Satellite TV subscribers seeing channels go dark

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While you’re overpaying for TV, your channels are going dark left and right, particularly if you’re a satellite customer. Well, I’ve got a solution for you.

Twenty million DirecTV customers are missing channels like Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and VH1, among others, because the satellite provider is locked in a dispute with Viacom. Dish Network customers, meanwhile, are going without AMC at the moment.

Here’s what this is all about: Programmers typically push through costs on the cable and satellite companies that are four times the rate of inflation. They just expect the pay TV operators to push the increase through onto the consumer. For a long time that was how it worked.

But now the music has stopped.

Subscriber numbers are dropping, particularly among those who are 30 or younger because technology has changed the equation. More and more people are saying, “Why do I need to pay between $80 and $150 a month for pay TV when I can get some content for free on my laptop, tablet or smart phone?”

I’ve hooked up the Roku in our house, a device that costs about $80 and makes it a cinch to get Internet programming on your TV. I’ve been happy to watch my kids and wife migrate to it more and more on their own.

So let DirectTV fight Viacom to the death. But know that it’s your wallet they’re fighting over. And you have the power.

You might need to do this in baby steps. Try cutting back on your programming package and then looking for alternate ways to get the content you want. Some popular alternatives include Hulu and Netflix, and even renting movies through RedBox.

Maybe you’ll find the pay TV folks need you more than you need them. And then you can save between $1,000 and $2,000 a year if you’re able to dump that subscription!



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