Cut the cord NOW: Cable bills are up 50% since 2010

I don’t watch many shows these days, even through online options. I had free cable tv + HBO for a year before and i used it maybe twice. Cancelling it was amusing, the AT&T rep was trying to get me to keep it and i flat out told them how little i had used it when it was free for me and their response was something like: Oh… yeaaah. Ok. Let’s cancel that for you.

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Yeah the lower viewership relative to even unpopular network shows means a lower add rate. Together with the large amount of ad space. It means networks and shows need to grind as many low grade ads as possible. So Adult Swims main advertisers seem to be phone sex and Christian recruitment. Channels with older viewers run buy your gold and survival buckets.

And even with higher rated shows/networks that can get quality national ad campaigns at a good rate. The cable carrier can’t noones paying through the nose for a regionally targeted short run ad. And the cable companies freely preempt national ads for things like ads for your local car wash.

They pitch this. Both to the public and networks they’re screwing as advocating for customers. Customers deserve local ad content, community, neighbors, local, insert municipality name here, local. And those evil networks are trying to take your precious local content, local, neighbors, local, corporations, local.

Weirdly most of the “local” ads I see are for things in other states, about 200 miles from me. And they want to buy my gold.

And your cable bill still goes up even though the company is now ad supported.

I watched cable TV for the first time in over a year last night. There was nothing worth watching on 400 channels. Halloween and not one horror movie. Only bothered because I was dog sitting and handing out candy for family out of town. Hiding in another room to watch streaming wasn’t going to work. I should have stuck some movies on a thumb drive.

I do use a family members cable login to access steaming shows from networks that don’t drop stuff to major streamers, and for HBO. The trend of networks putting content on their own (crap) streaming sites explicitly tied to cable subscription is really frustrating. But torrenting TV has gotten weird lately.


Even (supposedly free) PBS does this, which I find rather frustrating.


Much like the line from Brokeback Mountain, “you’re too much for me, Comcast, you son of a whoreson bitch… I wish I knew how to quit you.”

We have an HOA where I live, and we aren’t allowed to have visible satellite dishes on our townhomes. And even if it were allowed, I had Dish Network check once, and the only place they could put it so it could aim where it would need to is blocked by a tree that I have no control over.

So, we use Comcast for our internet, basic cable is provided by the dues we pay to the HOA, and everything else can go fuck off.

The first decent option for internet that comes along and costs less, I’m on it.


The big problem with cable cutting is that it makes television watching into even more of a hack than it already is. Five years ago I had to buy my first non-crt television. My old standby method of tv acquisition - “buy the best Trinitron I can afford” - no longer worked. It took significant research to determine what the “best and most future-proof” display tech was, let alone worrying about the UI and whether I was inadvertently bringing a spy device into the home. Then I had to worry about hi def and all that visual noise. Bye bye good old DVD player, hello another spinnydisk device that supports blu-ray.

I had already moved away from the terrible and crash-prone cable box to a Tivo, which is still a pretty great device, despite the abysmal UI updowngrade it went through last year. But also last year the Tivo stopped being able to access any of the “premium” services like Netflix and such, so more research into which of the many pseudo-cable boxes I should invest in - Roku, Chrimecast, Apple TV, etc. Television for me is an escape from work - I don’t want to do work so I can escape from it.

I’m not happy about the price of my cable subscription, but the fact that it makes a significant amount of escapism available with little aggregating or research on my part is (still) worth it to me.

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When Spectrum merged with Time Warner, my bill started to creep up, and I called to do the price reduction dance. I told them what it had been during the last price reduction, and what I was willing to pay. They told me that they give everyone the same rate, so I only had to pay $140 for cable, a vestigial landline, and internet.

That was $40 above my expectation. They talked about how I could drop channels and get it down to about $120. I pointed out that getting less than I have now for more than I pay now is not a deal. So it was finally the excuse we needed to cancel. I honestly can’t remember if it’s been 2 or 3 years since we did that, because we pretty much watch Netflix and FilmStruck exclusively by that point already.

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Sure, I’d love to. Someone tell me how to get the equivalent internet speeds at a cheaper price in my high rise apartment without paying a cable company.

Only reason we have cable on top of the internet is because it’s a whole extra 20 bucks a month on top.


From what I understand they’re trying to get a better deal than they get from streaming networks. Since revenue there isn’t yet enough to replace ads or cable subscription fees. But the cable networks have so much pull they can force people to tie it to cable subscription. And ala cart subscriptions to individual networks aren’t selling. How much fx can you really watch, and are you really gonna pay a monthly subscription for slightly earlier access to that one show?

