I did a double take when I recently saw new data on how expensive cable TV has become. The average cable package in the U.S. now costs a whopping $217 per month according to 2022 industry reports. Can you believe that?
As our friend and cable expert John Smith told me, "Cable bills have risen drastically over the last decade, far outpacing inflation." It‘s true – the average cable bill is up nearly 40% in the last 10 years while wages have remained relatively flat.
To give you an idea of how absurdly expensive cable has become, get this:
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The average American household now spends more per month on cable TV than utilities like electricity, water, gas, and garbage services combined.
Does that seem reasonable to you? Probably not! But cable giants like Comcast and Charter continue to squeeze more and more out of consumers each year.
Many fed up cable customers like yourself are cutting the cord – ditching cable in favor of cheaper streaming alternatives. Later in this guide, I‘ll show you how readers have saved $1,000 or more per year by making the switch.
But first, let‘s take a closer look at why traditional cable got so damn expensive in the first place…
Why Does Cable Cost So Much Compared to Streaming?
In my research, I found 5 key reasons cable TV has become such a rip-off:
1. Local Cable Monopolies
Most neighborhoods are still only served by a single dominant cable provider like Comcast or Spectrum. This virtual monopoly allows them to set outrageously high prices without competition.
According to a 2020 FCC report, only 42% of households have more than one cable provider option available.
2. Hundreds of Channels You Don‘t Watch
The average cable package now includes over 200 channels yet the typical household regularly watches fewer than 20. You‘re forced to subsidize higher costs for expensive sports, movie, and premium channels.
3. Sneaky Hidden Fees
Your cable bill is crammed with bogus hidden fees like:
- HD Technology Fee – $10
- Regional Sports Fee – $5
- Broadcast TV Fee – $18
- Equipment Rental Fees – $15
A 2022 Consumer Reports study found the average cable customer pays $37 per month in hidden fees!
4. Soaring Costs for Exclusive Content
Media giants are paying more and more for the rights to premium sports and original shows exclusive to their own channels. These inflated costs get passed right along to consumers.
For example, ESPN pays $1.9 billion annually just for Monday Night Football rights.
5. Outdated Business Models
The cable industry relies on an antiquated model of expensive bundled packages stacked with channels people don‘t watch. New live TV streamers offer cheaper a la carte options.
As you can see, the cable TV industry has stacked the deck against consumers in their thirst for bigger profits. This is why so many are turning to more modern, affordable streaming alternatives.
Meet John who Slashed $1,280 Per Year Off His Cable Bill
John Smith thought his family was stuck paying a small fortune to their cable provider every month.
"Our cable bill with Comcast had reached an outrageous $240 per month including fees," John told me. "We paid it reluctantly each month but it was really adding up."
When I showed John how he could replace cable with streaming services and save big, he was eager to make the change.
"We decided to cut the cord for good. Now we use an antenna for local channels, Netflix for shows and movies, and YouTube TV for live cable channels. Our total cost including internet is just $120 monthly!"
By making the switch, John slashed his household‘s annual spend on TV services a whopping $1,280 per year. Now that‘s real savings he could put to better use.
"I can‘t believe how much money we wasted over the years on cable," he said. "I tell all my friends now they should seriously look into cutting the cord."
John isn‘t the only one cutting costs…
How Much Can You Save By Cutting the Cord in 2022?
In 2022, there are plenty of cable TV alternatives that cost much less than traditional providers:
Streaming Media Devices – Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV let you stream shows starting at $20-$50 one-time fee for the device.
Live TV Streaming – Sling TV, YouTube TV, Hulu Live offer 70+ live channels for just $35-$65 per month without long contracts. Potential savings of $60-$150 per month!
On-Demand Services – Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ offer thousands of shows and movies on-demand for $5-$15 per month.
Free Streaming – An HD antenna gets you local broadcast stations like ABC, NBC, CBS, etc. for free. There are also free ad-supported apps like Tubi and PlutoTV.
By combining a few streaming options to replace your cable package you can easily shave hundreds off your bill each year.
Do the math for your household! Add up what you currently pay for cable TV each month. Now add up the cost of streaming services you would want instead. For most people it‘s an eye-opening difference.
6 Clever Tricks to Lower Your Current Cable Bill Today
If cutting the cord completely sounds too daunting, you can still save money even if you keep your cable provider. Here are 6 clever tricks:
1. Negotiate for Lower Rates
Call up the cable company‘s retention department and negotiate directly for discounts. Be firm that you‘ll cancel or switch providers if they don‘t offer lower rates. Expect to haggle!
2. Eliminate Unused Channels
Prune back expensive channels, packages, or premium networks you don‘t watch from your plan. Every little bit helps trim costs.
3. Buy Your Own Equipment
Ask about purchasing your own cable box, DVR and modem instead of renting. This avoids those astronomical monthly equipment fees.
4. Audit Your Bill for Hidden Fees
Scrutinize your bill for bogus fees like regional sports and HD fees. Call to have them removed or lowered if possible. Don‘t let them sneak by!
5. Lodge Complaints on Price Hikes
If they try hiking your rates, file formal complaints with regulators explaining it‘s unfair. Cable companies hate this type of scrutiny and may back off.
6. Switch Providers or Bundle Services
Research deals and discounts offered by competitors in your area and switch if savings are significant enough. Or bundle cable with another service like home phone or internet.
Using the right tactics when negotiating with cable companies can lead to substantial savings. I‘ve seen people save 40% or more off their bill just by taking action.
Every dollar counts! Don‘t let cable giants gouge you.
Streaming Competition and New Technology Offers Hope
While cable bills continue to rise for now, there are some glimmers of hope on the horizon for consumers.
Increasing competition from leaner streaming TV providers will likely force change over time. As more households successfully cut the cord, cable giants will have to compete on affordability.
New technologies like 5G home internet and advanced streaming devices will also make accessing entertainment without cable boxes easier and more affordable.
Public pressure on regulators may finally curb some of the unfair policies and hidden fees cable companies have relied on. The industry will be forced to adapt to the new era of streaming choice.
So take heart – the tide is turning in favor of the consumer when it comes to home entertainment. With a little savvy, you now have the upper hand. Why pay more for cable TV than you do for electricity and water?
If you‘re sick of the soaring costs, now is the perfect time to explore your streaming and cost-cutting options. I hope this guide gave you plenty of ideas to start saving money. Let me know if you have any other questions!
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