A look Back At 2016 – The Year Cord Cutting Took Off




Scissors cutting a computer wire on gray background (wireless or blackout concept)

Scissors cutting a computer wire on gray background (wireless or blackout concept)2016 was a great year for cord cutting and may be the tipping point where cord cutting went from a fringe group to a main stream movement.

So why was 2016 so great for cord cutters? Here is a quick look back at some of the biggest cord cutting stories of 2016.

Live TV

It may be hard to remember but at the start of 2016 Sling TV was the only live TV streaming service. Now we also have PlayStation Vue and DirecTV Now. SFN TV came and went in 2016.

So let’s take a look at what happened to live TV in 2016.

PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue was around at the start of 2016 but it was only available in a couple of markets and started around $50 a month, which was a decrease from its previous $60 a month.

Everything changed on March 14, 2016, when PlayStation Vue dropped its price to $30 a month and opened up signups for anyone living in the United States.

Sling TV

Sling TV had a big year in 2016 with the addition of new channels such as the Pac-12 Network and NBA TV. One of the bigger changes is one that is likely hard to remember. Back in January 2016 you could only have one stream per account. That changed on January 13 when Sling TV rolled out a new three stream beta program that would later become Sling TV Blue.

More recently Sling TV announced it is rolling out a DVR for subscribers. Currently in beta it offers 100 hours of DVR space for free. All Sling TV subscribers will be getting access to the DVR sometime in 2017.


SFN TV Now was a short-lived but interesting streaming service. At first it looked like a cord cutter’s dream. If you wanted sports you could get almost every sports channel for just $20. If you wanted news, you could get the $10 news package and have access to Fox News, CNN, and more.

Sadly it changed its plans to a more basic PlayStation Vue-type system but still had an impressive lineup. Later in the year it shut down its national program, but it does promise to return some day.

DirecTV Now

At the end of 2016 DirecTV Now was launched with plans starting at $35 a month and an aggressive channel lineup. However, it has hit a lot of early bumps on its way out of the gate. It will be interesting to see where it is in a year.


Netflix kicked off 2016 by going global. Now no matter where you live you could get access to Netflix shows. Later in 2016 Netflix added the ability to download movies and watch them offline.

However, the biggest announcement from Netflix was the addition of new Disney movies. Although this was not the full catalog of Disney movies many had hoped for, it does give Netflix access to a new Disney movie every month.

New Streaming Media Players

2016 was full of new streaming media players. Here are just a few of the highlights:


Roku had a busy 2016. Every Roku streaming device was updated—from its TVs adding 4K to its streaming boxes and stick. First came the new 4K Roku TVs announcement followed by a new Roku Stick and finally at the end of the year it did a full refresh of its boxes.

Overall Roku made all the right moves in 2016. It ditched the fan that was in the Roku 4 for a smaller but still powerful Roku Ultra. It cut the price on the 4K streaming player down to $79.99 from the $119.99 of the Roku 4. Roku even went after the low end market with a $29.99 Roku Express.

Fire TV Stick

The only new streaming media player from Amazon this year was the second generation Fire TV Stick. It is a huge improvement over the first generation Fire Stick with a faster processor and overall better performance. Amazon even dropped the price from $49.99 down to $39.99 with a voice remote, making the Fire TV Stick an attractive option for cord cutters.

2016 In Review

This list only scratches the surface of what happened in 2016. As 2016 comes to a close it feels like the cord cutting ball is just now starting to roll downhill. Every day it seems cord cutting is growing faster and faster with no end in sight.

Did we miss any big cord cutting events in 2016? Post them in the comments below and let us know about them.

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