Readers often ask us an important question… is streaming TV cheaper than cable?
The assumption is that streaming must be cheaper because so many people are cutting the cord and cancelling cable. But we took a closer look to see for ourselves if this is true or not. In our research, we reviewed and tested the different streaming services to get the latest details on pricing options as well as functionality and user experience.
To start, according to research by Decision Data, the average household cable package is $217.42 per month, which is more than the average household spends on all major utilities combined per month (for electricity, gas, water, sewage and garbage). On top of that, the cost of the average household cable package continues to increase year after year.
Nevertheless, an advantage of cable is that it often does include Internet service, which can be a costly utility, so we’ve factored that into our research.
Is streaming TV cheaper than cable? The short answer is it depends.
It all depends what you want. Are you interested in considering a streaming service that has all of the cable channels you currently (or don’t) watch? Or do you want to subscribe to services that only offer you exactly what you want? There’s a big difference between the two. And there’s a big difference in price.
We’ll go through the different options to give you a clearer picture.
Is streaming TV cheaper than cable?
First, if you do consider cutting the cord, you’ll need to have a reliable Internet connection.
1. Internet service
You can get Internet without cable or satellite. Plans and pricing often fluctuate so check for the latest deals, but here are a few worth considering:
|XFINITY||AT&T FIBER||VERIZON FIOS|
|Download speeds (up to)||200Mbps||100Mbps||200Mbps|
|Price per month||$25||$35||$39.99|
|Sign-up page||Browse offers||Browse offers||Browse offers|
Mbps stands for megabits per second; a good Internet speed for most people is around 30 Mbps.
Another option to consider is the Internet Essentials package from Xfinity, which is available for $9.95 per month (if you qualify) with download speeds up to 50Mbps.
2. Soccer-specific streaming services
If all you care about is watching soccer as well as the added bonus of other sports and entertainment, you can sign up for several different streaming services to save considerable amounts of money compared to cable.
• Every single UEFA Champions League, Europa League and NWSL match (Paramount+)
• 46% of the Premier League season (Peacock Premium)
• Every LaLiga match (Fanatiz)
• The best action from Bundesliga, Serie A, Scottish Premiership, Eredivisie, Championship and more (ESPN+)
|Sign-up||Browse offers||Browse offers||Browse offers||Browse offers|
For ESPN+, Peacock Premium, Paramount+ and Fanatiz combined, it’s just $24.96 per month.
If you want to save even more money, sign up for annual plans, and you’ll save up to $60 per year (see below).
|Streaming service||Monthly price||Annual price||Annual savings|
Another benefit of streaming is that you can pick and choose the streaming services that are important to you. And best of all, there are no contracts so you can cancel and change services if need be. Streaming has become so popular in the United States (Americans now spend an average of $47 per month on streaming services) that cord cutting now accounts for 19.9% of U.S. households in 2020, raising their numbers to a staggering total of 25.3 million in total. And that number continues to grow by leaps and bounds every year.
All of the streaming services listed above come with many other soccer leagues and competitions, and other live sports as well as news and entertainment (too many to list here). If you are interested in additional details, read our guides on ESPN+, Peacock TV, Paramount+ and Fanatiz.
3. Optional: Streaming your favorite cable stations
If soccer-specific streaming services are not for you, and you and your loved ones would prefer a more cable-like experience with all of the advantages of streaming (no contracts, lots of choices, more savings), then there are several cable-like streaming services available such as the ones below:
|FUBO TV||SLING TV||HULU + LIVE TV||YOUTUBE TV|
|Channels included||See list||See list||See list||See list|
|Price per month||$65||$50||$64.99||$65|
|Sign-up||Free trial||Free trial||Free trial||Free trial|
At the end of the day, it’s important to shop around and do your research. You may see cable or satellite TV companies advertising low introductory rates, but after that period is over, prices rise considerably. Many cable and satellite companies also require a contract of one or two years. With streaming, the vast majority of the services don’t have contracts and you can pay on a month-to-month basis, giving you the freedom and flexibility to jump around from service to service depending on your changing tastes (or the time of the soccer season).
As you can see from the research above, cutting the cord and watching your favorite games and programs via streaming can save you considerable amounts of money, but your “mileage” will vary depending on what streaming services you want.
Have any feedback about the age-old question of ‘is streaming TV cheaper than cable?’ Let us know in the comments section below.
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