Live TV streaming services give tough competition to cable companies, nowadays. For some people, they are even better than cable TV, since they provide live programming over the internet without the added hassle of cable boxes, contracts, or hidden costs. Millions of Americans find live TV streaming services far more convenient, triggering a shift in trends and challenging the age-old cable monopoly.
You see, cable TV has been around for a long time. When it was first introduced commercially in the 1950s, it instantly swayed public opinion in its favor because of the high-definition programming and easy accessibility through copper cables.
Even today, more than 60% of U.S. households continue to maintain their ties with their cable companies, enjoying hundreds of TV channels on their daily bandwidth. You can check more here to get an idea.
The benefits of cable TV are surely hard to pass up, yet consumers are always looking for a better deal, which they are getting through live TV streaming in this era. Let’s dive into these live TV streaming services below, while also debating the reasons behind this evolving trend.
Live TV Streaming Services: Best Alternatives to Cable TV
Live TV streaming services deliver real-time broadcasts from the nation’s favorite TV networks along with a user-friendly interface that’s easy to maneuver. So, if you wish to enjoy most of the perks of cable TV without having to deal with its cons, then you can go for any of the following live TV streaming services, which require nothing but an internet connection and a compatible device to play your favorite programming. Check them out:
Sling TV is one of the oldest streaming services, standing close to Netflix in origin. It consists of three packages in total, which provide 30 live TV channels for $35 a month in the starter package.
You can add more channels as you go and pay for them accordingly. Sling TV also offers an on-demand library, 50 hours of basic DVR storage, multiple device support, and up to three simultaneous streams. It is a month-to-month service.
Hulu + Live TV
In addition to the award-winning Hulu Originals, this streaming service incorporates more than 60 live TV channels into its plans, which is why it is called “Hulu + Live TV.” It is a tad pricier than Sling TV, costing about $65 a month that is the starting rate.
You can stream Hulu + Live TV titles on two different screens simultaneously, and if you wish to record a show, you have the cloud-based DVR always within reach. On-demand titles are also available to stream on multiple devices and gaming consoles.
For people who watch TV only for the live news channels and local broadcasts, YouTube TV is the perfect streaming service. Its entry-level package consists of 85 television networks, which you can stream on three simultaneous screens at a time.
YouTube TV’s DVR service offers unlimited recordings and storage, which gives it a visible upper hand over other streaming giants. You can add premium channels to your $65 a month plan and enjoy on-demand titles, as well.
Hear ye, all sports enthusiasts! FuboTV brings you a sports-oriented live TV streaming service, which you won’t find elsewhere. Now, you can catch all the games from NFL Network, MLB, ESPN, beIN Sports, BTN, Golf Channel, TUDN, and 100 other hands for $65 a month, which is the starting price. FuboTV also includes limited 4K content, on-demand games, DVR sports recording, and wide compatibility with tons of streaming devices.
These are the best of the best live TV streaming services out there and stand in place of cable TV in most U.S. households.
Reasons Why Cable Customers are Cutting the Cord
Despite all the amazing offerings of cable TV, we find consumers sick and tired of their cable companies. Here are the top reasons why people make the switch:
Cable companies have a visible monopoly, so they raise the costs of their services well beyond an average consumer’s budget and get away with it. For instance, you may be paying $80 a month for a mid-tier cable TV package and when your promotion ends, the cost may inflate to $120 a month, hitting you right where it hurts. On top of this, there are hidden costs and charges that stretch a cable bill and frustrate a cable customer to no end.
Whether you bundle your services or subscribe to standalone plans, your cable company may ask you to sign a contract. This contract is expected to protect you from unpredictable price hikes. However, these commitments actually bind you, and leave you with no choice but to stick to the company, regardless of a bad experience.
If you dare to breach the contract, you may have to pay a hefty fee known as ETF. So, the huge cost and the contract restraints manage to steer people away from cable TV providers.
The Future of Cable TV: Can It Survive?
A majority of cable companies are starting to realize the threat they face from live TV streaming services. They are going the extra mile and redesigning their offers to repair some damage. Here are the top features you can now enjoy with a cable subscription:
Smartphone applications are all the hype, these days. There is practically an app for everything. Cable companies have jumped the bandwagon, as well, and released their own TV apps.
Once you download the free TV app, all you have to do is log in with your service credentials and you can start streaming your on-demand titles, DVR recordings, and live TV networks on the go, as long as you have internet access.
Cable companies are giving more freedom to their customers now to shop as they deem fit. For instance, you can create a cable TV package that suits your entertainment needs, and pay for only the channels which you watch regularly.
By aiming for affordably priced plans and customized shopping experiences, cable companies are hoping to retain their subscribers and their market edge. So, the only way cable companies can outlive the live TV streaming trend is to radically reform their business models and structures in the ways mentioned above.
Just like everything else, cable TV has a good side and a bad side. If you can bear the cable bills and contract commitments, we recommend you to stick with your pay-tv company.
On the other hand, if you’re in a cash crunch and looking for a better option, then go for a live TV streaming service of your choice for an equally-entertaining experience.