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Here Is Everything Wrong with The LA Times Anti-Cord Cutting Story

The anti-cord cutting stories are still coming en masse. This time it comes from the Los Angeles Times with a story called “Cutting the cord doesn’t necessarily mean cutting the cost.”

We all know the truth, but there are a few clear errors that need to be addressed.

Pricing Errors

In the story there are several weird statements and errors. One big error is pricing for Sling TV. In the story the author says, “But now sports fans can get their fix through add-on packages via Sling TV, for $45 a month.” Clearly that is wrong because on its own price chart it lists Sling TV starting at $20 a month.

You can get the Sling TV sports package for as low as $25 a month or as high as $35 a month depending on what package you pick. So after looking around there is no way to back up the $45 a month statement.

Next up is PlayStation Vue listed at $39.99, when it really starts at $29.99. While it is true that in a few markets you do pay an extra $10 a month, most Americans get it for $29.99 a month.

I should also mention one more thing here. The story includes YouTube Red at $9.99 a month as a service, but forgets to mention cord cutters still have the option to use YouTube 100% FREE with ads.

I could keep going, but these are a few of the big price errors.

Failing to Support the Title

The title of the story clearly makes the argument that you may not save money as a cord cutter; however, it fails to back that up at any point in the story.

The story follows Tahlia Hein, who recently moved to New York. It shows how she was paying about $100 a month for Internet and streaming services. At the end of the story, it says that she “made a call to a cable company, which offered an Internet and cable bundle that was $20 more per month than what she was paying as a cord cutter.”

So according to the story cable cost her an extra $240 a year. What is even tougher is the fact that she talked about looking at streaming services to supplement her TV. “That said, she’s not ruling out subscribing to streaming services. Hein said she’d happily shell out for a channel dedicated exclusively to the ‘Law & Order’ franchise.” She went on to say, “I can’t believe we aren’t there yet, I would pay real money to subscribe to that.”

First, if she really wanted that she could already get a Law & Order Franchise channel by buying a season pass on services such as Amazon and watch it any time you want.

Yet that brings up a real question: if you go back to cable would you give up all your streaming options. According to Netflix in 2016 it had 120 million users. Cord cutting only accounts for about 30 million US households so a lot of cable subscribers also pay for Netflix, and we haven’t even talked about Amazon yet.

The example in the LA Times story is to pay $240 more a year for cable TV. (Let’s not even get into when that promo rate ends.) She will also likely be paying at least $120 a year for a streaming service to supplement her cable package. Now she is paying $360 more every year because she went back to cable.

No matter how you look at it, cord cutting can always be less expensive. If cable companies really want to keep subscribers or bring some back they would likely do a better job pointing out how they offer a premium experience but even that advantage is quickly going away.

So how much are you saving as a cord cutter? Leave us a comment and let everyone know.

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49 Responses to Here Is Everything Wrong with The LA Times Anti-Cord Cutting Story

  1. Avatar
    Teresa Wehmeier May 21, 2017 at 8:04 am #

    I cut the cord a bit over a year ago. I was paying $150 per month for dish, which included 2 Joey’s. I only had the Joey’s so that stay over guests could have a TV in their bedroom. I only have guests a few times a year, so they just collected dust. I had two Roku boxes to try out. What really irritated me was, the cable channels still required an active account to watch their channels on Roku. So, when new streaming services began to arrive with the few channels I wanted, I cut the cord. I now pay less than forty per month for PlayStation Vue, and I can turn off the service anytime I need to.

  2. Avatar
    Peter Loveman May 21, 2017 at 8:41 am #

    Recently cut and saving around $70-80 per month (depending on which PS Vue package I have at the time) and also have CBS all access (can’t get CBS with Vue here). We already had Netflix and prime so those are a wash in cost. We actually picked up a show that we couldn’t get with cable since WoW doesn’t have BBC America and PS Vue does.

