Cable prices keep going up and up. The average cable bill is $92 a month, according to the latest estimates I’ve seen. Soon the average will break $100. Why? Because cable rates are rising at 4 times the rate of inflation.
Here are cheaper ways to get TV programming
So is the cable company ripping you off? That depends on how you look at it. The reality is cable companies mark up the bill 600% above their cost of programming. But programming costs are rising too. That’s why you see channels going dark on different providers as they fight about carry charges.
The biggest battles are over sports. DirecTV rates are going to rise by roughly 6%, which they’re mostly blaming on sports programming. The rights fees for sports programming are billions and billions of dollars and that’s what a cable channel like ESPN has to pay to a particular league or a college. So they turn around and raise their rates on the cable or satellite providers. It is a vicious spiral upward.
So what are you to do? If you hate how much you’re paying, some providers now offer program packages without the sports channels if you’re not a sports person. I’ve talked about Sling TV which is an over the top service for $20 month that actually includes ESPN. Then there’s Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.
So don’t feel like the pay TV monsters have you over a barrel. You have options. If you think you can live without sports, it is so easy for you to try the alternatives and save serious money.