Recently you may have seen new stories popping up since cord cutting services have raised their prices, arguing that cable TV is now cheaper. One example of this is a report by the Financial Times that says the cost of cord cutting is now $87 a month when you bundle streaming services like Apple TV+ Max, Disney+, and more together. According to the Financial Times, that makes cord cutting cost more than cable TV.
So has cord cutting finally, as many said, started to cost more than cable TV? Today we are going to take a look and answer this ever-popular question. The truth, as always, is a bit complicated, so let us break down the real cost of cable TV.
What is the current cost of cable TV?
One reason for this mass exodus from cable is monthly bills have increased by 52 percent in the last three years alone. MNTN Research has reported that the average cable bill has increased “three times the cost of inflation” from $96 to $147 per month while decreasing the number of channels included in a cable package. Essentially, consumers are paying significantly more for less content.
To put this into perspective, MNTN Research breaks down the cost comparisons between streaming services and cable providers. It estimates households don’t watch nearly as many channels as cable plans grant them access to, roughly 15 channels out of an average of 200.
As always, when considering the cost of cable TV you need to include the cost of the fees. Recently Comcast has raised the fees of things like Broadcast TV fees just this year. Comcast now charges a Broadcast TV fee of $31.25 a month on top of the advertised price. Not only that, but you will also find in many areas a $9.10 RSN fee.
This means Comcast is adding $40.31 to many of its TV packages on top of the advertised price. So that $70 Poplar TV package that offers 125+ channels will now cost you over $110 a month once they add in the RSN and broadest TV fee.
What is the cost of streaming TV?
So the average cost of cable TV is averaging about $147 a month just for TV. So what is the cost of a bundle of popular streaming services? Lets take a look at the cost of Max, Paramount+, Peacock, and Disney+. Four great cord cutting services that can give you a ton of content but who have all seen price hikes this year.
- Disney+ Starting at $7.99 a month
- Paramount+ Starting at $5.99 a month
- Max Starting at $9.99 a month
- Peacock Starting at $5.99
According to a survey with our readers, most cord cutters pay for four or fewer streaming services. Even if you switch all of these to ad-free, they will still cost less than the price of cable TV.
So what about live TV services? Reportedly YouTube TV is the largest live TV streaming service, with over 6 million subscribers. It currently costs $72.99 a month.
So adding YouTube TV to these numbers, your new total is $102.95.
Now what about internet? Internet is not an exclusive cost to cord cutting as most Americans will want internet even if they pay for cable TV. With that said there are new cheaper options like Verizon’s 5G Home Internet starting at just $25 for qualifying customers.
So adding the internet into the cost of all of this, you now have a grand total of $127.95. (Note the cable TV price above does not include the cost of internet.)
So how much can you save with cord cutting in 2023?
If you subscribe to just on-demand services like Disney+, Paramount+, Max, and Peacock, you could save $117.04 per month which will add up to a savings of $1,404.48 over a year.
If you want to add in live TV on top of all of the on-demand services, you will save $44.05 a month, which will add up to a savings of $528.60 over a year.
Cord cutting can save you as much or as little as you want. You could spend nothing on TV and only use free services like Pluto TV and Tubi. Or you could spend big and subscribe to multiple services.
Cord cutting gives you the freedom to get what you want instead of limiting your options to just a few cable TV or satellite packages. It is now up to you to decide how much you want to spend.
The last thing to remember is most of the content on services like Paramount+, Disney+, Max, and more only air on these streaming services. You can not go back to cable TV and watch the newest season of Picard for example, on CBS.