plus, maybe I will even spring for Hulu or NetFlix if I feel I need more coverage.

This means my monthly bill is going to drop from $105 to $20.24 a month. Wow! That is a yearly savings of over a $1000 and if I don’t add on Hulu or NetFlix it’s even more. The savings is so extreme; I cannot wonder what the future holds for cable. Is the smart play to start shorting the cable and satellite company stocks? Believe me, I am looking into timing a trade and going short a cable or satellite company over the next couple of years.

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