I cancelled paid television last month... After looking through my TiVo recordings, I realized that 90% of my recordings were standard network programming (FOX, NBC, CBS, ABC and CW). The other 10% was original programming on AMC (e.g., Walking Dead, Better Call Saul, etc...) or the games from my local NBA basketball team on CSN. I bought a TiVo Roamio OTA (to replace my cable-only TiVo Roamio Pro). As a result, I get the same TiVo experience, only with OTA content.
I will absolutely miss the 10% that requires paid television, but it's not worth the incremental cost. I completely understand the bundled pricing phenomenon. And while there are some here who have reported that you can get paid TV bundled for a lower cost than internet only service, this is not my experience. I am sure such a beast exists...I just haven't seen it myself (I haven't seen Elvis, Big Foot or the Loch Ness Monster either).
It's true that cancelling paid television is not the big money saver that it once was. I was told that my internet only service would be $74.99/mo for 100mbps service, and that I could get a double play bundle with a medium sized (150 channel) television package for $89.99/mo (only $15.00 more). They told me that I would not be eligible for a single service pricing promotion because I was already on a double play and they don't provide promotions for people reducing their service.
So $15/mo adds up to $180/year... Not much, right? The problem is that the internet service is not taxed (at least not in my area). So $74.99 is $74.99. Television has the additional taxes and surcharges. On last month's bill (before my cancellation), I had to pay an additional $11.88 broken down like this:
- Broadcast TV Fee: $5.00
- Regional Sports Fee: $3.00
- Franchise Fee: $2.77
- PEG Access Support Fee: $0.90
- FCC User Fee: $0.08
- State Sales Tax: $0.13
So very quickly, my $89.99 promotional pricing becomes $101.87! Compare that to the $74.99 internet only service, and my savings increase from $15/mo to $26.88/mo (or $322.56).
But wait...there's more
I didn't take their word that I could not get a promotional price on internet only service, so I went down to my local bricks & mortar Comcast office and asked to speak to a customer service representative. Of course she tried to get me to keep my double play (she wouldn't be a good Comcast employee if she didn't at least give it the college try, right?). But in the end, she offered me a 12 month promotional price on internet only service for $59.99. That's an additional $15.00/mo savings from the standard $74.99/mo pricing.
So by cancelling paid television, what at first looked like a $15.00/mo savings turns into a $41.88/mo (or $502.56/year) in savings.
Of course, there is the longer term question of whether I can continue receiving the internet only promotional pricing. However, there's also the question of whether I can continue the double play promotional pricing. There will always be the game you need to play at the end of the promotional period where you need to speak to retention to see if you can optimize your pricing... It's standard operating procedure at this point...
By the way, do you notice that I hadn't used the words "cut the cord" in any of the above? I agree with others that cutting the cord in 2017 has a completely different meaning than it did a decade ago... I prefer to say that I cancelled paid television service.