cable tv http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/10209/all en-US How to Watch Sports Without Cable TV http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-watch-sports-without-cable-tv <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-watch-sports-without-cable-tv" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4455875918_9cb2e9fdcc_o.jpg" alt="watching sports" title="watching sports" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the first things I discovered when cutting the cable TV cord &mdash; and something I planned for a little, but not enough &mdash; was how to watch live sports without having a cable bill to pay. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cutting-the-cable-cord-has-more-than-financial-benefits"> Cutting the Cable Cord Has More Than Financial Benefits</a>)</p> <p>Cutting the cable cord will save you money, but if you're a sports fan, you'll likely spend a month or two of savings on a season package for your favorite sport. For me, it was baseball, but without being able to follow the local teams.</p> <p>The MLB.TV season package that I bought for $100 before the baseball season started worked well on our Roku to stream games to the television, but games of our local teams were blacked out. They were available for streaming after the game, but I'm not excited about having to avoid the final score before watching a game that is long over. Luckily, I'm also a fan of a team that's far from where I live, so I watch those games live and get my baseball fix that way.</p> <p>Unless you're going to a friend's house or a bar to watch a game live, you'll likely run into the score; a friend may blab it on Facebook, or you'll see it on your smartphone, hear it on the radio, or see it somewhere. Facebook and Twitter are especially important to avoid if you don't want to know the score before you watch a delayed game. When Matt Cain pitched a perfect game for the San Francisco Giants this year, it was all over the Internet and knowing the outcome took away the excitement of watching the game on MLB.TV after it was over.</p> <p>I'm not about to spend a few hundred dollars on a big outdoor antenna to get free over-the-air broadcasts of games by the local baseball teams, so I'm out of luck if I want to watch games live as they happen. In my area, at least, an indoor antenna didn't work well; the site <a href="http://www.antennaweb.org/default.aspx">AntennaWeb</a> can help you find what signals are available near you. For now, I either listen to local games on the radio or follow them pitch by pitch online.</p> <p>While I only have personal experience with with Major League Baseball, several other sports offer non-cable packages, including:</p> <ul> <li><strong>NFL: </strong><a href="https://gamerewind.nfl.com/nflgr/secure/packages?ttv=3&amp;s_tnt=35293:9:0">NFL Game Rewind</a> is $40 for a season to replay NFL games, or <a href="http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/content/sports/nfl">NFL Sunday Ticket</a> lets you watch live games for $200 all season on a variety of devices.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>NBA:</strong> <a href="http://www.nba.com/leaguepass/3pp/index.html">NBA League Pass</a> lets you watch games online, on a mobile device, or on TV on a streaming device such as a Roku for <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/nba-league-pass-wont-dip-down-as-the-nba-gives-the-finger-to-its-fans?urn=nba,wp11747">$179</a> a year, with or without a lockout.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>NHL:</strong> <a href="https://gamecenter.nhl.com/nhlgc/secure/gclsignup?intcmpid=nhl.com:gcl:vdsbnv&amp;nav-video-gcl">NHL GameCenter Live</a> is available for about $80 a year to watch hockey on everything from a TV to an iPad or phone.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>NASCAR:</strong> If you'd like to watch old <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/tv-season/nascar-classic-races-vol.-1/id371458691">NASCAR</a> races, iTunes sells some of the classic races for $2 each.</li> </ul> <p>The 2012 NCAA March Madness men's basketball games cost only $4 for all 67 games of the <a href="http://www.ncaa.com/news/basketball-men/article/2012-02-13/march-madness-live-faq">tournament</a> on computers, iPads, and other mobile devices, according to the <a href="http://kickoutcable.com/how-to/stream-ncaa-march-madness-basketball-games-online-free/#axzz1zhEjdicu">Kick Out Cable</a> website. The games were free in previous years, though if it again costs only $4 for the entire tournament, it beats paying a monthly cable bill.</p> <p>With all of these options, one of the most important things to have without cable is a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ways-blazing-internet-speeds-can-save-you-money">fast Internet connection</a>. Without it, watching anything will be difficult.</p> <p>With the Olympics about to start, the summer looks like a bad time to stop paying for TV. NBC is allowing people to watch <a href="http://www.nbcolympics.com/">Olympic</a> events live online, including on a smartphone or tablet, for free &mdash; if they have a paid cable/satellite package that includes CNBC and MSNBC. It's simple enough to <a href="http://www.nbcolympics.com/liveextra/help/index.html">sign up</a> for: Choose your TV provider, sign in with your username and password, then watch every event live. It's quite an enticement for paying for cable TV through mid-August.