If you’ve made it this far in this discussion and you’re still interested in finding out more about “Cutting the Cord”, here is the next important thing to consider while determining whether or not it is something that will work for you and whether or not you should continue toward that goal.
Remember last time I talked about the need to know what your expectations are and exactly what you should expect to receive from an off-air antenna if you eliminate your “pay TV” provider. Just to review, “pay TV” means you pay a Cable, Satellite, Telephone or some other type company for the privilege of watching your favorite programming of all types using their equipment and delivery method. The ones that deliver the programming are generally called re-programmers and you and they are somewhat bound by the pricing dictated by two things. First of all, the re-programmers have to make a profit and that is affected by the second thing – what the programmers charge for their services. When you add it all up, that is what determines how much it costs you to watch your favorite programs on your chosen provider.
The programmers tend to offer more than one channel in a package they provide and try their best to make their package appealing in one way or another. That can mean they want to be in the most popular tier so they will have maximum exposure to the people that desire to have their programming delivered by their chosen provider. That tier is generally called the “basic tier” and usually does have many of the most desired channels.
It also seems to be common practice (once again this is my opinion) for the re-programmers to have a very popular channel or two in the next tier up so they have some leverage over the consumer to up sell them to that higher tier or package. It is my opinion that is just one of many reasons why all of us have to pay for so many channels we seldom or never watch when we use the “pay TV” services. To make their packages appear to be a great bargain, they offer many channels in a tier or package which makes it look like a great bargain to the consumer. At the very least, it forces them pay just a little more for the next higher tier for that one channel or two that a number of them want to watch and can only get if they also include the extra tier with the extra channels.
If you’re wondering what my purpose is and why I mention all of these things it is because of this next important point that needs to be considered in your quest for possibly being able to “Cut the Cord” and still watch TV without all the extra expense. It actually involves the consideration of two things:
1. What are your favorite programs and are they available from your local and network affiliated broadcast stations?
2. Are you a person that likes to watch a lot of sports programming and do you follow one or more of your favorite teams with special programming packages that allow you to watch their televised games whenever they play during their particular seasons?
Without trying to go into a long drawn out dissertation in discussing your favorite programs and what channels they are on, let me try to simplify it as much as I can. If you’re favorite programs aren’t on your local broadcast stations, you won’t be able to receive them by an antenna. In fact, if you can’t receive them with an antenna you may or may not be able to receive them ‘legally’ by another source either.
You see, at the present time, to view certain programs through the internet on your computer, tablet or Smartphone requires you to have an account with one of the pay TV providers to be able to watch them. Although this is changing in some instances, it isn’t happening all that quickly and it may be a while before many of the most popular become available and, when they do, they will probably come with a fee attached for the privilege of viewing them. I will only mention a couple of them here but just look at what CBS and HBO charge if you want the ability to watch their programming in an “on demand” basis. Using them as an example of cost, if all of the Networks and most popular channels follow their lead, there will be absolutely nothing saved to be able to watch them in that manner. In my opinion and considering the cost of just these two, it could cost as much or more to watch your favorite channels as it does from a pay TV provider.
Taking a quick look at following favorite sports and sports teams means you won’t be able to watch them unless they are being broadcast by your local broadcast stations. That generally rules out broadcasts coming from ESPN, FOX Sports channels, NBC Sports Network and others like them. It is true there are special packages available to watch certain things but for the most part, it is still considered “pay TV.” If you’re trying to save money, this may not be a viable option for that.
This may be only my opinion but, have you noticed the networks are covering more of the popular sports genres on their special sports channels? This has become particularly evident to me this year in following NASCAR. Admittedly, I am an avid NASCAR fan and I particularly like to follow them on a weekly basis. There was a definite difference between the coverage last year and this year by FOX Sports. Some, but not all, of the races they covered this year were on the local FOX affiliate. The others were on their sports channel, FOX Sports One. It was a noticeable difference from last year’s coverage between the two, at least to this avid NASCAR fan. The rest of the season is covered by NBC Sports and so far all of the race day coverage has been on their NBC-SN channel, (NBC Sports Network.) If a person wants to watch NASCAR Sprint Cup racing on a regular basis and can’t afford to travel to all of the tracks, this almost forces them to have a “pay TV” service that carries these channels.
I am sure this has a lot to do with marketing, and profiting from, their sports channels and I am equally as sure it works. What saddens me is that it is more a way to make their sports channels appear more popular than they might otherwise be. I’m sure this will change someday but for now, it is the way things are.
Just as a quick review, if you are looking to ‘cut the cord’ and your favorite programs or sports and sports teams are not carried by your local broadcast stations, you will not be able to receive them with an antenna. There are other options available for receiving them but not all come without expense and not all may be feasible for everyone wanting to ‘cut the cord’ depending on how proficient a person might be using internet technology to do so. I’ll talk about in the coming pages (article/podcasts) but if you do determine to go the antenna and internet route to view your favorite programs you really need to consider what I’ll be talking about next…
See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© August 28, 2015 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, The Norman TV View, Norman-TV.com
All audio productions by www.podcastnorm.com and PodCastNorm Productions
All music used is Two Buck Themes by Mike Stewart unless otherwise stated