    • Avatar
      Nathan John Ganiere May 21, 2017 at 4:30 pm #

      yeah Netflix and Prime, or Netflix and Hulu for my case, have a hard time even counting them, cause I had them prior too (also had Showtime prior which I still have), basically paying $35 for what I got on sling and was paying about $100 for what I had for cable pay tv which I dropped now over a year ago, so basically look at it as saving about $65 a month……..of course I got stuff like VUDU and have both a ROKU and Firetv box with free stuff, like Crackle, Tubi TV, etc……

  3. Avatar
    Tom Baxter May 21, 2017 at 9:24 am #

    OK, here’s a quick look at how I did it. First I went to Walmart and used my savings catcher e-gift card to get a Roku box and a descent indoor antenna for the living room and a Roku stick for our daughter’s room. So basically the equipment was “free”. After looking around we decided to go with Netflix($9.99/month), Amazon Prime($99 a year=$8.25/month), and Sling tv($19.99/month). I’m not going to include the cost of the high speed internet because I would have that no matter if I had cable, satellite, or streaming. So when added up $9.99+$8.25+$19.99=$38.23 a month! Not bad,I’d say. Plus I get NBC, CBS, and FOX over the air. Sure beats the $100+ a month for cable or satellite

  4. Avatar
    gchasse May 21, 2017 at 9:42 am #

    I am paying $85 less per month that I used to when I had Dish. I am on Vue to watch the sports I want and my wife gets to watch her international programming for free when she wants instead having to find out when it is on through Dish.

    I posted a comment on the LA Times website with the above info and also to address some of the criticisms they had. Overall their article is all over the place and creates more confusion that anything else. I was not impressed.

  5. Avatar
    Steve May 21, 2017 at 9:52 am #

    On the Vue price, I’d expect the Los Angeles Times to use the price that is charged in Los Angeles, which is the $39.99 price.

  6. Avatar
    filmex May 21, 2017 at 10:38 am #

    These guys are all schizo.

    This comes at the same time that the Hollywood Reporter reports, “The cable crisis is enduring its most harrowing year to date, as a record 500,000 pay TV subscribers cut the proverbial cord in the first three months of 2017. Frontier lost 13,000…Verizon Fios lost 18,000…Charter lost 100,000…DISH lost 143,000…AT&T U-Verse lost 233,000…”

    • Avatar
      Mike Hunt May 22, 2017 at 12:50 pm #

      I’m one of them. After almost 20 years with DirecTV, I cut the cord and am saving over $150/month. We watch less mind-numbing crap and read and talk more. Best thing we’ve done.

  7. Avatar
    ChanceDM May 21, 2017 at 12:43 pm #

    I’m trying to think of the motivation for these anti-cord cutting articles (not counting those put out by cable companies). I think a lot of us have a tendency to play detective and believe that things aren’t as obvious as they seem. “There’s no way someone can pay less money and get the same channels”, they think. So, they take it upon themselves to be some kind of sleuth and somehow make things complicated than they already are.

    Something my wife mentioned though, makes a lot of sense. A lot of people do pay for cable. They don’t want to feel like they are getting a bad deal. For whatever reason they don’t want to switch to some streaming package (for reasons I’ll touch on later), so, I think maybe it’s a cognitive dissonance thing. No one ever wants to admit they got a bad deal on a car (have you ever had a friend actually say they DIDN”T get a great deal on their car), so, if they are unwilling to cut cable, they’ll come up with all sort of reasons why streaming packages DON”T REALLY save money, even if it involves faulty math or apples to oranges analysis (i.e. comparing internet and streaming to cable without internet).

    So, why don’t these people want to switch? To be honest, it takes a little more effort. I think it’s easier to just stick with whatever service one has, rather than do research and figure out how to cut the cord.

    The thing is, there are valid arguments against cord-cutting, but the money angle isn’t one of them. It’s a pain to mess with an antenna, and it does take some effort. To sign my mother-in-law up for Sling, I had to create a Roku account where I had to link her credit card number, and then I had to create her Sling account with a credit card number, then setup the apps and all that. Not much effort for someone my generation (late 30s), but it is more effort for maybe people of the older generation.

    • Avatar
      Don Briskey May 22, 2017 at 12:43 pm #

      I imagine that the anti-cord cutting articles could correlate with cable company print advertising spending.

  8. Avatar
    velinn May 21, 2017 at 1:32 pm #

    The real thing they forgot to mention was all the added fees from cable. If you’re paying $100 for cable it’s not *just* the advertised $100 package. If you have more than one tv, you pay more. If you want a DVR, you pay more. And then there is the taxes.. Anything and everything they can milk out of you has a fee. With a service like PS Vue, you pay $35 flat fee, taxes included, and you get 5 devices of any kind at the same time with DVR, and no extra fees. Also they try to justify that internet costs make the price savings irrelevant, but really, I’d have internet whether I watched TV or not because it’s basically a necessity in 2017. It’s a bit like trying to say your power bill cost makes cord cutting irrelevant because you need power to run a tv. Stupid.

