In the past I've given a few tips on saving money on television. One of my more popular articles in the past suggested that it may be possible for people to cut their cable television completely. To recap here where those tips in nut-shell:
- Pay More for Television - Sounds counter intuitive, but if it saves you from paying $20+ at the movies every night spending a little more on television can be a savings. I paid around $150 last year to watch all the Red Sox games on television (I live in San Francisco, so I had to by the MLB Extra Innings package). I would have easily run up a much bigger bill going to sports bars for 6 months. Another example is to get DVR if it allows you to watch shows in less time and get you back to being productive. Time is money... and that can be money well spent.
- Get an HDTV Antenna - This should be easier with television stations being required to upgrade soon. Most that I watch are already in HD... except for those pesky out of town sporting events.
- Look into a Sling Box - I've found that baseball is very watchable from my brother's Slingbox. Football isn't as watchable in my opinion. The players are too small when it's zoomed out - especially with the less than 100% resolution. Note, I've heard this against the terms of service with Slingbox. I have to be honest, I don't really read the terms of service when I buy an electronic product that bills itself as not requiring a service payment. I don't really understand how it can be as watching out of town sports was the reason it was invented (if you've read about the founders).
Save Money on Your Cable Television
- Call up Your Cable Company and Threaten to Switch - Often times they'll give you a cheaper rate if you pretend like you might switch. I hate using it like an empty threat, but fortunately the cable company sets me up perfectly. I ask them if they are going to carry every Patriots' game this year. I know they can't because DirecTV has an exclusive license with the NFL for out of market games. They know this isn't an empty threat since I pay for the MLB package. I have strong incentive to switch to DirecTV - the only reason I don't is because I'm Lazy. I don't tell them that I'm lazy, but I ask them to give me a price worth staying for. It usually gets me a good deal for a year.
- Check for Promotions - A lot of the time a cable company will have a promotion for acquiring new customers. On one hand it makes sense for them to dangle a carrot to get someone from another provider to switch. On the other hand, you should get something for your years of loyal service. I play the loyal service card when I can.
Even More Ways to Save Money on Your Cable Television
- My Two Dollars has 35 tips for watching television without cable or satellite
- Christian Personal Finance also lists resources to find free and legal TV and Movies online
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