Smart Spending

5 Ways to Cut Cable and Still Watch Your Favorite Shows

Many cable or satellite TV service providers use low-cost leaders to entice customers into signing up for their service. Often, consumers receive premium service for an introductory period at an extremely attractive rate. The company gambles that after the introductory period expires the consumer will continue the service and fork over the regular monthly rate. The average cable bill can easily approach $75 or a $100 per month.  I offer 5 ways to cut cable costs and still watch your favorite shows.

At some point along the way, some budget-conscious consumers wake up to the fact their paying a huge monthly bill and began looking for ways to save on your monthly cable costs. Begin by deciding what shows, movies, sports and other entertainment you consider essential for your viewing pleasure.

Look at the items below. You might find some viable alternatives that can assist you in achieving your objective to cut cable costs.

1. Over the Air (OTA)

Basic channels like CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX and PBS offer free programming. However, the switch from analog to digital format requires you to have the right antenna to obtain a reception. This equipment cost $30-$40, which is a one-time expense. If you are unsure if you can get reception in your location, go to the website Simply input your address into the form to identify the closest stations and determine if you can receive the stations.

2. Online Streaming Services

Online streaming allows consumers to watch videos (listen to music) in “real time,” as compared to downloading files to your PC and watching it at a later time. The media provides a webcast of a concert, sporting events or movie/video through a continuous data stream.

Content providers prefer this method because it reduces the chances of the receiver copying the content. Many of the services are compatible for streaming content to iPhone, iPod, iPad, touch and Android. Some of the companies that provide streaming content are Netflix, Hulu Plus and

3. Video on Demand

Video on demand (VOD) allows users you to rents TV shows, movies, music videos. For companies allow you to “rent “the content and you will have a certain number of days to watch the content. The clocks start tick, and in many plans, you have 24 hours to watch the content before you lose access.  Companies with videos on demand include iTunes, and Amazon. Depending on the service, you can receive content through a computer, set-top box or other device.

4. Satellite TV

DirecTV and Dish Network provide alternatives to the cable companies and usually provide more programming at a lower base cost. However, consumers should make comparisons with cable service providers to determine the more affordable option based on their entertainment choice.  A satellite dish made not be feasible for users living in an apartment. In addition, the price for satellite TV increases for each room provided satellite TV hook-up.

5. Call Customer Service

If you are still undecided after examining the above options, you can always call the customer service department of you current cable service provider and tell them that you are looking to reduce your cable costs. Ask for their introductory rate or other incentive if they wish to keep you as a customer.