What are you paying to the cable or satellite company for television? Whatever it is, it's probably too much!
New numbers for September 2016 from Leichtman Research Group, Inc. show that the average household pays $103.10/month for pay TV service.
That's $1,237.20 each year and it's just the average; some people pay a lot more!
Thankfully, there are a lot of opportunities in the market to reduce that monthly bill and still get the great content you love...
This new service is a robust replacement for traditional pay TV and one of the surprise hits of the holiday season.
For $35 a month, you can stream 100+ channels. With DirecTV Now you don't need a satellite dish. You just need an Internet connection.
DirectTV Now works with Android devices and tablets, iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Fire TV Stick, Chromecast (Android on launch, iOS 2017), Internet Explorer, Chrome and Safari browsers and more.
By next year, DirecTV Now reportedly will be compatible with Roku, Amazon Fire tablets and Smart TVs from Samsung and other popular brands.
Dish's streaming product is called Sling.com and it doesn't require a cable or satellite subscription either.
For $20 a month, you’ll get a limited number of channels, but here’s the thing...the Sling offering includes ESPN! That channel alone has prevented a lot of people from cutting the cord in the past, so this one is worth a look!
One of the most dominant names in streaming, Netflix charges $9.99 a month for the standard package that includes unlimited TV and movies.
But if money is tight, you could pay a $7.99 monthly rate if you're willing to forgo high-definition (HD) programming. You'll only be able to watch in standard definition and only on one screen at the same time in your home.
Netflix is distinguishing itself by pumping a lot of money into creating original content to keep you coming back for more.
One of the original two biggies in this marketspace (along with Netflix), Hulu moved from a partially free model to an all-pay service. Pricing starts at $7.99 a month. (Showtime is an additional $8.99 a month.)
The biggest selling point of Amazon Prime might be the free two-day shipping at $99 a year. But don't overlook the service's robust streaming component.
If streaming is all you want, you'll pay $8.99 a month. Like Netflix, Amazon is putting big bucks into its original programming too.
Miscellaneous streaming services
Many networks have their own standalone streaming services.
Free over-the-air TV
With all the talk of where TV is going in the future, it's easy to forget that it's also extra cheap where it's been in the past. Don't overlook the original option—using an old-fashioned pair of "rabbit ear" antennae to pick up local channels over the air for free.
The process is actually really simple. Go to AntennaWeb.org and you'll be able to enter your street address. Then the website will tell you which channels are available to you and what kind of antenna would be best for you.
You simply need to buy the antenna and maybe a converter box to get the digital signal. Both are routinely available at Best Buy, Amazon or any of your favorite electronics stores. (Newer TVs tend to have a digital tuner already built in, eliminating the need for an external converter box.)
Just follow AntennaWeb's recommendations about the best equipment for your home and start enjoying free TV!
So you may still be wondering if you could benefit from any of these new over-the-top services.
The bottom line is if you are a multi-person household, the traditional package from cable or satellite is probably a better deal for you than one of these services you get digitally on your devices.
But that having been said, more than half of American households would benefit from dumping cable or satellite and doing one of these options listed above.
Remember, the average pay TV bill is more than $100 a month and rising. Now the power is in your hands Ii you want to put that money back in your pocket!