</p> <p>It's no fun turning around after getting rid of cable TV and giving your money to someone else so you can watch sports, but you'll still save more money by watching exactly what you're paying for instead of paying for a potpourri of sports programming you rarely watch. I'm not an NFL&nbsp;fan, but I'll gladly pay for a season of baseball.</p> <p>And chances are that if you've cut the cable cord, you're going to cut other related costs to save money and can use some of that extra savings to pay for a sports package or two. A <a href="http://www.techbargains.com/infographics/cutting-the-cable">survey</a> by TechBargains.com found that people who have <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/living-without-a-landline">disconnected their home telephone service</a> are twice as likely to also cut the cable cord. One in three who discontinued cable or satellite services said they wouldn't return regardless of the price.</p> <p>So if you're looking for incentive to cut cable and buy a season of your favorite sport, it's reassuring to know that plenty of people have done the same thing and aren't returning to cable or satellite service.</p> <p>And if that doesn't work, go to your local sports bar whenever a big game is on. Just be prepared to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-save-money-at-the-bars">spend some money on other forms of entertainment</a> while you're there.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-watch-sports-without-cable-tv" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Watch Sports Without Cable TV" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aaron-crowe">Aaron Crowe</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Entertainment baseball cable tv sports Mon, 09 Jul 2012 10:36:08 +0000 Aaron Crowe 938565 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Alternatives to Cable TV http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-alternatives-to-cable-tv <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-alternatives-to-cable-tv" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000009914927Small-1.jpg" alt="Alternatives to Cable TV" title="Alternatives to Cable TV" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on alternatives to cable TV, tips for wiping out your credit card debt, and little-known facts about the Roth IRA.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/magazine/archives/getting-rid-of-cable-tv.html">Budget-Friendly Alternatives to Cable TV</a> &mdash; Instead of paying for cable, try ordering shows a la carte. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://notmadeofmoney.com/blog/2011/09/top-tips-for-wiping-out-your-credit-card-debt.html">Top Tips For Wiping Out Your Credit Card Debt</a> &mdash; Wipe out your credit card debt by finding a credit card with a low APR. [Not Made Of Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2011/09/15/eight-little-known-facts-about-the-roth-ira/">Eight Little-Known Facts about the Roth IRA</a> &mdash; Did you know that Roth IRAs can be used towards other savings goals? [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://cashmoneylife.com/how-deal-sites-might-be-costing-you-more/">How Deal Sites Might be Costing You More</a> &mdash; Deal sites can cost you more money because you are more inclined to purchase things you wouldn't normally buy. [Cash Money Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.biblemoneymatters.com/4-things-you-should-do-once-you-land-your-first-job/">4 Things You Should Do Once You Land Your First Job</a> &mdash; When you land your first job, start building credit. [Bible Money Matters]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/easy-fall-craft-ideas-for-the-not-so-crafty-parent">Easy Fall Craft Ideas For The Not-So-Crafty Parent</a> &mdash; This fall, try making s'mores on a stick with your kids. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/products-to-splurge-on/">When Shopping for These 8 Products, Don't be a Scrooge</a> &mdash; Give yourself permission to splurge on your mattress and couch. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com/traveling-with-pets-airlines/">The Complete Guide to Traveling with Pets on Airlines</a> &mdash; When traveling with your pets on an airplane, be sure to have natural calming medicine for your pets. [Money Crashers]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thedigeratilife.com/blog/ways-to-monetize-your-blog/">Effective Ways To Monetize Your Blog</a> &mdash; Effectively monetize your blog by looking into revenue sharing options. [The Digerati Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Insurance-Policies-Arent-Worth-19090574">7 Insurance Policies You Can Live Without</a> &mdash; You can live without pet insurance and trip cancellation insurance. [SavvySugar]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-alternatives-to-cable-tv" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Alternatives to Cable TV" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Entertainment best money tips cable tv tv Mon, 19 Sep 2011 10:00:14 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 709074 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask The Readers: Do You Pay For Cable TV? