Cable companies charge an arm and a leg for the services they provide. In most areas, the local cable company has a monopoly on the market, meaning they can charge what they want and raise prices at any time. These businesses are well known for their lack of customer service due to the fact that they have no competition. Often, a cable company is as irritating as it is expensive.
More and more often, former cable customers are turning to the internet to watch the shows they prefer. Online services can provide viewers with streaming television programs. Many choose to rent popular television programs so that they may watch them easily and at any time. It is not unthinkable that the internet could replace cable TV as the world knows it.
The Facts are in the Figures
Depending on where one lives, individuals could spend as much as $40 to well over $100 per month for basic cable services. Each package of channels and every premium service can add, sometimes significantly, to the total bill. Most cable companies also charge a monthly fee for cable boxes and other equipment.
The cost of cable repair can be significant as well. According to a recent Zogby poll, the amount of time lost waiting for the cable company to show up has cost the American public about $37 million in one year alone. Each time the cable stops working, individuals must stay home as they wait for the repair person. Otherwise, individuals risk wasting money on a non-working service.
Cable companies enjoy bundling packages so that they might offer a savings on one or more of the items offered. Generally, these items will include the cable service, telephone service, and internet capabilities. The discounted rate is usually about $20 to $50 per month. The average household can pay $200 or more for all of these packages combined.
Saving Money on Cable
Hundreds of stations are offered through cable services, though most of them go unwatched by the average household. Likewise, many of the shows that are available on these various channels cater to a niche market. Luckily for all members of the household, many of these programs are available online. Nearly every network has its own web presence, and many of these offer complete programs for free within a few days to a couple of weeks from the time the original show aired. This can allow for a cable cancellation with no repercussions.
For most households, there are a few channels that are preferred. In most cases, the programs on these channels can be found through streaming online content. A pay service for a streaming service costs about $8 per month. Video game consoles have apps available to run these services on the TV, the websites are accessible through the computer, and many mobile devices are capable as well.
Currently, the average American household spends about $75 per month on cable services. A family that chooses to replace cable with streaming programs can save more than $800 per year. Even families that opt for regular DVD rentals can save more than $700 by cutting cable.