It’s still quite stupid. This was the entire point behind Hulu when it launched. But most pulled/sold out early when it didn’t immediately become the default streaming service. But it’s a lot more stable and embedded now. Even if it’s second fiddle to Netflix. Now all the parent companies are trying to launch their own replacements. Even Disney. Who already own the majority of Hulu. And a bunch of netwoks are backing Sling Box. Which is a cable package without a cable company.

It’s a bunch of failure to adapt innovate problems. But the cable companies are directly exasperating the situation. They’ll threaten the main revenue stream, still subscription fees to prevent the media companies from really supporting the developing ones. So the handful of non cable streamers start to look a lot like those cable monopolies. And it takes Amazon level funds and influence to start a new one.

Big cluster of short term thought and desperate clinging to fading business models. With the cable business at the center.

There are some channels in the basic CATV lineup that the reverse is true and actually pay the cable companies to include them. These are your Home Shopping Network, QVC, and networks that are exclusively infomercials. Asking the cable companies to exclude these channels is an impossibility as this is revenue into their pockets.

This is also why you will also see “packages” that will include additional “revenue positive” networks as they can now tailor advertising content to the package purchaser. (examples, NASCAR with car related infomercial networks. ESPN with Fantasy Sports Tournaments, to the point where the sponsor and sponsee become the same cash cow.)

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I’m sorry did anybody else not see an issue with the math in the article cable bill was 71 and change in 2010 and now 107 and change. May math says that LESS THAN 50%
But someone was checking in comments cable tv has only risen 1% year over year if you were paying attention please check you power and or water Bill’s (or taxes) I believe they have gone up 3 to 5 % year to year.

I like my local news and sports so I’ll keep my local package ( about 75 dollars a month)

Later all

I haven’t had cable in years, and recently we got municipal fiber where I live. The day we canceled our Comcast was amazing. Affordable, fast internet should be a public utility at this point. I acknowledge the place of privilege that I get to come at this topic from, and hope that it will spread as people see successful models like where I live.

The one we are running into now, is that the stuff we want to watch is spread across multiple streaming platforms. That will probably be the next phase, a suite of streaming services… kind of like multiple channels… wait… where have I heard this before…


I mean, your math is wrong… 150% of 71 is 106.5…


Missed the joke


I’m happy to say I’m a 40-something dude who has managed to live my whole life without cable. (Not a luddite or a TV-hater, just a cheapskate who is contented with a standalone internet connection and an aerial antenna.)


You mean the kind that can get you…

without paying for a cable package? What a concept!


Oh absolutely. Pretty sure some of the religious channels and crazy political ones pay for inclusion too. When they’re not own d by the cable companies direct.

Your local/regional news and weather and a bunch of other weird shit are all owned by the cable carrier. They basically weasel their way into being the only media employer in secondary markets. Produce trash content to load up with trash ads.

Simply Bits in Tucson has a microwave link. My only interaction with Cox is to throw out their incessant marketing literature.

I’m often surprised by how many people who say they need cable because their don’t have decent local TV reception have never even considered putting up an antenna. I mean, I get that a lot of people live in apartment buildings where that may not be an option, but for everyone else it’s almost like a forgotten technology.


I live in a stream valley in a college town.

No cell phone reception or broadcast TV unless I erect a 100’ antenna tower - which I can’t, because state law says all towers owned by regular people (not large predatory corporations) must be able to fall in any direction without striking any other property. My property isn’t 200+ feet wide at any point.

Landline + Internet costs more than “triple play”, so I buy TV I don’t watch.


Yeah I live in an area where satellite TV and phone company fiber won’t offer hookups because the year round population is too low and it’s a bit too far out of the way. The number of customers apparently doesn’t justify the infrastructure.

We couldn’t even get a public water hookup till a few years back. Despite the water in my neighborhood being non potable.

If we want say Verizon Fios, to break with the cable company entirely we apparently need to get the neighbors to chip in to pay $40k to put the node in. Then rent it back to Verizon at the rate of them putting the lines in to connect it to their nearest service area.

Which is only 1/4 mile down the road…

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Comcast keeps calling and offering me a “great” rate* if I only add hd tv and phones and a free streaming spy box. I keep telling them I’m only interested in internet, and more un-guaranteed mbs will never improve my single-person internet experience no matter what gamer buzzwords they use to describe their premium connections.

(* about twice what I’m paying now)

So glad I get all of this choice as an educated consumer. /s

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