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-pay-for-cable-tv <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-do-you-pay-for-cable-tv" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4156535452_9f2ee39b7e_z-1.jpg" alt="Do You Pay For Cable TV?" title="Do You Pay For Cable TV?" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-pay-for-cable-tv#comment-496015"><em>Renee</em></a><em>, </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-pay-for-cable-tv#comment-496086"><em>Lisa</em></a><em>, and </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-pay-for-cable-tv#comment-495950"><em>Money Beagle</em></a><em> for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>Almost everyone has their must watch TV show. Whether you are into reality TV or dramas, turning on the television is a great way to unwind after a long day at the office. However, if your favorite show is on cable, sometimes paying for cable can put a strain on your budget.</p> <p><strong>Do you pay for cable TV? &nbsp;</strong>Why or why not? If you don't, how do you watch shows on cable channels without paying for cable?</p> <p>Tell us if you pay for cable TV and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; one for random comments, one for random Facebook &quot;Likes&quot;, and another one for random tweets.</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:&nbsp;</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below&nbsp;</li> </ul> <h3>For extra entries (1 per action):</h3> <ul> <li>Go to our <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wise-Bread/26830741467?ref=ts">Facebook page</a>, &quot;Like&quot; us, and leave a comment telling us you did, or</li> <li><a href="http://www.twitter.com/">Tweet</a> your answer. You have to be a follower of our <a href="http://twitter.com/wisebread">@wisebread account</a>. Include both &quot;@wisebread&quot; and &quot;#WBAsk&quot; in your tweet so we'll see it and count it. Leave a link to your tweet (click the timestamp for the individual URL) in a separate comment.</li> </ul> <p><strong>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, June 13th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after June 13th on the original post and via Twitter. Winners will also be contacted via email, Facebook, and Twitter Direct Message.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p>Note: Due to recent changes in Facebook's promotions guidelines, we have restructured the entry format of our giveaways.</p> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-pay-for-cable-tv" class="sharethis-link" title="Ask The Readers: Do You Pay For Cable TV?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us if you pay for cable TV and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/deals-and-coupons/giveaways">Giveaways articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Giveaways Ask the Readers cable cable tv tv Tue, 07 Jun 2011 10:36:16 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 563956 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Alternatives to Cable TV That Will Keep You Entertained http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000009857559Small.jpg" alt="Couple watching TV" title="Couple watching TV" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>According to the <a href="http://www.smartmoney.com/spending/technology/how-to-watch-tv-and-movies-online-cheap-1298487553896/">SmartMoney</a>, nearly 144 million consumers watch videos online.</p> <p>A recent experiment by <a href="http://www.walletpop.com/2011/02/22/savings-experiment-cutting-the-cord-on-cable-tvs-pricey-bill/">WalletPop</a> revealed that &ldquo;for the price Americans pay for cable TV, they can enjoy a mini-vacation.&rdquo; Just how much are we spending for the convenience of cable? Comcast, for instance, costs about $552 a year &ndash; and that&rsquo;s just basic service; premium packages run more than $1,200 annually.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re looking for alternative ways to catch your favorite shows and movies without having to take out a second mortgage or find another roommate, consider these suggestions.</p> <h2>1. DVD Kiosks</h2> <p>I prefer <a href="http://www.redbox.com/">Redbox</a> over <a href="http://www.blockbusterexpress.com/">Blockbuster Express</a> for several reasons, the most important being that I hate Blockbuster. They&rsquo;ve been ripping off Americans for years, and I think they deserve to go out of business. Personal feelings aside, the DVD kiosk business is booming, mostly because it&rsquo;s nothing short of genius. You can&rsquo;t beat a one-dollar nightly rental &mdash; unless, of course, it&rsquo;s FREE. As often as I've frequented the kiosks over the years, I&rsquo;ve only paid for a handful of rentals thanks to sites like <a href="http://www.insideredbox.com/">Inside Redbox</a> and <a href="http://www.coupondad.net/">Coupon Dad</a>. When I get to the box, I do a search for coupon codes on my iPhone for that particular brand of kiosk; 9 times out of 10 I find a working code. Beware, however, of the hidden fees. The coupon-code rental is only free for