I’ve written two major articles here at Get Rich Slowly about how to cut costs on cable television. In March 2007, I wrote about cheap alternatives to cable television, and in February 2009, I followed that up by describing how I cut my television bill in half. But it’s been more than three years since I visited this topic, and I’ve started to get email from readers who want an update.
But it’s not just readers. I’ve been dating a woman who has frugal tendencies (awesome!) and she’s been toying with the idea of giving up cable so that she can save more for a new car (which is an example of conscious spending, of course). But Kim is concerned that if she gave up cable, she wouldn’t be able to watch some of the things she loves.
For instance, the Olympics are just around the corner. If you want to watch the Olympics but don’t have cable (or satellite) television, how do you manage? Is there a way to watch the Olympics on line?
And what about other sporting events? Is there a good way to watch football or baseball or soccer on your computer? What about special events like the Kentucky Derby? Two years ago, I paid something like $80 for the official Major League Baseball iPad app, which was supposed to allow me to watch (nearly) every game during the season. Turns out, though, that the Seattle Mariners were blacked out here in Portland so the app was worthless to me. Lesson learned. What if I wanted to watch the Mariners today? How would I do it without cable TV?
Kim likes to watch the news every morning. She can put it on in the background while she gets ready for work. But is there a way to get the news without paying for television? (Yes, I know there are broadcast stations that might have news programs. But what about alternatives to cable programming?)
So, I’m curious: What are the best alternatives to cable television? Do you get your shows via the internet? The library? Some other source? If you’ve managed to cut your ties with cable, how do you watch sports? How do you watch the news? Are there free (and legal) options out there? (Answers, of course, will vary by country. If you’re not in the U.S., feel free to share how you get your TV fix via the internet.)