    • Avatar
      TheEnd May 21, 2017 at 6:41 pm #

      It starts at $100 then after it’s all said and done you’re at like $150 for everything lol it’s a joke

  9. Avatar
    Scott Curtis May 21, 2017 at 2:05 pm #

    I might save $30-40/no, but that’s not why I do it. The whole experience is better and provides a lot of flexibility to pay for the content I want rather than content I don’t want. I hate ads, so I pay a little extra to not see ads on YouTube and Hulu. Cable provides no such options, I’m married to their awful bundling model and most DVR options sick, unless I buy my own. Forget it. I would never go back.

    • Avatar
      Cord Cutters News May 22, 2017 at 12:36 pm #

      At an average of $35 a month you save $420 a year. Over 30 years you will save $12,600.

  10. Avatar
    Carrie May 21, 2017 at 2:57 pm #

    I am saving over $80 per month. I pay $11.99 for Netflix. I was paying $95 per month for our satillite. We watch YouTube and use hoopla through our library. We also get whole seasons of shows and movies on DVD from the library.

  11. Avatar
    Sunny Rain May 21, 2017 at 3:30 pm #

    The driving factor for these anti-cord cutting articles is poor research and the fact that people don’t try to work with all the services out there to see how they really function. There’s all sorts of misconception and it gets on my nerves. I’m a person who puts a lot of passion in the truth and journalism integrity. So, poorly researched articles like that whether they’re anti or pro cord cutting, they make me mad.

    People deserve to know the truth of what each service is really offering but we don’t seem to have a reliable site that can provide that information to people who don’t have time to try all the services.

    • Avatar
      Tom May 21, 2017 at 4:55 pm #

      Actually I think the driving force is cable companies who are paying PR firms to help them make their case

  12. Avatar
    alpern May 21, 2017 at 3:51 pm #

    We were paying ~$100 on a plan about to expire. Asked DTV to simply keep price As-Is; they said no; so we cord cut and have been more than fulfilled with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Vudu, Fandango Now, and rooftop antenna. Cord Cutting savings have more than covered the cost of our two new 4K TVs.

  13. Avatar
    Jhy78 May 21, 2017 at 4:08 pm #

    Here in LA the lowest Vue package is $39.00 a month. Also about sling,

    • Avatar
      Tom May 21, 2017 at 4:56 pm #

      Another big factor is the assortment of fees cable companies tack on. Whether it’s taxes, extra boxes etc I always felt like my cable bill was significantly higher than my quoted rate

  14. Avatar
    Doug McKown May 21, 2017 at 5:15 pm #

    Don’t forget the fact that like most anti-cordcutting articles, it assumes that if you’re a cable subscriber that you don’t have broadband internet and that if you cut the cord you’ll have to add that cost. That is almost always incorrect. Most cable subscribers have broadband internet access, so that is not an additional cost when cutting the cord.

    I subscribe to HBO Now, ad-free Hulu, Netflix, and Showtime (via Hulu). My cost is ~$46/month; a savings of about $57/month vs the $103/month for an average cable bill (http://www.leichtmanresearch.com/press/092316release.html).

    But it’s not about the savings. I want 100% ad-free/100% on-demand programming; the option to subscribe or cancel a service at any time; and the option to use my own equipment.

    • Avatar
      Carol Benedict May 21, 2017 at 5:34 pm #

      Agreed I don’t even want to fast forward Thur commercial so I will not be buying any of the new cable replacement services like sling tv

  15. Avatar
    TheEnd May 21, 2017 at 6:46 pm #

    I have Cox only thing in my area(Stuck like Chuck until we move) can’t get rid of cable cause their internet has a data cap and our bill is $200 a month just to get the channels we want. Priced out what we need in the area we are moving to next with Spectrum Internet + PS Vue + Netflix = $100 for a savings of $100 lol a total joke.

  16. Avatar
    T. Roll May 21, 2017 at 7:05 pm #

    The article is not far off. To get what I want and currently have with Comcast, I would end up spending about $5 more a month cutting the cord. I would still be stuck with channels on Sling that I don’t want. So much for false advertising. I am also sure it will get more expensive as every service will want you to buy them separately.

  17. Avatar
    WYO1016 May 21, 2017 at 7:47 pm #

    When my wife and I moved in together I cut the cord. Best decision ever. I was paying $120/month with DirecTV to get everything I wanted in rural Wyoming. We’re now in the capital city, so we get the for major networks via rooftop antenna and pay for Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon prime (which she was already subscribed to because we shop there often). Total cost per month is now roughly $30, and we see everything we care to see.