the first night. If you don&rsquo;t return it within 24 hours, you&rsquo;ll be charged $1 per extra day it&rsquo;s out. Which, I assume, is how they can keep pushing out new promo codes and still make money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/never-pay-for-a-redbox-dvd-rental-again">Never Pay for a Redbox DVD Rental Again</a>)</p> <h2>2. Network Websites</h2> <p>Sites like <a href="http://abc.go.com/">ABC.com</a>, <a href="http://www.nbc.com/">NBC.com</a>, and <a href="http://www.cbs.com/">CBS.com</a> are perfect for watching the shows you missed the night before. Shows are usually available the morning after they originally aired, so you can catch up on your lunch break or when there&rsquo;s nothing else on that you want to watch. I became a convert a couple years ago when &ldquo;Lost&rdquo; was still in new episodes. I had kickball on the night that it aired, which forced me to miss it. Luckily I didn&rsquo;t have to wait too long to get my fix.</p> <h2>3. Apps</h2> <p>ABC has an excellent app that mimics its website; the content is free and available the morning after a show originally airs. The downside is that ABC is really the only network with an app like this. HBO just launched an app, but you have to be a cable subscriber, which totally defeats the purpose of cutting the cable. Hopefully the basic networks will follow suit and the cable networks will offer a la carte options to purchase pay-as-you-go content on mobile devices.</p> <h2>4. Hulu</h2> <p><a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10932227">Hulu</a> has a similar premise as the individual network sites, except it consists of several networks providing content so you can watch many of your favorite shows in one place. One of the best things about Hulu that I&rsquo;ve found is that you can set subscriptions for some of your favorite programs. When they&rsquo;re available to view, you&rsquo;ll receive an e-mail letting you know. If you want even more content, you can purchase Hulu Plus, an advanced service that allows you to access content on mobile devices, but frankly I think it&rsquo;s a waste of money considering that most of the TV content it has is available for free on the respective network sites.</p> <h2>5. Netflix Streaming</h2> <p>I canceled my DVDs-in-the-mail subscription last year because the selection was lacking. I had either seen the available movies in the theater or they weren&rsquo;t available upon regular release because the kiosks got them first. I still have <a href="http://www.netflix.com">Netflix</a> streaming, however. It&rsquo;s great for a rainy day, or when you want to watch content from your iPhone or iPad. A monthly subscription for unlimited streaming &mdash; there&rsquo;s no extra charge for your hand-held devices &mdash; is only $7.99.</p> <h2>6. Amazon Instant Video</h2> <p>Directly competing with Netflix in the unlimited-streaming category, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Instant-Video/b?ie=UTF8&amp;node=16261631">Amazon recently launched its own streaming option</a> that includes over 5,000 commercial-free movies and TV shows available with an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-worth-paying-more-for-faster-shipping">Amazon Prime</a> membership, about $79 a year. When you do the math, it&rsquo;s cheaper than Netflix streaming, but the selection isn&rsquo;t as robust. In fact, Amazon has less than half the titles that Netflix boasts. Still, that&rsquo;s a pretty good selection.</p> <h2>7. Warpia StreamHD</h2> <p>A total game changer for the cutting-the-cable argument, <a href="http://www.warpia.com/warpia-wireless-pc-to-tv-stream-HD-swp120a.asp">Warpia StreamHD</a> ($169.99) allows users to wirelessly stream anything on a laptop or PC to the flatscreen. The USB-based device mirrors the computer screen without the mess of cords. The transmission shows up on the TV in 1080p resolution and 5.1 surround sound. The package comes with all the bells and whistles, including an HDMI cable and SPDIF cable. Warpia is compatible with Windows 7, Vista SP2, and XP SP3.</p> <h2>8. Apple TV</h2> <p>Many of my friends have converted to <a href="http://www.apple.com/appletv/">Apple TV</a>, and they rave about it. The box, which costs $99 with free shipping from Apple.com, gives you access to iTunes&rsquo; impressive library of titles, which vary in price; new-release HD movies are $4.99, SD movies are $3.99, and TV shows are $0.99. The box is also compatible with Netflix, and it allows users to stream content directly from their Mac or PC to the TV screen.</p> <p><em>Have you cut the cable? How are you saving money on media content? Let me know in the comments section below.