How to Cut the Cord on Cable TV

November 4, 2016

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Last year, we decided to cut the cord on cable TV.

I believe it was the “12-month promotions” that finally pushed us over the edge.  You know the ones I'm talking about, right?

Comcast gives you cable and internet for $90 for 12-months and then, as soon as the 12-months are over, your bill jumps up by $50!

I think they are half expecting people to not look at their bill each month to notice the increase.  Quite deceptive if you ask me!

How We Did It

1.  Shop around for internet-only deals

Do a quick Google search to find out what other internet providers you have in your area.

Reach out to them and get an understanding of what deals might exist for internet-only plans.  They will be VERY happy to take your call and offer you a great deal to switch over to their service.  Hold off on accepting any offers just yet.

Once you have that competitive information, you'll have more negotiating power when you speak with your current cable provider.

2.  Call Your Cable Provider and Negotiate

Call up your current provider and tell them:

“I would like to cancel my cable subscription and keep my internet subscription.  What deal can you offer me today to keep me as a customer?”

They will try their best to have you keep your cable subscription – their attempts may frighten you.  Do not fall for it.

Once they relent and give you their offer for internet-only, compare it to the offer you have from the other competing company.

If the offer from the competing company fits better for your budget, tell them:

“Your competitor, (COMPANY NAME), is offering me a better deal at (AMOUNT) per month for the same service.  Times are tight.  What can you do to keep me as a customer today?”

At this point, you will hopefully get an offer for something more competitive.

If not, ask for their “customer retention department” and repeat the same dialogue until you get a deal you are satisfied with.  Ramit Sehti has an excellent video of this very situation and the potential savings involved (skip to 1:20).

My wife and I ended up going with AT&T over Comcast since they couldn't match the deal we're getting with AT&T.

3.  Buy an HD Antenna

Worried about not being able to watch big events like the Super Bowl, the Olympics or just Sunday football?

If you get an HD antenna, depending on your location you'll still be able to watch all of these major channels.  We live in Metro Detroit and our HD Antenna gets us FOX, ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS and other local channels.

Shop for a 50-mile range version or higher to ensure your reception is the best it can be.

And don't worry, you don't need to climb a ladder and install a huge metal Christmas tree on your roof!  The antenna is shaped like a small square and it can be installed inside your house in less than 5 minutes.

4.  Look Into Subscription Services

The surge of original content on platforms like Netflix has completely changed the game for us lately.  Shows like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and Jessica Jones have made it that much easier to not have cable.

Here are some subscriptions to consider after you've cut the cord on cable:

  • Netflix:  Originals like House of Cards and movies
  • Amazon Instant Video:  TV shows, movies and original programs like Transparent
  • Hulu:  Movies, TV shows and original content like Casual
  • Showtime Anytime:  Homeland, Billions and Inside the NFL
  • HBO Now:  Game of Thrones, Veep and Silicon Valley
  • CBS All Access:  Big Bang Theory, NCIS, The Young and the Restless and Madam Secretary
  • Sling TV:  AMC, TNT, TBS, CNN, Food Network and even ESPN for $5 more
  • YouTube:  Our kids love YouTube and we do too.  You can find A LOT of great content on YouTube for the price of your time to watch a 5-second commercial.  Deal!

Obviously, you can't choose all of these because it would cancel out any savings you had from cutting the cord in the first place.

Right now, we only have a Netflix subscription which is great for kids shows, original series and movies.  I just signed up for an Amazon Prime trial membership this month which gives me access to movies, original series and music.  I'll see if its worth keeping – maybe just for the free two-day shipping!

5.  Select a Streaming Device

If you decide to go down the subscription route, you'll want to pick up a streaming device.  This will allow you to watch services like Netflix on your TV instead of your phone, tablet or computer.

Here are some popular streaming devices to consider:

We bought Roku originally and it was an excellent option for a few years.  When Chromecast came out, we switched.  Chromecast had a simple installation, tied into our other Google products easily and the price was right.  We bought one for our basement and one for our bedroom.

The Savings

If we were to stick with our original cable and internet plan from Comcast, we would have been paying around $140/month for cable and internet.  RE-DIC-YOU-LUSS!

After saying goodbye to Comcast completely, we signed up for an internet-only package with AT&T.  Today, we're paying $60/month.

For the past year, we've been able to save $80/month and $960/year!

Between the cost savings, the ability to watch shows on our schedule and not dealing with a company that treats you like a number instead of a person, we're happy we cut the cord.

What do you think?  Have you cut the cord?  Any additional tips to consider?

How To Cut The Cord On Cable TV

Andy Hill

Andy Hill, AFC® is the award-winning family finance coach behind Marriage Kids and Money - a platform dedicated to helping families build wealth and happiness. With millions of podcast downloads and video views, Andy’s message of family financial empowerment has resonated with listeners, readers and viewers across the world. When he's not "talking money", Andy enjoys being a Soccer Dad, singing karaoke with his wife and relaxing on his hammock.


  • This is a priority of mine in December, actually. I wrote out a plan for cutting cable and it will save us $80/month, and that’s even with the mid-tier Sling TV package. Definitely worth making the switch!

    • Wow! That’ll be more than our monthly savings if you’re including the Sling TV package. Good plan David!

      Definitely worth it.


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