I cut the cord today but this may or may not end up making a lot of financial sense.
What I watch on television:
- The Good Wife
- Grey’s Anatomy
- Downton Abbey
- True Blood
- $49.99 Internet
- $9.50 Basic TV
- $12.95 DVR
- $6.82 Equipment charges
- $1.80 taxes, fees, surcharges
- Total: $81.06
I was paying $31.07 a month, or $372.84 a year, for a basic television package I rarely watched. Half of my bill was for a DVR service I rarely used. Time Warner would not let me cancel DVR unless I turned in my digital cable box. But if I turned in my digital cable box, I would not longer get high-definition broadcast channels. You can see where this is going…
With No Cable, How Would I Watch My Shows?
I was already downloading shows onto my iPad when NFL games pushed back The Good Wife and the DVR didn’t record.
Depending on when you choose to download to your viewing device, a season can cost anywhere from $20 to $60. Some episodes are available on network websites for free. I’m saving money and have the added convenience of mobility by watching shows on my iPad.
As for HBO, it would have cost me $13 a month in a cable package. Actually, it would have cost me more, considering the added costs of having cable. Unfortunately, HBO does not offer standalone Internet subscriptions, though it acknowledges the demand. In the meantime, I’m sharing an HBO Go password with a family member, which HBO sort of allows right now.
I also plan on getting a digital antennae for my television, which cannot get over-the-air channels right now. That will satisfy any need I have to watch TV news, especially if there’s breaking news. I get the vast majority of my news, however, online.
The Trip to Time Warner
There were 22 people ahead of me in line when I sat down in the waiting room, toting my cable box and remote in a Wegmans bag. Ironically, the waiting room of a broadband company doesn’t have free Wi-Fi, forcing me to use my phone’s AT&T connection as a hotspot.
The line moved fast and the cashier was very pleasant. She repeatedly asked me if she could make a deal to get me to keep my TV service. Even after I said no, an equally-pleasant manager came over and offered to keep my current package at $73 a month, taxes and fees included, for the next two years.
I was paying $81.07, so that didn’t strike me as such a great deal. But, they pointed out my Internet costs without the TV service would climb to $54.99 a month. Under the $73 scenario, TV would cost me $18 a month versus $31.07.
Determined to make all of this make sense, I opted for slower $37.99 a month Internet, which I believe is about the same speed as my 4G phone. If I can’t stand it, I’ll switch back to fast Internet or call up Frontier.
Essentially, I cut my bill in half, but I’m giving up all TV and getting slower Internet. Did I really win? Or did I cut off my nose to spite my face?
I was driven by a desire to PAY FOR ONLY WHAT I CONSUME. I don’t watch much TV and I resented paying $31.07 a month for something I rarely use.
I was also driven by my resentment at paying two bills for the Internet – through Time Warner and AT&T. Mobility and speed are important, but companies haven’t found the right product to fill both of these needs at the right price.
In summary, cord cutting is great in theory. In practice, it may not be super practical for everyone.
Update: This ended up being a great decision for me. I’ve never looked back. I enjoy my low broadband bill every month and I’ve never noticed a difference in Internet speed. – RB 2/13/14