Stream All Your Favorite Sports Live
To watch all the sports that you previously could with your cable subscription, you should consult our roundup of the best sports streaming services. When picking a service, verify that it carries all the channels you want to watch in your area, including regional sports networks for coverage of local MLB, NBA, and NHL teams. Most services offer the NBC Sports RSNs, but DirecTV Stream is the only one in this list that offers Bally Sports RSNs and AT& T-owned SportsNet RSNs, too. Which RSNs you need depends on your location and which sports you like to watch.
Not all services include all the major league channels either, such as NFL Network, NBA TV, or MLB Network. Ensuring that a service covers all the affiliate broadcast channels in your area from ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC is also important, since many games air on those channels. Know that you are not exempt from local market restrictions or coverage blackouts.
How Is Dish Different From Cox
Consider moving to DISH if youre interested in benefits like DISHs two-year price guarantees.
DISH earned our Editors Choice spot as the best TV provider thanks to its mix of excellent hardware, free installation costs, and parental controls. Since its a satellite service, DISH is also available almost anywhere in the country.
Alternatives To Cable TV That Will Save You Money
Last Updated: BY Michelle Schroeder-Gardner –
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Please read my disclosure for more info.
Are you wondering How do I get rid of cable and still watch TV? or How can I get cable channels without cable? Are you looking for the best alternatives to cable TV?
Around five years ago, we decided to cut the cord. We have never watched a lot of TV, but we researched some cable TV alternatives anyway. With the best cable alternatives, we knew we could still watch our favorite shows if we wanted to while saving money.
Like many people who are looking for alternatives to cable TV, we decided to go with Netflix. Now that we travel full-time, we often cancel and restart our subscription depending on whether or not well have reliable internet.
Also because we travel full-time, we have met many, many people over the years who go to great lengths to keep their cable/satellite channels. Luckily, in todays world, there are so many great alternatives to cable TV.
There are options for people who love sports, people who want lots of movies, people who want to watch current seasons of shows, and more.
We cut the cord and got rid of cable, and we havent missed it one bit. Seriously, we havent even thought about it!
If you have cable right now, then you are likely spending around $1,200 a year on cable alone.
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The Best Live TV Streaming Services To Replace Cable In 2022
If you want to drop your expensive cable or satellite TV plan but still get your favorite channels, there are a handful of live TV streaming services that can cut your pay-TV bill in half.
Ive been reviewing streaming TV services since 2016 and will help you pick the best one for your household.
Watching Local Stations With An Antenna
The cheapest way to still get your local stations live is by hooking up an antenna. Once a thing of the past, antennas are all the rage now and new technology has made sure that they work better than the rabbit ears you may remember.
All those network stations will be free to watch, you’ll just need to purchase a good antenna and follow the directions to hook it up. Keep in mind that what channels you get with an antenna are going to depend on what’s available in your local area.
Even if you have live TV, you may not want to watch your shows while they’re actually live, and you don’t have to. There are DVRs at every price point that can record your over-the-air TV shows.
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Install A TV Antenna For Local Channels
One way to get around the high cost of local networks on streaming is to use an antenna. To qualify as a television, and not a monitor, a display needs to have an over-the-air tuner built-in, so you can plug in an antenna and watch broadcast networks like ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and PBS. Reception varies widely depending on where you live, however, and unless you buy an antenna DVR like the Fire TV Recast, AirTV or TiVo Bolt OTA, you’re restricted to live-only viewing.
Over-the-air antennas are affordable and easy to install.
Netflix The Best Cord Cutting Service
Netflix is probably one of the most popular options to cable TV as you can watch both movies and TV shows. Netflix makes it easy to get rid of cable or satellite as it is also ad free.
Netflix is what weve been using to watch TV mostly, and its one of my favorite alternatives to cable TV on this list. Its probably one of the most popular and best tv service. Thats because Netflix has some of our favorite TV shows that we could watch over and over again.
Netflix has been putting a lot of money into creating their own content, including popular favorites like Stranger Things, Black Mirror, Orange Is the New Black, House of Cards, Arrested Development, and more.
They constantly adds more titles too, which keeps this alternative feeling fresh. Its also very good at learning the types of shows you watch and making recommendations.
There are three different Netflix plans:
- Basic $8.99/month- You can watch unlimited movies and shows on one streaming device only.
- Standard $12.99/month- Same as Basic, with HD level picture quality, and you can watch on up to two screens at a time.