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained" class="sharethis-link" title="8 Alternatives to Cable TV That Will Keep You Entertained" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/frugal-living/entertainment">Entertainment articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Budgeting Entertainment Technology cable tv DVDs free tv Internet Fri, 06 May 2011 10:36:12 +0000 Mikey Rox 536678 at http://www.wisebread.com How Will The Comcast/NBC Merger Really Affect You? http://www.wisebread.com/how-will-the-comcastnbc-merger-really-affect-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-will-the-comcastnbc-merger-really-affect-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Picture%208.png" alt="Comcast NBC Universal logo" title="Artist&#039;s rendering of Comcast/NBC Universal logo" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="179" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It&rsquo;s a deal that has been in the works for over a year, and it&rsquo;s finally going ahead. The FCC has approved the merger of NBC Universal with Comcast, meaning that the cable giant will now own 51% of NBC, and have stakes in CNBC, MSNBC, Bravo, Telemundo, and <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10932227">Hulu</a>.</p> <p>When anyone sees news like this, they immediately starting thinking of a monopoly. &ldquo;This business is too big, and that&rsquo;s a bad thing&rdquo; is what I&rsquo;m hearing from many people around me. And as I work in the cable industry, I hear it a lot.</p> <p>But is this really something to lose sleep over? It&rsquo;s time to take a quick look at the questions people have, the facts, and the speculation, to see what this merger actually means to the general public. After all, AOL and Time Warner merged in 2000 and the world kept turning. But since then the Internet has become something of a necessity and this deal does impact that to some extent.</p> <h3>1. Will Prices Go Up?</h3> <p>That&rsquo;s the most common concern I hear, and it seems that it&rsquo;s the most common one floating around on the Internet. With a merger comes a giant company controlling costs and sticking it to all of us. And Comcast has not exactly had the best feedback when it comes to prices and raising rates. But the bottom line is that the FCC is ensuring that Comcast does not withhold any of its networks from other providers, such as Dish Network or DirecTV. It must also offer these networks at a reasonable cost.</p> <p>Plus, Comcast has stated that six out of every seven networks on its cable systems will have absolutely no affiliation with Comcast. What that means is that, for the time being, Comcast is not going to start pushing prices up on you because it could risk losing you to one of those other providers. That goes for the Internet, too. I see rates going up by the usual annual amount, but I do not see your bills doubling overnight. The fear of &ldquo;cord cutting&rdquo; and &ldquo;cord shaving&rdquo; (which means cutting complete or partial cable services) will keep everyone's prices in line. Well, for now at least.</p> <h3>2. Will Internet Access Be Affected?</h3> <p>I don&rsquo;t see it happening just yet, although Senator Al Franken and many others predict this is the end of net neutrality. Basically, the FCC has not given Comcast/NBC the kind of power to take control of the Internet, although who knows what could happen in the future. Yes, Comcast now owns <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10932227">Hulu</a>, but that was already becoming a pay-service with the advent of <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10932227">Hulu Plus</a>, which is home to many of the shows you want to watch anyway. I went to watch <em>V</em> online recently, but I missed the first episode of the new series, and it wasn&rsquo;t available on ABC&rsquo;s site. Comcast had nothing to do with that decision; it&rsquo;s just something that the networks themselves decide. In short, the FCC has stipulated that this merger must not result in unfair market prices. Even better, the merger means that Comcast must now offer affordable, stand-alone Internet access so that we, the viewers, can access videos without having to purchase cable TV. And that is a good thing.</p> <h3>3. Will Sports Channels Be Cheaper?</h3> <p>I don&rsquo;t care that much for sports channels, but I know millions of Americans do. And now the Comcast/NBC corporation can go up against Disney&rsquo;s ESPN, which has a monopoly on most sports, and bring prices down. It&rsquo;s very possible that you could see the cost of your sports packages taking a nose dive over the next year.</p> <h3>4. Will Only Comcast Subscribers Get NBC Shows?</h3> <p>You really shouldn&rsquo;t worry about missing <em>The Office</em>, <em>30 Rock</em>, <em>SNL</em>, <em>Biggest Loser,</em> or any of your other favorite NBC shows. Once again, the FCC has made it quite clear that Comcast must provide reasonable access to its shows for distribution by other providers. You will not see NBC disappear from your local channel lineup if you have Dish Network or DirecTV.</p> <h3>5. Will Comcast Subscribers Have a Hard Time Finding Non-NBC Shows?</h3> <p>This one&rsquo;s even more bizarre. Some people think that Comcast will favor its NBC shows and programming over shows not owned by Comcast. Well, imagine how many people would cancel Comcast if that happened? If you suddenly have a hard time finding your favorite shows because Comcast has buried them or made them tough to access, you&rsquo;ll leave. But just to make sure, rules have been put in place to ensure Comcast does not discriminate against video programming that it does not own. For the time being, your lineup should not be affected.</p> <p>Of course, I&nbsp;am not privy to the dealing going on inside the boardrooms of these huge companies, but I think it's a little too early to panic just yet.