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Why to Reconnect the Cable Cord

Updated: May 28

Why It Could Be a More Affordable Option than Streaming


Who could have imagined a few years ago that cable TV, once seen as a declining service, would become a more affordable choice than its competition, the now ubiquitous streaming services? This, despite streaming continuing to gain market share.


Streaming vs. cable
Visual source: https://www.chartr.co/

It might seem surprising, but recent changes have made this a real possibility. Let's take a closer look.


First, what are streaming services? Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and Hulu are some of the big names in this field. These services provide on-demand TV shows, movies, and original content over the internet. They were a hit because you could watch your favorite shows anytime, without commercials, and all for a fixed monthly fee. The "cord-cutting" movement, which saw viewers dropping cable in favor of these streaming services, became a significant trend.


So, why are we talking about cable making a comeback in terms of affordability? It all comes down to a few key points.


Price Hikes in Streaming Services


Over the years, streaming services have increased their prices. When Netflix first started its streaming service, it was only $7.99 per month. But as of 2023, the standard plan costs $15.49 per month. And that's just for one service.


If you want a variety of shows from different services, those monthly fees add up quickly. For example, if you subscribe to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and Hulu, you could be paying over $50 per month.


 


 

The Bundling Factor


Cable companies have noticed this trend and have started offering competitive bundles that include cable TV, internet, and sometimes even phone service. These packages can cost around the same price, if not less, than subscribing to multiple streaming platforms. Plus, cable TV still provides access to live sports and news, things that are sometimes lacking or delayed on streaming platforms.


Streaming vs. cable
Visual source: https://www.chartr.co/

Cable’s Improved Services


Cable companies have worked hard to improve their services and provide better customer experiences. Many now offer features that were once unique to streaming, such as on-demand programming and the ability to watch shows on different devices. Also, they've worked to reduce commercial interruptions, one of the most common complaints about traditional TV.


 

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The Streaming War’s Casualty: The Consumer


The growing number of streaming services has led to an intense competition known as the "streaming wars". In this battle for viewers, each service is producing more and more exclusive content.


The downside? If you want to watch shows or movies that are exclusive to a specific platform, you need to subscribe to that platform. This splintering of content across different services can make it more expensive for consumers who want a broad range of programming.


You Decide


While streaming services still offer fantastic flexibility and a wide range of content, their rising costs and the splintering of content across platforms are making them less cost-effective. At the same time, cable companies are offering competitive packages and improving their services.


An easy option is to use the Cord Cutting Calculator to do some quick math to decide what makes the most sense.

If you are a viewer who wants a wide range of shows, live sports, news, and one simple bill each month, then cable may now be a more affordable option than subscribing to multiple streaming services.


The pendulum of TV viewing options might be swinging back towards cable. The key is to understand your viewing needs and budget and then choose the option that makes the most sense for you.


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