Goodbye cable.

After a five-minute phone call with a Comcast representative, I had moved on to a better, cheaper way to watch TV – online.

The more I did my homework, the more it became clear what a rip-off cable is…

The Hidden Costs of Cable

Anyone who’s paid for cable TV knows the drill.

Your local cable provider advertises a reasonable deal. Maybe a sales rep goes door-to-door telling people how cheap their company’s cable package is.

Of course, that’s only the “introductory offer.” After a specified period of time, your monthly cost skyrockets.

But what’s even worse is the list of bogus fees and taxes tacked onto the end of your cable bill:

  • Broadcast TV fee.
  • Regional sports fee.
  • FCC regulatory fee.
  • High-definition technology fee.
  • Digital video recording (DVR) fee.
  • Communications sales tax.
  • Communications services tax.

Added up, these extra charges were about $46 a month!

And for the pleasure of having my wallet raided every month by Comcast, I had to sign a two-year contract and wait for a technician to come out and set up my cable box.

But I found an option that is contract-free and doesn’t need any installation. It even has a one-week free trial offer so you can try it out – streaming live TV.

Streaming Live TV Options

If you watched any part of the Dodgers-Red Sox World Series this past week, you saw the big red YouTube TV banner placed prominently behind home plate.

YouTube TV is a popular choice. DirecTV Now, Hulu Live TV and Sony’s PlayStation Vue are other top options, as well as Sling TV. (You may have seen the “We’re Slingers” commercials with comedians Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman.)

You can stream live TV on any PC, smartphone, tablet or internet-connected smart TV. If you don’t have a smart TV, you can buy a Fire TV Stick on Amazon for $40.

To see which streaming TV providers are compatible with your favorite devices, check the chart below:

It became clear what a rip-off cable is. Now I can stream live TV on any PC, smartphone, tablet or internet-connected smart TV.


For just an additional $32 a month, I upgraded my Hulu online video subscription to a live TV subscription. That lets me watch all my favorite TV channels online for a fraction of what I was paying for cable TV.

Plus, I get a bunch of extra sports channels I didn’t use to have. My expensive cable package only had ESPN, ESPN2 and Fox Sports 1. To get more, I would’ve had to shell out for a high-end “premium” option.

So review your cable bill like I did, then calculate how much you’d be saving every year by switching to streaming TV online. I’m sure you can figure out something to do with all that extra money in your pocket.


Jay Goldberg

Assistant Managing Editor, Banyan Hill Publishing