  18. Avatar
    Jane Britton May 21, 2017 at 8:02 pm #

    I’ve cut the cord, and I don’t think I’ll ever go back!

  19. Avatar
    Reginald Nichols May 21, 2017 at 8:36 pm #

    Saving 60 dollars a month since cutting cable in fall 2015. No fees and the flexibility to choose what services to use. I thought the LA Times story had a lot of holes in it. ?

  20. Avatar
    Scott Watson May 22, 2017 at 2:42 am #

    I was able to get grandfathered in with DirecTV Now ($35/100+ channels) and HBO (Free for 1st Year $5 bucks a month after) I pay $45 for unlimited high-speed internet on Spectrum. Then add, CBS App ($5.99 – even if DTVNow adds CBS soon I’ll keep it till they add DVR as Big Brother is coming 3 nights a week), Netflix ($9.99), Amazon Prime ($8.99) and Hulu ($7.99). I don’t mind commercials as those minutes are for social media. Total Cost – $116 bucks and I get more than I’ll ever be able to want or watch on 3 TV’s all wireless in my home. I live alone so I don’t want to pay for additional boxes which are bulky and wired. I want my CNN, live TV is comfort TV to me… with cable… just add $50 for equal channel package plus a minimum of $10 for each of the 3 TV’s. Fuck that. I’d keep Netflix and Amazon no matter what… yeah I could drop Hulu… so I save… $72 a month. $866 a year… yeah… I’m happy.

  21. Avatar
    Jerry Brown May 22, 2017 at 5:27 am #

    I just left spectrum (time warner) last week. I kept their internet and forced them to give me the promo rate for it of 44.99 plus 5 dollars for the wifi router. I pay 11.99 for ad free hulu because I too hate commercials. I also pay 11.99 for Netflix HD with 4 screens because I have 4 tvs in my home. Total cost for me is about 77.00. I was paying 144.40 a month for tv, phone(that I didn’t use) and internet. So that is a total savings of about 67.00 a month for me. I was an Amazon prime before I got rid of cable so I don’t count that towards my monthly total. So now I het to watch what I want without commercials and without paying for 200 channels I don’t watch

  22. Avatar
    Dan Hanak May 22, 2017 at 6:46 am #

    I’d really like to see an article and hear more from you about the total experience rather than just the price difference. For example, with all of the different services do you have to do a lot of switching inputs on your TV (Roku/fire stick for Netflix and then switch input for antenna?). What about your remotes? Do y’all use a universal remote or do you use a bunch of equipment specific remotes? How is this experience for those of you with children? I like to sit down and and flip around sometimes just to see what’s on at that time. In the cord cutter environment, it feels like you have to know more specifically what you want to watch at that time. Cord cutting has notoriously been more difficult for sports lovers, although it’s gotten better. How is the experience for y’all that watch a lot of games? In a multiple sports town, where teams often play at the same time, I like to flip back and forth, how easy is that?

    • Avatar
      Ben M May 22, 2017 at 7:56 am #

      Cord cutting takes a little more effort because you do have to switch between inputs and you have to sign up for the services you want. Minor effort required.

      I have a Roku stick on one tv and a Fire TV stick on the other. I have to switch to the HDMI input those devices are hooked to in order to watch Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. and then open the actual app to give me access. Not as convenient as just turning the tv on with cable but certainly not difficult or time consuming.

      I also have an indoor antenna hooked up to each device that allows me to receive local channels. In that mode I can easily flip through the channels just like cable. The only sport I watch is football and I get plenty on the OTA channels.

      I have two remotes for each tv…one for the tv that controls volume and input selection and one for the Roku or Fire TV.

      As far as children, they learn how to use the devices quickly and can flip between inputs and find their programs. On Netflix you can set up and password protect programming so that kids only have access to G rated media. I believe Hulu and Amazon offer the same options and Amazon also allows you to password protect so that kids do not accidentally purchase movies or shows.

      The best way I have found to use the streaming services is to periodically browse their catalog, identify shows and movies I want to watch and then add them to my watchlist. When I get ready to sit down and watch something all I have to do is look at my watch list and pick something. Again, takes more effort than just flipping channels but worth it to avoid commercials and avoid being chained to cable.

