KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the O’Dell family, a hefty bill made cutting the cord a few years ago an easy decision.
“For Internet, phone, and cable,” said Brandon O’Dell. “It was near $200.00.”
Your cable bill could be going up. According to an AP report, Comcast and DirecTV both say some prices will be higher this year.
Since 2007, cable and satellite TV bills have gone up more than 50 percent, according to Kagan, a media research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence.
After Luke Bouma’s family cut the cord five years ago, he started www.cordcuttersnews.com to help others do it, too.
“$112 a month went out the door when we canceled cable,” he said. Bouma also said his website audience has been steadily growing. “It kind of took off on me more than I ever expected it would.”
Streaming services Netflix and Hulu are growing. Netflix reports the company added 24 million new subscribers just in 2017. Hulu said they have more than 17 million, up 40 percent in less than two years. Hulu is also now part of the growing list of streaming services that offer live TV.
In their Shawnee living room, the O’Dells flipped through dozens of channels from kids programming to live sports on their streaming services. They now pay for Internet, streaming services including Sling TV, and phone. They say the move saves them about $80.00 per month.
They already had Netflix before they cut the cord, and they got Amazon Prime for the free shipping - Amazon Prime Video was a bonus.
“That’s huge!” said O’Dell. “It’s almost a thousand a year so there is a lot you can do with that!”
IF YOU WANT TO CUT THE CORD, WHERE DO YOU START?
“Cord cutting is actually pretty simple,” said Bouma. “But it’s something I always tell people not to rush into.”
The O’Dells decided to invest in a faster Internet signal. Bouma said you don’t need the fastest speeds out there to stream video.
He said first you need to find a streaming device like Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV. The O’Dells use Roku.
Next, pick your streaming services. There are so many options out there. If fear of losing live sports is holding you back, Bouma said there is good news.
“Sports has become incredibly easy. For instance, Fox Sports for the Royals,” said Bouma.
WHERE CAN I STREAM ROYALS GAMES?
Fox Sports Kansas City shows almost every Royals game. We checked into it and found that along with cable and satellite providers as well as the Fox Sports GO app, you can stream games on several streaming services including fuboTV, YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, and Sling TV.
O’Dell said he has access to all the sports he needs.
“We get all the Royals games,” he said. “We get tons of college basketball. We have no problem at all.”
He also said he changes his options with different sports seasons, something Bouma recommends as well.
“If you’re a football fan and you just want ESPN during football season, you can do that. If you just want HBO during Game Of Thrones, you can do that,” Bouma said.
The O’Dells also added an antenna to their set up.
“The average over-the-air antenna gets 40 channels in a market like Kansas City,” said Bouma. “You’ll find everything from sports networks to news networks to all your majors, Fox, NBC, and more all with great HD with antenna. It’s a one time cost, fifty bucks or so on average, and you get a lifetime of TV for free.”
Bouma’s biggest tip is to take your time.
“Test it out. They all offer free trials,” he said. “Then make a decision if it is right for you before you even cancel the cable bill.”