Up until just a few years ago, cable and satellite TV were the only options for sports and premium channels. But that’s all changed thanks to services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. You can stream videos, movies, TV shows and more from virtually any device. You no longer have to enjoy TV solely in your living room. You can watch your favorite shows on your desktop, laptop, or mobile device – anytime, anywhere.
If you’re thinking of getting rid of cable TV, you’re in good company. It’s expensive considering you get very few channels you actually want to watch. The average bill for basic cable is $66, although you probably pay twice that amount. That’s a crazy amount considering that Netflix starts at just $7.99 a month. Amazon Prime is just $99 a year, and that includes free two-day shipping on all your purchases. At $20 a month, Sling TV is still a steal.
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So how can you reduce your cable bill and still get the programming you want to watch? Do you have to get rid of cable TV forever? Follow these seven tips to get the discounts you deserve based on your viewing habits.
This is the most drastic option, but it’s actually quite doable. Amazon Prime and Netflix have a large selection of programs and movies to watch, and they’re both much cheaper. It’s not the same as cable, though – you can’t watch live TV – but it can be a choice if you don’t watch a lot of TV anyway.
SEE ALSO: 10 Tips Every Netflix Pro-Binger Needs To Know
Know the best rate.
What are other cable TV providers charging in your area? What would you be charged if you were a new customer? Do some research and find out the going rate in your area. You can use this information to ask your current cable company to give you a better deal.
Get Sling TV.
If you’re tired of cable TV but can’t live without live TV, Sling TV is the next best thing. You can get two dozen streaming channels for a mere $20 a month. These channels include A&E, the History Channel, ESPN and CNN. If that’s not enough, you can add on a movie, sports or news package for an extra $5 a month. HBO is an additional $15 a month. That’s still a great deal compared to what basic cable TV offers.
Try a digital antenna.
Back in the day, people used antennas to get TV channels. You may remember having to constantly tune your antenna in order to get good reception. Antennas are much more powerful nowadays. With a digital antenna, it’s either all or nothing – you get crystal clear quality or no picture at all. A digital antenna allows you to get local channels as well as independent channels that may broadcast movies, game shows and comedies. All you buy is the antenna, which is an initial investment of maybe $50 or less. Antennas are reasonably priced, and there’s no monthly bill to pay.
Don’t sign up for “free” offers.
Your cable company may entice you with free movie channels for six months or maybe a premium channel package at a reduced price for a limited time. The catch? There’s a promotional period, and if you don’t call back and cancel before the promo ends, you end up paying. Chances are, you’ll forget to call in and cancel, so your cable company makes money off of these “free” offers. Don’t sign up for them. Simply decline them and ask for something more to your liking, like a free month of service or a discount on an upgraded package.
Get rid of premium channels.
Are you paying for HBO, Cinemax and sports channels you never watch? Even if you do watch these channels from time to time, it’s not worth what you’re paying. Take a look at your bill and see if you can trim the fat. Maybe you can downgrade to a cheaper package.
Threaten to cancel.
If you’re truly unhappy with your cable TV service, get rid of it – or at least try to. Call your provider and tell them you’re cancelling. You’ll have to speak with someone with the retention department and you can bet that they’ll sweet talk you into staying by offering a great deal. Maybe they’ll give you three months of programming for free, a super low rate for six months or free movie channels for a year.
Cable TV is a headache. You deal with rate hikes every year, hours on the phone with customer service and pay-per-view options that make your bill higher and higher. There are better options that are much more affordable. Ditch cable for good and get the programming you want for much less.