Does a Cable Subscription Make Sense Anymore?

Cable television seems like a slowly sinking ship. In 2013 alone 1.8 million people unsubscribed from their cable service. And why not? All the good shows are on premium channels you won’t pay for, the other channels are full of the commercials and the legacy networks aren’t producing the quality material you once new. Plus, there’s not really a need to subscribe to a cable package when you can see most shows on the Internet or binge watch them in locations like Netflix or Amazon Prime.

Then again, perhaps investing in a cable package isn’t the worst idea at all. When your Internet provider runs into problems you still have cable to tune into for your programs. Sometime they offer packages that combine cable, phone and Internet into one price. And now, with devices like the Xfinity X1 service, cable companies are trying to cash in on the Internet-viewing experience.

But why should you invest in a cable company when they’re getting so big? The recent merger between Comcast and Time-Warner, the two biggest cable companies in the United States, sent a ripple of nervousness through the media world as potential rate hikes and lost of viewing opportunities loomed on the horizon. Why should you, financial decision maker in your young family, decide to plunge money into the service when your trying to get your children to watch less, not more, television? Especially when you’re trying to pay off debt?

These are the questions that many folks think about every day when it comes to a cable subscription. What was once dynamic has been pushed aside by better technology with lower costs and multiple viewing options. Don’t want to watch commercials? Sign up to Netflix for under $10. Want to package viewing with other options? Pay $100 each year for Amazon Prime rather than $100 for cable. And people can still watch local networks by hooking their television up to the cable port thanks to the analog to digital transition that took place a few years ago.

It comes down to a few questions in order to determine if a cable subscription makes sense anymore. Here are few of them.

How much television do you watch?

Young kids shouldn’t be watching more than a few hours a day, and you or your partner feel planting your rear ends on the couch to watch television is a time suck. Is it really worth spending $150 to $200 for a monthly cable subscription? It may best to just purchase a phone and Internet package and rely on other sites to watch your shows.

What type of television do watch?

Let’s say you are television watchers. Are you network watchers or do you get your entertainment from cable channels or original programming on Hulu or Netflix. If you and your family are fans of House of Cards instead of Big Bang Theory, then it’s best to forget a cable subscription and pick up a Roku or other streaming device to watch the Internet-based channels.

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