Cable Alternatives: 10 Options That Save You Money

Last Updated by Neiko Johnson on 
August 15, 2021
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Cable Alternatives 10 Options That Save You Money

About 2 years ago, we decided to cut the cord. We researched a few cable alternatives to cable TV and we are glad we did so.

In fact, this allowed us to still watch our favorite TV shows and sports events while saving money.

As a result, we decided to go with YouTube TV and Netflix. We are often watching both services and even sometimes on the go.

Also, we have met many people over the past 2 years who make the argument to keep their cable channels.

However, luckily in today's world, there are many great alternatives to cable TV. You can find options if you like sports, movies, specific shows, and more.

Most importantly, we haven't looked back after we decided to cut the cord. It was a great decision and we haven't thought about cable TV ever since.

Cable TV can be the most expensive option out there with many plans being over $150/month. In fact, sometimes people are even paying over $200 a MONTH on their cable bill.

This may sound crazy to you but many people are currently spending that much on cable TV.

That is to say, if you are paying a high price for cable TV, just imagine what you can do with the extra money you save by finding an alternative.

Above all, you can learn how to save money by cutting the cord and spend that money on debt, towards retirement, or even build your clutch fund (aka emergency fund).

Certainly, there are many cable alternatives to choose from and it may seem confusing to select. But, we are going to help you cut the cord and start saving money right away!

Related reading:

Here are 10 cable alternatives.

1. YouTube TV

YouTube has created its own live TV service, and you can watch shows from over 85 different channels. These networks include ABC, ESPN, Animal Planet, HGTV, TNT, FX, and more.

YouTube TV costs $64.99/month and there are some add-ons available if you choose those options. The add-ons include:

  • HBO Max $14.99/month
  • Showtime $11/month
  • Starz $9/month
  • Sports Plus includes NFL RedZone, Fox College Sports, GOLTV, FOX Soccer Plus, MAVTV Motorsports Network, TVG, and Stadium for $10/month
  • Cinemax $9.99/month

YouTube TV offers a variety of channels and you can watch on streaming media players, smart TVs, game consoles, smartphones, and tablets. However, you have to be aware of the number of add-ons you have because it can increase the cost to be nearly the same as regular cable TV.

2. ESPN+

This is another cable alternative for sports lovers. ESPN+ is one of the lowest costs cable alternatives for only $5.99/month. Also, you can add Hulu and Disney+ for $12.99/ for all three services.

In fact, you can watch live sporting events and ESPN+ Originals. There is also a 7-day free trial available for you to try it out.

3. Netflix

Netflix is a very popular option when it comes to cable alternatives. We like using Netflix because they have some of our favorite TV shows that we can watch whenever we want.

Also, Netflix is constantly adding more content to its service. This keeps it at the top of the list.

However, you may experience price increases over time as they continue to add more content.

There are three different Netflix plans:

  • Basic plan – $8.99/month. You can watch unlimited shows and movies only on one device.
  • Standard plan – $13.99/month. Same as Basic, with HD level picture quality and you can watch on up to two screens at the same time.
  • Premium plan – $17.99/month. This plan has HD and Ultra HD and you can watch unlimited shows and movies on up to four devices at one time.

4. fuboTV

This service is very similar to cable TV with a lot of focus on sports. In fact, you can get access to the top TV channels and live sports, which includes cloud DVR and sharing your account across devices.

They offer four different plans:

  • Fubo Latino $29.99/month. 32 channels with 100+ sporting events. Cloud DVR and standard content sharing on 2 devices at once.
  • Family $64.99/month. 113 channels and 130+ events in 4k. Cloud DVR and family sharing on 3 devices at once.
  • Elite $74.99/month. 157 channels and 130+ events in 4k. fubo Extra with 44 entertainment channels with 1000 hours of Cloud DVR space.

5. AT&T TV Now

DirecTV realized it needed to join the streaming service industry when it created AT&T TV Now.

Important to note, the service costs between $65 and $135 depending on which package you select. Most importantly, there is no contract when using this service and you can cancel anytime you want.

Overall, you will have between 45 and 125 channels, including some premium channels like HBO.

Remember, AT&T TV Now is a cable alternative but also closely mimics the traditional cable offerings.

6. Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video is included in the Amazon Prime subscription. That is to say, if you use Amazon Prime you can watch shows and movies through Amazon Prime Video and reduce the cost of your monthly subscriptions.

Also, Amazon Prime Video continues to build its collection of original content and has great options for movies and shows.

Amazon Prime Video costs $119 per year or $8.99 per month. Also, you can add premium channels such as Showtime, HBO, and more.

7. Sling TV

Sling TV is a streaming service that works similarly to traditional cable service. This makes it a great option for those looking to cut the cord.

The streaming service includes channels like Disney, TNT, TBS, Comedy Central, AMC, and more.

Also, it is becoming popular as a cable alternative for sports fans because Sling has ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, NFL Network, and add-ons that include NBA TV and the SEC Network.

Sling plans are below:

  • Sling Orange is available for $30 per month and includes 30+ live channels. This plan is for those interested in sports and families with channels like HGTV, Disney, and ESPN.
  • Sling Blue includes 50+ channels and is also $30 per month. However, it's more focused on news and entertainment channels and doesn't include ESPN. You also get 2 additional devices for streaming. (Tip – Sign up for Sling "Blue" and ESPN+ for only $4.99 more per month.

8. Youtube

One of the ways we watch TV is by using YouTube and watching podcasts and videos of topics we are interested in. We love watching real estate videos of modern homes and the future of technology.

That is to say, you may have to deal with ads when using the free version of YouTube. However, these ads support the creators who keep making entertaining videos.

Indeed, YouTube is a great way to cut the cord and watch TV for free. In general, you can always find videos from your favorite YouTubers and have a wide variety of content.

9. Philo

Philo offers over 50 channels for live and on-demand TV, unlimited recording, and you can watch content on any of your devices. Some of the most popular channels are Food Network, TLC, MTV, VH1, and more.

Most importantly, Philo is only $20/month and there's also a 7-day free trial available that does not require any billing information for the first 48 hours.

10. Hulu

Hulu is a great cable alternative to watch the current season of your favorite shows. Hulu has its own content with Hulu Original and has been growing a movie library as well.

In fact, Hulu has decreased its prices as other services have increased their prices. It is one of the cheapest streaming services available.

The Hulu plans and pricing are:

  • Hulu $5.99/month. You can stream over 85,000 episodes of your favorite shows, movies, and Hulu Originals.
  • Hulu (no ads) $11.99/month. You receive the same as above without ads.
  • Option for Hulu + Live TV $44.99/month. You receive everything in Hulu's library in addition to live TV.
  • The Hulu Premium Networks plan costs $8.99 - $14.99/month. You can pay for premium channels when you want them including Showtime, Starz, HBO, and Cinemax.

Are you considering getting rid of cable? What cable alternatives are you considering?

Article written by Neiko Johnson
Neiko is a personal finance expert and Co-founder of Secret to Finance. Along with his wife Alexis, they learned how to get out of debt and paid off $400,000 in 4 years.

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