Some Cord Cutting Options

One of the things that many people still pay for is traditional cable. Cable initially began with only a few channels but as appetites for more entertainment grew, more channels were added. Today, you can get upwards of 200 channels or more. The increase in channels has slowly also increased the price. The biggest issue for those with cable is that it is pricey. There are bundles, and these certainly reduce the cost, but these bundles often include items that consumers may not want. One way to reduce the cost of cable, is to cut the cord and go with other solutions. Cable is still dominate but is seeing a slow decline. By the end of 2016, almost 22% of all households did not have cable. This is certainly only going to increase as time goes on.

One of the issues with cord cutting is that while it can certainly be cheaper, subscribing to a lot of services can quickly become even more expensive than traditional cable. One aspect that has held many people back is the need for live sports. This has certainly begun changing with some services offering sports packages.

There are a wide variety of different options. These range from only using an antenna for local channels and just going with a streaming service like Netflix or Amazon Prime or to a complete cable replacement. You can also use another streaming service. I looked into some of the alternatives to cable. This is by no means an extensive list, and is for the U.S. options may be different for other countries.

Some of these services offer additional packages, including sports, but these are not included in the table. These are only for the standard packages for each.

Here is what I have found:

Service Package Name Base Cost Streams Channels Cost Per Channel Cost Per Stream
Playstation Vue Access $39.99 5 46 $0.87 $8.00
Playstation Vue Core $44.99 5 61 $0.74 $9.00
YouTube TV   $35.00 3 47 $0.74 $11.67
SlingTV Orange + Blue $45.00 4 46 $0.98 $11.25
SlingTV Orange $20.00 1 26 $0.77 $20.00
SlingTV Bue $25.00 3 41 $0.61 $8.33
DirectTV Now Live A Little $35.00 2 64 $0.55 $17.50
DirectTV Now Just Right $50.00 2 87 $0.57 $25.00

As you can see, these services vary widely in what they offer versus cost. The most cost effective, overall, is the Playstation Vue service. Whether you choose the “Access” or “Core” service, the are amongst the lowest per stream, since they offer the highest number of streams at five streams. Conversely, DirectTV Now has the lowest per-channel price, but also is the most expensive “per stream” since it only provides at most two simultaneous streams.

If you are looking to reduce your monthly cost, but still want a fair number of channels, Playstation Vue may be a service to consider.

There is a whole spreadsheet that includes the channels that each service offers, available on Google Sheets. If you would like me to include a service not shown, let me know.