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Streaming Packages That Will Free You from Cable TV

Streaming Packages That Will Free You from Cable TV
Written by Irina Vasilescu

Analysts are calling it an ‘apocalypse’ as cable TV subscription figures plummet. In 2013 alone, 18.1% of cable TV subscribers cut the cable for streaming packages like Hulu and Netflix, and the trend continues. The second quarter of 2015 saw cable subscriptions decline by 463,000 viewers compared to a 141,000 cable-cutters in the same period in 2014.

Cable-cutting is the new money-saving trend that has everyone talking. And it really works, plus you still get to see some great TV content and can follow your favorite shows without breaking the bank. If you have a relatively new TV set, it probably has streaming hardware built-in, but if you have an older TV, you needn’t despair. Streaming devices such as streaming sticks and set-top boxes are cheap and will help you cut the cable bill and save big time.

Cable Tv vs streaming services

How much is cable costing you?

In the US, consumers are currently paying $99 per month on average for their cable TV subscriptions, and providers like Comcast, Direc TV and AT&T are all talking about further price increases in 2016 prompting still more viewers to seek lower cost alternatives.

So let’s take a look at the best streaming choices for cable-cutters.

Sling TV

Cost: $20 per month

You should be able to get a free trial of this service and you get the Roku Stick you need to get started free. Most of the top cable networks are available through Sling TV, and for an extra $15 monthly, you get access to all the edgy entertainment from HBO. Best of all, there’s no contract, so in the unlikely event that it isn’t working for you, you can stop anytime you like.

Amazon Prime

Cost: $99 per year

Watch what you like when you like with Amazon Prime. There’s a vast array of movies and TV shows available, you get everything from Starz and Showtime plus there are more than 40,000 movies to choose from, plus you get free shipping from Amazon whenever you order goodies.

Not sure if you’d like to commit to a year’s subscription? You get a trial period that allows you to test the waters, and some of the content that isn’t available on Netflix and Hulu is available on this service.

Netflix

Cost: $9.99 per month

The recent Netflix price increase to $9.99 per month has customers grumbling, but it’s still a whole lot cheaper than having cable TV. And you’re spoiled for choice regarding content. The latest movies and TV shows (and some classic oldies) are there for you to choose from. If you want to stream to more than one device, you pay a little more, but you don’t need to buy two subscriptions.

Why people stop paying for cable tv - infographic

Hulu Plus

Cost: $7.99 – $11.99 per month

If you hate ads as much as I do, you can pay a bit more and never see another ad on Hulu. You probably won’t even miss your cable, since you can watch the current seasons’ best series from channels like NBC, Fox and more. They’re only available the day after having been aired on cable, but you can wait that long without being behind the times! As with Netflix, you also get a great selection of movies. Neato!

CBS All Access

Cost: $5.99 per month

With this streaming package, you get to see the latest episodes of your favorite CBS shows the day after airing plus you get a good selection of on-demand content. If you’re not a huge TV junkie, you can get the free CBS app and, at least, have access to the latest episodes of your shows.

HBO Now | Showtime Anytime | Starz

Cost: $10.00 – $14.99 per month

Yes, it costs a little more, but you have to admit those HBO shows are fabulous. Get access to cult shows like ‘Girls’ and ‘Game of Thrones’ and be thoroughly entertained. The same goes for Showtime and Starz which you can also get for an extra fee on your Amazon Prime subscription.

Follow Select Sports

Estimate: $15 – $20 per month

Sports fans will have the hardest time cutting their cable, and if you’re just crazy about everything sports related, you may end up having to keep the cable. But if you only follow top sports like games from NFL.com, then there may be an alternative.

Most sporting organizations offer streaming packages of one kind or another, but each subscription costs in the region of $100 to $200 a year, so they are kind of pricey, but you still save if you compare subscribing to one or two sports compared to paying for cable.

KlowdTV

Cost: Depends on the genres you subscribe to

Klowd is a newish service that lets you decide what you’d like to subscribe to and pay accordingly. There’s a free trial available, so you can check it out at no cost and compare it to your other options.

Crackle | ConTV

Cost: Free

Before you get excited, be warned that you’re not going to get access to all the latest and greatest with a free streaming package – but you’ll still get a reasonably good selection of things to watch, and of the free streaming options, these twos are the best bet.

A combination

Even if you subscribe to more than one of the paid streaming options out there, you’ll probably still find that you’re saving. Some savvy viewers are carefully tailoring a basket of streaming subscriptions so that they can see all their favorite shows and still save.
This money-saving trend is huge! If you haven’t checked out your streaming options yet, get with the program now.

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Streaming Packages That Will Free You from Cable TV

About the author

Irina Vasilescu

Irina Vasilescu is our crafty designer. She joined the team three years ago and is also involved in the writing process.

6 Comments

  • I am using Netflix right now and love it. I tried the Shomi free trial when it came to Canada but I found to many of the same shoes on Netflix on Shomi and not enough different content. For anime lovers Crunchyroll is great I tried that too. I am also hearing good things about CraveTV. Ah well I am glad we cut cable it is insane how expensive it was for how little we were getting.

    • Thumbs up for Crunchyroll. I use it with Netflix, I’ve got everything I need with both of them (I can’t recommend Netflix enough, its catalogue is extremely vast and there’s a huge variety of genres for both TV series and movies).

      Anyway, this is a great list, I had never heard of some of them (especially the sport-related ones; sports are probably the only reason a lot of people are still paying for cable TV).

  • I think this is very important in this day and age, because cable TV just seems so expensive when you compare it to what people actually use it for. I have recently switched to an online service which is a lot cheaper, because I never used to watch TV live anyway, so all of the catch-up services are more than enough for what I need. And at a fraction of the cost, which can only be a good thing.

  • I am all for getting rid of my satellite TV subscription, my only issue at the moment is keeping sports. At the moment, it is still fractionally cheaper to keep my SkyTV subscription instead of going to the pub every time I want to watch a football match, but if the price goes up by just £1 more a month, it will actually be cheaper for me to go out and buy several beers each time I want to watch sports.

    There is a new service called Sky Now which allows you to buy weekly or monthly access to sports channels, or even day passes which might work out better. Is there anything like this in the States, where you can just buy access to sports channels for a limited time?

  • Cable is way too expensive for my family! I feel like I am just paying to watch ads with cable. Now we stream with Netflix, Crackle, Hulu and our library streaming service Hoopla Digital. We signed up with my library card and we get 15 free streams a month. They have a lot of old content, but some new releases too. You can also get e-books, audiobooks and albums to stream as well.

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