The average cable TV bill is more than $100 per month. It’s no wonder that by the end of 2017, more than 22 million Americans had cut the cord on cable, satellite or telco TV providers, a 33% increase over 2016. And, according to eMarketer research, in just two years, roughly one-third of Americans will have no traditional pay-TV services at all.
Video streaming services, supported by smart TVs and mobile devices, offer many of the same shows available on cable TV, including live sports. And, many viewers prefer the original content produced by Netflix and others over traditional network sitcoms and dramas.
If you currently watch television on a smart TV, cutting the cable cord is easier than you think. Here are five great services you should consider:
- Sling TV
SlingTV has two options, blue or orange, that each offer about half of cable’s most popular channels starting at only $20 per month (including NBC, for Olympics fans). SlingTV also offers extra add-on bundles that include lifestyle, news, kids and other specialty channels. The basic orange core service of 30 channels includes ESPN, Disney Channel, CNN and more. You can stream it using Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire or AndroidTV.
- DirecTV NOW
For just $35 a month, DirecTV NOW’s “Live a Little” package includes the 34 of 35 most popular cable channels and local channels in most major markets. And, you can add HBO for just $5 extra per month. Like SlingTV, DirecTV Now can be streamed using most of the major app platforms. BONUS: If you have an AT&T Unlimited plan, you can get DirecTV Now with HBO for only $10 per month.
- Playstation Vue
Playstation’s Core Plan offers your best sports channel selection for just $45 per month – you’d have to pay $50 per month or more to get the same selection on SlingTV. We’re talking about a full lineup of sports channels that include not just national and regional networks, but also NFL Network, NBA TV, MLB Network, Big 10 Network and SEC Network.
- Amazon Video
If you’re an Amazon Prime member and not taking advantage of all the free movies and TV shows, as well as the ability to rent or purchase pretty much every movie that has ever been made and any current TV series, you’re missing out. Amazon Video can also be purchased on its own for $8.99 per month. Searching for movies on Netflix can be frustrating because the unlimited free streaming service has limited offerings, and it’s going to offer even fewer movies as it invests more in original programming. If you like to watch what you want, when you want it, Amazon Video is for you.
Amazon and SlingTV offer their own original programming, but the best new shows everyone talks about are produced by Netflix, like the Dynasty reboot, The Joel McHale show, Everything Sucks (supposedly the new Freaks and Geeks), and The Innocents. And, of course, Netflix is where you can find Stranger Things, Orange Is the New Black, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Schitt’s Creek, Gilmore Girls and the original Freaks and Geeks.