Our Rebuttal to ABC’s Anti-Cord Cutting Story About the Cost of Streaming

Depressed mature man holding paper and looking at it while sitting on the couch at homeThis week ABC’s local stations ran “news” stories about the cost of streaming and posted stories online pushing why cord cutting is just not worth it and you should get cable TV.

As you would expect, we received many messages from our readers who sent us links to the story. This story called “Streaming TV getting more expensive… again” was written by John Matarese, who runs a series called Don’t Waste Your Money.

The main argument of Matarese is “Consumers that can get by with local stations and Netflix, can save a lot by cutting cable. But when it comes to adding movies, sports, and more channels, streaming might become a case of ‘don’t waste your money.’” As you would expect, many cord cutters may disagree about the idea that you shouldn’t waste your money with cord cutting.

According to Matarese, the average cable TV bill is $120 for just TV. Internet and phone can add up to over $200 according to Matarese. So, let’s see how he adds up cord cutting to cost over $120 a month for just TV.

ABC’s Double Counting & Overcharging for Streaming Services

From the story, they say the new Apple TV+ streaming service will cost between $25 and $40 a month. (If it costs over $15 a month, I say the service is likely dead on arrival.) They included ABC for $15 a month and Netflix for $10-$12 as necessities. Add in $35 for DIRECTV NOW and Hulu for $40 to $45 a month. Oh, and they included Internet as a TV expense ranging from $40 to $60 a month.

So, if you take the high end on all of these you get $192. But Matarese said the $120 was just TV, not Internet so let’s drop that cost and now you have a new total of $132 a month.

There is also a strange double count here that many cable TV supporters try to slip in. Matarese is counting both DIRECTV NOW at $35 a month and Hulu with live TV for $45 a month. The truth is you do not need two live TV streaming services and if you are trying to find a missing channel you could always get Philo for $16.

So, let’s drop the duplicate services that do the same thing and go with just Hulu – the more expensive of the two. That drops the cost of this package down to just $97 a month.

Apple TV+ Likely Won’t Cost $40 a Month

The other strange thing about this report is that Apple’s new TV service likely won’t cost $40 a month. Many expect the cost to be $10 to $15 a month at most. So, let’s go with the $15 a month cost for Apple TV+ and now your real cost is $72 a month.

So, what is the real cost of Matarese’s TV package?

When you really break this down and you compare apples to apples what Matarese lists costs just $72 a month—$48 a month in savings. By getting everything listed Matarese will save $576 a year vs his $120 just TV bill.

Matarese Would Need to Pay More than Double with Cable vs Cord Cutting

In this example, it was said that HBO and Netflix are necessities. So, even if you get cable TV you would still need to add $27 a month to that $120 cable TV package. Now that cable TV package plus HBO and Netflix costs you $147 a month.

With a $147 a month cable TV bill the cord cutting package would save Matarese $75 a month. That means to get everything he said was a necessity and cable TV he would have to pay more than double what a cord cutter would pay.

This is something most cable supporters forget. Much of what you can get with cord cutting is not available with cable TV. So, if you went back to cable but wanted shows from Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon you would still have to pay for streaming services on-top of cable TV’s monthly bill.

Do Your Own Research

Don’t take my word for it, and don’t take ABC’s word when it comes to cord cutting. Do your own research. Break down what you want and see what it would cost. As always, don’t forget about the monthly fees, taxes, and device rentals that come with cable TV but not cord cutting.

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