- Premium $15.99/month- This has HD and Ultra HD and you can watch unlimited Netflix on up to four devices at a time.
Netflix also offers your first month free. The monthly price is quite affordable with Netflix.
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Quality Original Content: Apple TV+
- Limited content
- Limited device compatibility
A week before Disney+ blew up the streaming world in 2019, Apple TV+ debuted with more subdued buzz and little understanding of what exactly it was. Would Apple TV+ stream any of your favorite old shows? Would it be typically Apple-pricey? Would it work on non-Apple devices?
The answers: Apple TV+ carries only new, original content , no previously released shows or movies from outside sources. Also, the monthly subscription rate of $4.99 is pretty sweet, and itll work on most non-Apple streaming devices.
Apple TV+s performance and picture are as gorgeous as youd expect from an Apple product, but, right now, the platform is ahead of the content. Going the all-original route means theres only a small pool of in-house Apple TV+ series and movies to choose from, but the quality of that content has increased dramatically since the streamers launch .
Are Your Streaming Device And Apps Compatible
Setting up and trying out a streaming TV service is as easy as downloading an appbut is that app available on your set-top box or mobile devices?
Most services reviewed here are available as smart TV apps, though we think the best way to stream TV is with a streaming device like Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, or Roku for better stability and performance.
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What Does Cutting The Cord Mean
Cutting the cord is a euphemism for getting rid of whatever bundle of channels you subscribe to from a cable, satellite or broadband provider, from big names like Spectrum, DISH, Verizon, et al. For a long time, this was the only way you could get premium channels like HBO as well as specialized basic cable channels, like MTV, The Food Network and Nickelodeon.
But with the advent of streaming services and the rise of Netflix and its streaming ilk, cable companies started making it even harder to get all the channels you want at a viable price. Even the most basic channels are now being corralled into even more specialized bundlesmeaning if you want Bravo for Real Housewives fans, Fox Sports for baseball fans and Sprout for the little ones, you may have to upgrade to a more expensive package. And dont get us started on HBO, which now isnt included in most premium cable packagesso yes, you have to pay more to get channels like STARZ and Showtime, but then youll have to add the monthly HBO subscription on top of that.
So, what was once easy is now not so simple. And though the idea of canceling your simply organized entertainment options may feel scary, especially if youre not tech savvy, it can mostly be replaced by cobbling together a litany of streaming services, including those premiums like HBO Max and Showtime, and perhaps a TV antenna, for much less.
Watching Sports Without A Cable Plan
Cutting the cord can be tough for sports fans if nothing compares to the variety of local and national sports that you’ll get with your cable or satellite subscription, but you do have a few options.
Installing an antenna for your local stations will get you access to the local games that air in your area on the networks, so this is a great option for those.
Almost every major sports channel also has a streaming subscription offer that you can take advantage of. Keep in mind that these can be very expensive and if you want several of them, it may be cheaper to stick with your cable subscription.
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Do You Care About Watching Sports
Sports fans have an increasing number of streaming options that show live games, but depending on which sport you follow, the local team in your area and how many games you want to watch, it can get costly. Channels devoted to pro basketball, hockey and baseball teams, known as RSNs , are available on most cable networks but are rare and expensive on streaming services. These are the channels you’ll need to watch most regular season games for those sports.
Unfortunately, live TV streaming service DirecTV Stream’s $85 plan is often the only option if you want to watch your local RSN via streaming, although in some parts of the country a somewhat cheaper service will carry your channel. Coverage varies widely by sport, team and city, so check out our dedicated guides for more details — including exactly which services carry your local team and how much they cost.
NFL pro football games are usually carried on local CBS, Fox and NBC networks, but you’ll typically need an antenna, a live TV streaming service, Paramount Plus or Peacock to watch them. Amazon Prime Video also streams many Thursday Night Football games free for Prime members, and will host Thursday Night Football exclusively from 2022. And of course you’ll need ESPN, available on most live streaming services, to watch Monday Night Football.
Amazon Prime Video: Best Value
- Easy rentals
Something is always on
The one pleasant discovery with Amazon Prime Video is that there is a deep archive of content. You won’t find as many brand new original shows and movies, although they do debut fairly often. However, we dug a bit deeper and found Arrow and Flash, a few old John Wayne western movies, and several British dramas.
Amazon Prime Video is part of the overall Amazon and Amazon Video ecosystem. That means you can easily rent or purchase new release movies and shows from the same interface. It also means that, once you have an Amazon Prime account, you can order Blu-Ray discs for movies like the True Grit remake that are not available in 4K otherwise. Been there, done that.
