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This is why people cut the cord

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  • Adam Epstein
By Adam Epstein

Entertainment reporter

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Ditching a cable or satellite TV subscription, or cord-cutting, is a very real phenomenon. Between Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video, Sling TV, the upcoming online HBO service, and other services of questionable legality, there are plenty of ways to watch your favorite content on the internet without an expensive cable subscription filled with stuff you don’t care about.

There are those of us (like the author of this piece) who cannot go without ESPN, AMC, FX, and HBO, among other channels, so cutting the cord is not a realistic option. But people with a more specific TV diet can easily benefit from the a la carte approach to content that cord-cutting offers.

Today, a thread in the Cordcutters section on Reddit asked users, “What was the last straw?” that led them to cut the cord. Their answers, sampled below, were revealing—in part because it became clear that the decision for many was about more than just money.

This is why people cut the cord:

Deteriorating mental health

Flipping through 80 channels and realizing I was paying $80 a month for nothing. 2 years later here I am with no regrets. I know most focus on saving money in this sub, but I feel the biggest benefit is in my mental health. Not having cable has me taking a much more active role in what I watch on TV and how much time I spend in front of it. I read more, spend more time outside and with friends and just feel less inundated with crap.

Fed up with the selection of shows on cable TV

History Channel – Pawn Shop marathon
TLC – Honey Boo Boo marathon
Discovery – Counting Cars marathon
SyFy – Monster makeup marathon
Food Channel – Diners, Drive-ins and Dives marathon
Fox News – Democrats = Evil
MSNBC – Republicans = Evil
ESPN pay dispute
AMC pay dispute
Viacom Pay dispute
Weather Channel showing “reality” shows that do not deal with weather
Great channel gets removed, replaced with inferior channel.
It got to the point where if it wasn’t on Netflix we didn’t watch it, so I called up Dish network and canceled.

Not good for kids

I have little kids, and I don’t like them watching commercials. Netflix doesn’t have any, and they have lots of kids content. Easy decision.

High costs, high stress

After having Netflix and Prime video, I realized how very much I hated paying 10 times more than either service for cable.
I also realized how much I hated paying to watch video that consists of 33% advertisements. Why the fuck am I paying to watch ads interrupt my program?
I also realized how much I hated the way those ads portrayed me (white male, husband, father). Why the fuck am I paying to watch ads that portray me as a bumbling, incapable moron who can’t cook, clean, watch my kids, or manage a home?
I also realized I hated having to call every year to re-negotiate my cable service bills back down to contract pricing.
So I voted with my wallet.

Apathy

About 4 years ago, I was sitting at my computer watching TV, looked over at my actual TV and realized I hadn’t watched cable in a month and decided I wasn’t going to pay for it anymore.

Discovered better services

After the 2013 baseball season ended I realized that we had the TV on every night, but weren’t actually watching anything. We’d leave it on tbs while they re-ran BBT [Big Bang Theory] episodes 10 times in a row—and I don’t even like that show. $1200/year so I could watch baseball. I discovered MLB.tv, Unblock-US, and Netflix and never looked back.

Needed drug money

Did it originally in college so I would have more alcohol/drug money. Moved in with roommates after college who had DirecTV—I realized how nice it was not having commercials and trash tv during college.

Bad customer service

San Francisco is basically a Comcast monopoly, so they REALLY don’t have to offer any customer service. After two appointments where I waited hours for a repair person who would never show up, I decided to cut the cable. Haven’t looked back since.

Too many commercials

Adverts adverts and adverts… With additional bloody adverts.

Moved to the US

When I lived in England we had nice tv service and the content was good and worth paying for. When I left England I just didn’t want to pay for it since the content in North America is shit bookended between shit commercials.

Still, the most popular reason people gave was simply ”cost.” The average cost of a cable TV bill in the US is over $76 per month.

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