</p> <p><em>How do you feel about the merger? Worried? Are you cutting the cable anyway? Let us know.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-will-the-comcastnbc-merger-really-affect-you" class="sharethis-link" title="How Will The Comcast/NBC Merger Really Affect You?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/life-hacks/consumer-affairs">Consumer Affairs articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Consumer Affairs Entertainment Financial News cable tv Comcast hulu Internet Monopoly Sat, 22 Jan 2011 02:31:40 +0000 Paul Michael 474632 at http://www.wisebread.com Thirteen Minutes to a Lower Cable Bill http://www.wisebread.com/thirteen-minutes-to-a-lower-cable-bill <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/thirteen-minutes-to-a-lower-cable-bill" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Cable%20Bill.JPG" alt="" title="Cable Bills Are Too High! " class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="246" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><embed width="480" height="300" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://blip.tv/play/kjqBgJN9Ag%2Em4v"></embed></p> <p>Geico has become famous for their expression:&nbsp;&quot;Save 15% in 15 minutes.&quot;&nbsp; Turns out that expression applies to more than just car insurance.&nbsp; Becasue you can easily save 15% in 15 minutes on something even more expensive:&nbsp;your pay-TV bill.</p> <p>The average cable bill is now close to $100 bucks a month..an increase of nearly 80% in the last 10 years. But you may have more control over this bill than you think.</p> <p>If you want to pay less for cable, it may be as simple as asking for a lower bill. Here's exactly what you do.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Step one: Decide what you really want.</strong> If you&rsquo;re not watching those expensive movie channels, dump em.&nbsp;If you&rsquo;re a movie buff, a service like Netflix may offer more recent movies at a lower price anyway. </p> <p><strong>Step two: Do the research.</strong> Surf the web and see what deals are out there for new customers, both for cable and satellite. </p> <p><strong>Step three: Call your current provider and ask for the cancellation department. </strong>Tell them you're thinking about cancelling becasue you can get a much better deal from their competitor. Then ask what they're willing to do to keep you as a customer.&nbsp;</p> <p>I tried this and it worked beautifully. I called Comcast's&nbsp;cancellation department armed with deals to be had on satellite. They immediately offered me a $10 a month credit for 6 months&hellip;$15 when I asked for a supervisor.&nbsp;The call took 13 minutes total. Not bad to save $90.</p> <p>Pay TV providers are getting more competitive because of the crummy economy,&nbsp;competition and&nbsp;free shows online. Not to mention the fact that they charge way too much to begin with. So this is a solution that will probably work for you.&nbsp;</p> <p>Bottom line? Sometimes the best way to save money is also the easiest. You just find cheaper alternatives, then&nbsp;you call the expensive service on the phone and ask for a better deal. It works...if you work it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thirteen-minutes-to-a-lower-cable-bill" class="sharethis-link" title="Thirteen Minutes to a Lower Cable Bill" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stacy-johnson">Stacy Johnson</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Consumer Affairs General Tips cable tv Lower Cable Bills Thu, 29 Oct 2009 20:07:01 +0000 Stacy Johnson 3774 at http://www.wisebread.com Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate and Reduce Your Phone Bill, Immediately and Easily http://www.wisebread.com/lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate-and-reduce-your-phone-bill-immediately-and-easily <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate-and-reduce-your-phone-bill-immediately-and-easily" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/reduce%20bills.JPG" alt="cell phone" title="cell phone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">Are your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-seven-reasons-why-i-use-my-credit-card-for-everything">credit card</a> interest rates getting to you? Are those monthly <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-ways-to-stay-in-touch-on-the-road">cell phone</a> bills a pain in the wallet? How about <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/seven-monthly-expenses-we-dont-realize-we-dont-need">cable TV</a>? Internet? Even the power bill? Would you like to reduce these charges without the hassle of changing suppliers? Read on, my frugal friend.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">As <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-personal-finance-tips-you-dont-always-hear-about">Tisha recently pointed out</a>, most suppliers will not be forthcoming with you about less expensive suppliers in the marketplace or new options within the same company that could save you money and be a better fit for your needs. But this does not mean that you aren&rsquo;t entitled to save this money. You just have to <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-in-style-for-free">ask for it</a>.