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Set Up A Home Internet Plan With Unlimited Data If You Can
Even if you cut cable TV you’ll still need a home internet connection for streaming. Many people get their internet as part of a cable TV bundle, maybe with phone service too. Often your cable company is the same one providing your internet connection, but sometimes you can shop around to multiple internet providers.
You’ll need to find out how much home broadband costs by itself, without a TV bundle. If your bundle is $130 a month, maybe you’ll have to pay $60 for just internet. That leaves $70 of potential savings by cutting cable TV. That’s a lot of money every month to pocket or spend on new streaming services.
Other things to consider as you shop for internet-only plans:
- Are you under contract? If so, you’ll have to either wait it out, renegotiate a new internet-only deal with your cable company or eat the early termination fee.
- How fast of a connection do you need? Start by pricing out the same speed you have already but keep in mind that with everyone in your home streaming more, you might need a faster connection.
- You should get a plan with unlimited data, if available, which can cost more than data-limited plans. Streaming video can really add up.
Live TV services like YouTube TV have grid-style program guides, just like your cable box.
Premium And Premium Plus
Both paid plans unlock the entire Peacock content library with next-day streaming access for NBC shows.
Two of the best reasons to upgrade include live sports streaming and access to exclusive Peacock original series.
You will need to spring for Premium Plus to get ad-free streaming and offline access.
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Is Cutting The Cord Worth It
The first thing to consider is whether your current cable deal is super amazingly cheap. If, by some miracle, youre paying less than $100 per month for everything you want, it may be worth sticking with your current plan. Chances are, since youre reading this piece at this very second, you are notespecially when you factor in those nasty hidden cable costs for things like equipment, broadcast, and regional sports fees. In this case, cutting the cord will most probably save you cash.
Youll still need a home Internet connection, which may now be part of the cable bundle, so figuring out how much it will cost as a standalone service is also important. Many times, the broadband Internet service is at least half of what youre paying for cable as a wholeso lets say youre paying $120 per month, it may be just $60, and you can spend the rest of those savings on the specific streaming TV services you want. You can also shop around for other broadband dealsbut make sure to check if youre under contract for your current plan before you do so.
How Much Money Are We Saving By Cutting Cable TV
Cable and satellite television are slowly dying out, with over 25% of Americans expected to cancel such services by 2023. Pay-TV simply doesnt make sense for the younger generations that are always on the move and saving cash whenever possible.
On average, getting rid of the cord can save a US household about $1,200 per year. The exact amount can drastically vary depending on what inexpensive alternative to cable TV youre going for. So, lets make some price comparison and give you an idea of what to expect.
The average cable television bills are about $100 a month, but there are more expensive packages too. Going for the simplest option HD antenna will cost you a one-time investment of about $20. Thats it, you just buy that one product, install it, and youre good to go. Almost $1,200 will remain in your pocket within a year. Learn how to lower electric bill costs and get rid of the cable to save even more cash per year.
The situation with streaming services that require an Internet connection is a bit more complicated. Americans pay, on average, from $35 to over $100 for the Internet every month. So, if you already pay for this, you shouldnt consider it an additional expense and vice versa. The services start at under $10 and can go up to $60. The exact price often depends on the chosen package and the number of supported devices. Still, they are good alternatives to cable television and cheaper too.
Expensive Streaming Channels To Avoid
This is really just my personal opinion, but some of these streaming services just seem too much like traditional, expensive cable packages. I wouldnt use them, just to avoid the big monthly fees.
YouTube TV is different than just watching normal YouTube. YouTube TV offers traditional channels with TV and movies. But, its $65 per month! What? Thats as much as a basic cable package. No thanks.
The same goes for the Hulu with Live TV option, at $65 per month. The original monthly Hulu service is so much cheaper and has so much content, you dont need that expensive add on for live tv.
And even Sling TV isnt something Id recommend. I know Sling is popular with people quitting cable. You can get Sling for between $35 and $50 per month, depending on the channels you want.
But, honestly, I had Sling TV for 2 months after we got rid of cable tv and we never used it. With streaming apps and channels there is just so much great tv and movies available, you dont need the live tv option anymore.
Thats it for what you need to know to get rid of cable, guys. There is honestly so much more to streaming apps that I could never fit into one blog post.
Streaming apps and channels is where to find most of the new and exciting content now. And, so much of it is free or incredibly cheap, now is definitely the time to get rid of cable or satellite tv.
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