Amid rising inflation comes an increasing need to trim expenses to maintain the lifestyle to which you’ve grown accustomed. Cable companies make that effort incredibly difficult.
Between unreasonable costs, restrictive contracts, and limited content, staying loyal to your cable box could end up costing you more in time, money, and peace of mind than it’s worth, especially when there’s a more affordable, convenient, flexible, and content-rich alternative in the form of online streaming.
Why Get Rid of Cable TV?
There are several benefits to cutting the cord to your cable box.
When you have hundreds of channels broadcasting 24/7, it’s easy to waste time getting drawn into programs you wouldn’t seek out if they didn’t happen to be playing. When you can watch your favorite shows on-demand, you free up the rest of your time to be productive or spend with family and friends.
The cost to subscribe to an on-demand streaming app or services like Netflix or Hulu is far cheaper than the cost of a cable subscription or satellite service. Cable TV is even more costly than online cable-replacement options offering live TV channels, such as Hulu + Live TV and FuboTV.
Leave Your Options Open
When you subscribe to cable television, you typically lock yourself into a contract with potential penalties for early cancellation.
However, when you subscribe to a streaming service or app, you pay month-to-month and you are free to cancel without recourse at any time. This allows you to switch between streaming providers and sample a variety of content offerings to find those that suit you best.
How to Find Where Your Favorite Movies & TV Shows Are Streaming
There are several websites that serve as streaming guides. These sites allow you to search for the streaming sites broadcasting your favorite programming.
Among these are JustWatch and ReelGood. In addition to searching by the title of the program you’re seeking, you can browse the content available on any given streaming service. TV Guide itself even offers searchable streaming listings now in addition to its familiar live TV schedule and calendar.
Watching Sports Without Cable
To get sports without cable, you have two options: use an over-the-air (OTA) antenna for access to local channels or stream live sports online.
Using an OTA Antenna For Sports
With an OTA antenna, you can access local channels broadcasting live sports, including:
- ABC – With ESPN on ABC (formerly ABC Sports) broadcasting NFL, including the playoffs and finals of the Stanley Cup) as well as NHL, NBA on ABC, NASCAR, golf, the Olympics, and Telemundo sports broadcast
- CBS – With at least two football games every Sunday during football season, as well as basketball, including March Madness, some college basketball and a national sports channel for more live sports
- Fox – Most familiar as FS1 and FS2, or Fox Sports channels, broadcasting bowling, soccer, volleyball and exclusive programming like NASCAR Race Hub
- NBC – NBCSN, or NBC Sports Network, and seven RSNs) – Airing sports such as golf, NASCAR and the Olympics
Best Streaming Services For Sports
To stream sports, there are four types of channels to look for:
- League channels – Such as MLB Network, NHL Network, and NBA TV as well as league passes like NFL Game Pass and MLB.tv.
- Local channels – Such as ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC, which you can view on DirecTV Stream, FuboTV, and Hulu + Live TV as well as other streaming services
- National channels – Such as ESPN and FS1, which you can view on DirecTV Stream, with over 65 such channels available in its base plan and over 140 in its premier plan
- Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) – Such as the eight stations within over 35 regions of NBC Sports or the four stations within over 20 regions of SportsNet, as well as FuboTV, which also offers a decent amount of regional sports access, and Hulu + Live TV, which also offers some live sports.
The five streaming services where you’re most likely to find all the live sports you’re looking for are (in no particular order):
- FuboTV – Baseball, basketball, football, golf, hockey, Olympics, soccer, tennis
- DirecTV Stream – Basketball, college sports, golf, hockey, soccer
- Hulu + Live TV – Golf, motorsports, Olympics, soccer, tennis
- Sling TV – Baseball, basketball, combat sport, hockey, Olympics
- VidGo – Combat sports, football, tennis
Wait, Don’t I Need Cable For Internet?
To get the internet without cable, you have several options. You can subscribe to an internet-only plan through your cable provider while streaming the rest of your TV programming, or you can subscribe to a plan by a company like:
- Verizon Fios
- Independent internet providers like Frontier.
No longer do you need a cable box or subscription to watch the TV shows and live sports you love and access the internet. Now, you can stream all your favorite TV shows and live sports online and access the internet through a separate, standalone provider.