Shouldn’t Cord Cutting Be Cheaper?

A reader commented on our article about fall TV options for cord cutters: “And here I thought the purpose of “cutting the cord” was to eliminate those monthly cable charges; not find new ways of throwing my money away.”

Cord-cutting is not the same thing as giving up TV all together. And while many folks do it to save money, just as many do it for the convenience and selection. They want to just spend their money on the things they enjoy instead of a whole range of channels.

For cable and satellite services, you generally don’t have the option to purchase things al a carte, you buy packages with tiers of channels. To be fare to cable and satellite companies, that’s not their choice. That’s the way providers sell programming to them. If I am a supplier with a popular channel, I’ll bundle less-popular channels with it and make companies take the whole lot of they want to run the popular one. It’s a way to increase visibility for my products. And since I’m charging the cable or satellite provider for that channel, they will pass the cost on to the customer.


There’s a whole lot of programming available over the air with an antenna, but not everyone lives in an area where you can pick up a signal. With the advent of HDTV signals, many people who used to receive acceptable TV signals with an antenna can no longer get them at all. This is especially a problem in rural areas.

Some network programming is available online, but often times you’re expected to log in with a cable or satellite provider to view it.  If, as a user, I’m not interested in giving up my favorite shows, I can subscribe to a service like Netflix or Hulu for around $10 a month and still get access to quite a lot of programming. It’s also available on demand when and where I want to watch.


Subscribing to Hulu or Netflix could still be substantially cheaper that paying for an entire cable package and many viewers, especially younger ones, expect to know have their programming delivered on demand instead of waiting to watch on a network’s schedule.

While cutting the cord can save you money, for many it’s more about convenience and selection.

~ Cynthia

16 thoughts on “Shouldn’t Cord Cutting Be Cheaper?

  1. I have been thinking about cutting the cord for a good while.
    After seeing this I’ll talk it over with the wife & see what she thinks..

    1. OKaaa, Ernest I would like a little more context on the durability of ‘Apron Strings’ over ‘coaxial cable’, but good luck with whatever you decide.

    2. I cut the cord in June. Wish I had done it years sooner. The limiting factor is your Internet service provider. If you’ve got a good one that won’t jack up rates, you’re in business.

  2. I have cable for my internet only.I have Netflix, I had enough of commercials and nothing but repeats.And I’m saving about 80 bucks a month.I have an antenna for my local news.Don’t miss all that other crap.Just think,you can watch a movie, many many of your old tv shows all commercial free. plus other programs.It all depends how you set it up. I love it.
    Enjoy. Gino

  3. I cut the cord(satellite)2 years ago.Put a small hd antenna,in the old satellite base,on the roof.Antenna was $30.00 with rotor.I live in the country,with hills and woods all around me,yet I get over 30 stations! Better picture then I ever got with satellite and more stations being added all the time.My favorite show(ncis) is on cbs anyway. Saved money,you bet,miss satellite,no way

  4. I purchased a Roku player a couple of years ago because I was already a Netflix subscriber, and I just got tired of network tv with all the cancellations of my favorite shows. I then added Acorn Media service which gives me a well-rounded package of programming for less than $20.00 per month.

    1. For best results, invest in a steaming box like a Roku 3. You’ll get better playback, less buffering (I get none), and a more satisfying experience overall. Don’t go cheap on the player — or you’ll simply find yourself upgrading to a better one. There are all kinds of deals on Rokus. Check around.

  5. Sure, if you buy every streaming subscription out there, you’re going to end up spending beaucoup. But I save about $90 a month over what I used to pay to Comcast, and most of my content is ad-free. Yep, aside from sports programming, all my movies and TV shows are sans commercials, essentially premium.

    Look at your cable lineup and ask yourself how many of those channels you get are merely vehicles for advertising. Yes, you’re paying for access to shows that are 30% advertising. If you enjoy advertising, that’s a perfect arrangement. But I for one don’t, and am happy as can be that I know have ad-free tv at a reasonable price.

  6. We had Netflix and to our dismay AT&T raised their rates for streaming. I admit that we are allowed to have 150 gigs. But every 50 gigs over that is $10.00. And we went way over. So we stopped Netflix.

  7. Before I cut the cord 9 years ago, I was paying about $55/month for satellite…the equivalent package is now $111/month . When I cut the cord, I started paying for Hulu & Netflix ($16/month.) There are a couple of shows not available that I do enjoy, so I buy them on Amazon ($9 a month as a generous estimate, usually it’s way lower than that) That’s $25 bucks a month, less than 1/2 price what I was paying before & less than 1/4 what I would be paying if I was still on satellite. AND, I get the convenience of TV on demand, when I want it, not according to someone else’s schedule. So glad I cut the cord!

  8. For many, cutting the cord’s not an option. A good idea, but not possible. In rural areas or areas with sketchy Internet access, streaming isn’t an option. With plan limits, you get a few shows a month and you’re over your limit. Despite the hype, streaming isn’t a possibility for many. Plus, ISPs are wanting limit bandwidth, further limiting streaming options, especially for families. For me, it’s a no win.

    1. I so agree! You need Internet to stream and that cost is high especially if you have more than one device. Then add on the channels it’s cheaper to pay Comcast (what I have) Even ABC & CBS are charging.. It’s crazy!

  9. I cut the cord in 2000. I watch Netflix.With that I can watch a whole season of a show on my time table.

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