No Cable and Still Great Television
I grew up without cable, just something we did not have. Living outside of Chicago there was enough broadcast channels for great television. Bryan on the other hand fell in love with cable in college. One of his favorite ways to unwind was a quick update from SportsCenter on ESPN or a classic golf game. The kicker was he ALWAYS had free cable. One lucky man.
Once on a business trip he confessed to a fellow passenger, who was a cable company executive, he was getting free cable. His biggest fear was a huge retroactive bill for the years of free cable. The guy assured him the company would never send him such a bill. Phew. He continued to watch his free ESPN without guilt.
Once our wedding and honeymoon bills were settled we discussed the household bills. Bryan quickly learned I never had cable and survived. He was in shock. How did I get the news? What about major sporting events? The Super Bowl? Wimbledon? David Letterman?
My deal with him was to try a month of no cable. Initially he was surprised to discover the number of channels available. His biggest surprise was most of his shows were on network channels except for SportsCenter. A few years later all broadcast channels were in HD – with no extra charge. The PBS Nova specials were crystal clear.
Ten years later we are still cable free but have made a few modifications. Now we have a Netflix account for Friday night movies and just started a Sling TV account on a trial basis.
I decided to run the numbers to see if our no cable plan truly saved us money. First, I called the cable company and was quoted a bundle price that added an additional $100 a month for cable. Next up was our current internet provider who had the same price. A side benefit was they did drop our current internet package down by $15 a month. Basically no cable saves us $100 a year and now an additional $15 just for calling which adds up to $1380.00 a year.
A cable free house works for us because we have over 47 free channels. Granted this number does not include the numerous Spanish, Korean and Polish only stations. If we only had two channels, things might be different. In the Chicago market we have six PBS stations and all the major networks. There are a few independent stations. It works for us.
Could you go without cable? Why or why not?
Sharon, The Mayor