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Once my contract was up with my cell phone provider, I did a little shopping around for new plans. I didn&rsquo;t actually <i>intend </i>to change carriers; I was just doing some research. As a matter of course, I was able to find another carrier that on the surface appeared to provide a better deal.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p>Armed with information, I toddled off to the telephone and called my cell phone supplier. In a friendly and conversational tone, I suggested that there were other providers that could match or beat my current plan. In the next breath I said that I would prefer to keep my business with this company, since I believe in loyalty and since they have given me no reason to leave. I finished off with the big question: <b>&ldquo;What Can You Do For Me?&rdquo;</b> And then I let them talk.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p>On that day, I received $150 towards a new phone, 100 free minutes per month, and a substantial reduction in my monthly charges. All simply by asking.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">After this experience, I thought &ldquo;this is too easy!&rdquo; and looked for other ways to save money.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p>I called my credit card company with a similar pitch and ended with &ldquo;What Can You Do For Me?&rdquo; I hung up the phone with my annual fee eliminated and my interest rate reduced by 6%. Again, simply by asking.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p>I repeated the same procedure with my cable tv company, and walked away with a cable and internet package that far surpassed what I was previously getting, saving me over $40/month between the two.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Reducing your bills and getting <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-discount-every-time">discounts</a> is really as simple as asking for it. When I had to get new tires for my car the other day, I was quoted a price and immediately asked if they could give me a discount for paying with cash. They reduced their rates by $10 and threw in free installation, rotation, and balancing.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>If you want to save money on your bills, here are a few pointers to get you started:</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <h3><b>Do Your Research.</b></h3> <p>By understanding the going rates across the market, you are in a better position to evaluate both what you are currently paying, and what is being offered to you when you call. Knowledge equals negotiating power.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <h3><b>Be Prepared to Walk</b>.</h3> <p class="MsoNormal">If you are calling with a &ldquo;holier than thou&rdquo; tone of voice, suggesting that another carrier will give you a better deal, then you need to be prepared to walk if you really believe the other supplier is better. Calling with a bluff is bad form. Besides which, if you aren&rsquo;t offered a deal and you say you are canceling your plan, a whole new wave of &ldquo;please stay, we need your business&rdquo; discounts sometimes become available as a result.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <h3><b>Ask for the Manager.</b></h3> <p>Sometimes the customer service representative you are speaking to doesn&rsquo;t have the power to provide the discount you would like. Thank them for their help, tell them that you have no problems whatsoever with how they have dealt with you, but that you would like to speak to a manager to see if you can strike a better deal. They are usually cordially helpful in this manner, and the further up you travel on the company food chain, the deeper the discount possibilities are.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <h3><b>Be Nice! </b></h3> <p class="MsoNormal">Even if you call to complain, be nice. You stand a much better chance of achieving what you want by treating the customer service representative like a human being. I once called to lodge a complaint about an online order mistake, and because I was nice about it, the representative (who had obviously endured a brow-beating day of nasty complaints) was so overtly surprised that our conversation was pleasant that she sent me $40 in coupons in addition to fixing the problem right away. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <h3><b>Anything is Discountable.</b></h3> <p class="MsoNormal">Truly &ndash; you can negotiate just about anything. Just because a website advertises specific rate packages does not mean that you cannot bend the rules. I recently signed up for internet access with a new supplier; in so doing I researched the packages available online, and then called to ask if they had any promotions available. Between the two people I talked to, I saved over $400 in posted connection fees, received 50% off the posted monthly rates, and got a $10 monthly reduction in my telephone bill too. None of these discounts were posted online, and I don't believe they would have become available to me if I had not asked.