      If sports are a real issue for you or channel flipping is that important then it would make sense to add PSVue or Sling or DirectTV Now. Those will give you the cable channel flipping experience and access to the most sports programming but without the contract or extra fees tacked on by your cable company.

      I cut the cord 5 years ago and have not regretted it one time.

      • Avatar
        grinlap May 22, 2017 at 8:17 am #

        My Roku 3 has a feature (well hidden) that, if checked, will switch to
        the HDMI input the Roku is connected to when you press any button on the
        remote. There is no corresponding action to take you back to the
        original input so you have to use another remote to do that.

        • Avatar
          Damian Andrews May 22, 2017 at 10:53 am #

          The fire tv does this as well although I think it’s actually a feature of the tv that I am using. If I press any button on my fire remote it changes the source if not already on that source.

      • Avatar
        Dan Hanak May 22, 2017 at 9:19 am #

        Very helpful, thank you!

  23. Avatar
    Sean Gallagher May 22, 2017 at 8:02 am #

    You really could have just said mainstream media, and saved slot of typing.

  24. Avatar
    S. Mays May 22, 2017 at 8:56 am #

    One of the biggest savings I get are from ditching equipment rental. I was paying almost $50 a month for DVR, extra TVs, taxes, fees, etc. from DirecTV. So that’s close to $600 a year in savings, because I own my Rokus and Fire TV. If DirecTV would sell me their equipment, I might consider them, but I’m not going to just toss out $600 a year for 5, 10, 50 years. We were paying about $70 a month for internet and $135 ($50 in fees, as mentioned) for DirecTV (including discounts), but after cutting the cord, we pay $29.99 for Vue, $10 for Netflix, and $70 for internet.

  25. Avatar
    Donnie May 22, 2017 at 12:04 pm #

    I looked down the list and it appears that I may be saving more than a lot of people. My Xfinity bill was $155 a month. That was for 2 HD/DVR boxes with no pay channels. I pay $35 a month for Playstation Vue. I am saving $120 a month! I used my savings for an OTA Tivo and “Mini” extender with lifetime guide (I get EVERYTHING available OTA with attic antenna). That was paid for in 3 months or so by my cable savings.

  26. Avatar
    BigO May 22, 2017 at 12:31 pm #

    Like most of these articles, it misses some key points of understanding (ex: what services you might already subscribe to before cutting cable / most will not subscribe to a large majority of services at any given time). Plus, I think most looking to cut the cord understand there will be some give & take where it comes to getting what you want versus paying less (ex: waiting to watch a show such as Fargo or Expanse).

    On other hand, the article does serve as a warning to those who try to recreate all of cable via the streaming services available. For ourselves, we already had Netflix & Amazon, all we did was add Hulu. As such, we are saving at least $70 every month (no idea what current taxes & fees are). I can never imagine going back to cable.

  27. Avatar
    Sean May 22, 2017 at 1:23 pm #

    I will save approx $1500 per year from my Cable Bill, but my Comcast Internet bill is $100 per month (Blast Package). I can’t get Fios in my Area for some strange reason (Collusion!)

    Cord-Cutting is perfect for Me, cause I live alone, and I really do not watch much TV! – 98% of my Entertainment daily is listening to Music online

  28. Avatar
    vikings football May 23, 2017 at 4:22 pm #

    for me, twc 100 down/300 digital package at 89.99/mo (i got this package bcuz some of my favorite channels are in this packages)…with hardware rental fees, taxes, and other misc fees, my bill came out to a little over 125.00/mo…eliminated the digital 300 and kept my 100 down internet, now im paying 47.00/mo after leasing fee and taxes have been added…that means a saving 78.00/mo.

    so with the 78.00/mo that i was saving by cancelling my digital 300 package, i used it to get directv now 35.00/mo package that includes 100 channels (this package has all the channels i watch the most)…after taxes, im paying 37.00/mo for directv now.

    47.00 current internet service +37.00 directv now paclage = 84.00…so im still saving 40.00/mo by cancelling my digital tv packages with twc and going with directv now…and to top it off, directv now is giving me HBO free for a year.

    if this is not saving money, then i dont know what is LOL

  29. Avatar
    SteveParadis May 28, 2017 at 4:57 pm #

    “Hein said she’d happily shell out for a channel dedicated exclusively to the ‘Law & Order’ franchise.” She went on to say, “I can’t believe we aren’t there yet, I would pay real money to subscribe to that.”

    That would ION, three days a week. The other days in rotation are “Blue Bloods” and “Criminal Minds”.