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <h3><b>Target Suppliers you have been with for a While. </b></h3> <p class="MsoNormal">The longer you have been with a supplier, the better a case you have for getting a discount to stay with them. Don&rsquo;t be afraid to point out how long you have given the company business before asking what they can do for you.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">I do believe that the &ldquo;squeaky wheel gets the grease&rdquo; as the adage goes. But I also don&rsquo;t believe that the squeaky wheel has to be a whining, moaning, bitching one. You can pipe up, ask for a discount, and get exactly what you want quite effectively using these tips above and by keeping a smile on your face. Try it &ndash; and reduce your credit card interest rate and phone bills in the meantime.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate-and-reduce-your-phone-bill-immediately-and-easily" class="sharethis-link" title="Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate and Reduce Your Phone Bill, Immediately and Easily" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Frugal Living Life Hacks Budgeting Consumer Affairs Credit Cards Lifestyle Shopping cable tv changing suppliers credit card interest rates discounts lower bills pay less phone bills reduce bills save money Mon, 02 Feb 2009 21:11:43 +0000 Nora Dunn 2805 at http://www.wisebread.com Stop Paying For Cable Television But Keep Up With Your Favorite Shows http://www.wisebread.com/stop-paying-for-cable-television-but-keep-up-with-your-favorite-shows <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/stop-paying-for-cable-television-but-keep-up-with-your-favorite-shows" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tv%20internet.jpg" alt="tv on internet" title="tv on internet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="199" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Cable and satellite television subscriptions are expensive.&nbsp; Let's face it &ndash; are you really watching 352 channels and listening to 50 music stations via your television each month to justify the monthly fee?&nbsp; Most of us have three or four shows we watch regularly, and then other tv watching time is in &ldquo;channel surf&rdquo; mode, stopping on anything that looks remotely interesting.&nbsp; Where I live, the least expensive option for cable television is $60 a month, and I'm positive I don't watch $60 a month worth of television &ndash; but I have three shows that I really like to watch and I can only see them if I pay for cable.</p> <p>Or so I thought!&nbsp; I've just discovered that I can watch most of the &ldquo;good&rdquo; stuff online!&nbsp; The major television networks broadcast many of their programs over the internet on their websites for free.&nbsp; You can even watch shows that are no longer on the air in some cases.&nbsp; The shows aren't always available for internet viewers the same day they are on television, but does it really matter if you're watching a Monday sitcom on Wednesday?</p> <p>Check this list to see if your favorite shows are broadcast online:<br /> 1.<a href="http://abc.go.com/">ABC</a>. <br /> 2.<a href="http://www.nbc.com/Video/">NBC</a>. <br /> 3.<a href="http://www.cbs.com/">CBS</a>. <br /> 4.<a href="http://www.fox.com">Fox</a>. <br /> 5.<a href="http://www.mylifetime.com/on-tv">Lifetime.</a> <br /> 6.<a href="http://www.aetv.com/">A&amp;E</a>. <br /> 7.<a href="http://www.mtv.com/ontv/">MTV</a>. <br /> 8.<a href="http://www.hgtv.com/full-episodes/package/index.html">HGTV</a>. <br /> 9.<a href="http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/">Discovery Channel.</a> (Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and TLC) &nbsp;<br /> 10.<a href="http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/programs/">PBS</a>. </p> <p><a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10932227">Hulu.com</a> has a number of shows available from a variety of television networks.&nbsp; You can browse and watch for free, and even subscribe to your favorite shows to get updated whenever new episodes are added.</p> <p>If you're thinking the kids will be lost without the 24-hour cartoon stations, you can set them up with <a href="http://classiccartoons.blogspot.com/">Classic Cartoons</a>.</p> <p>In addition, many times you can find episodes of your favorite shows on <a href="http://www.youtube.com">Youtube.com</a>.&nbsp; Youtube is really not intended for uploading television shows (for copyright reasons) it doesn't seem to stop people from doing it.&nbsp; Search youtube.com for your favorite shows &ndash; you may have to watch more than one clip to get your full episode due to time limitations youtube.com places on uploaded videos, but it sure beats paying $60-$100 a month for cable television if you really only watch a handful of shows a month.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-paying-for-cable-television-but-keep-up-with-your-favorite-shows" class="sharethis-link" title="Stop Paying For Cable Television But Keep Up With Your Favorite Shows" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debbie-dragon">Debbie Dragon</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Frugal Living Art and Leisure cable tv lower cable costs save money on cable tv television Fri, 02 Jan 2009 09:06:32 +0000 Debbie Dragon 2676 at http://www.wisebread.com