Cutting The Wire

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    We have had ongoing conversation about this over the years, but I am hoping some of you really have it figured out now.

    What is the best option of getting rid of Time Warner Cable and going with Netflix, HuluPlus, etc and still getting live sports – ESPN, NBA, NFL, etc.?

    Down to Roku or Apple TV at this point I believe. Also may get a google stick to take everything with me. But, I can’t figure out how to get ESPN or other live sports without a cable.

    EDIT: FYI: I currently have a triple package of cable, phone, internet through TWC. Preimium package with whole house DVR, 200 channels, etc. at about $170.00 a month including taxes/fees/equipment.


    Short answer: you can’t. Time Warner is one of the only cable companies in the nation that require their subscribers to have both an Internet and a TV package to get ESPN3 or other digital only properties. Most other cables want you to have their Internet service to get it. TWC just shows themselves to be the awful company that they are.

    You can get the NFL Sunday ticket without DirecTV or other cable package. That takes care of that. MLB and NBA have similar programs. For live sports, college is really where there’s a gap in the market. Unless they’re on an over the air broadcast channel, you’re going to go to a bar. Once you add up your beers and nachos, you might as well have stayed home, made some popcorn and bought cable.

    I’m stuck right there right now.


    You have what I have, primacy. Sadly, I don’t think you can do better. I have tried. Twice now. In the end, after a zillion conversations with all these sales people, asking all the questions and doing the math, I finally decided to stay put. And I won’t ever get those hours back. Frustrating, but cable has me by the balls. I could have saved on my tv service by switching, but not when you consider the bundle. And then you have installation costs and insurance. And then, after your first year is up, you are paying way more than you would have ever paid for cable. They won’t tell you that up front. But it was true for me. And if you cancel before your contract is up, forget it. You will take a big loss. Those folks over at Time Warner aren’t dummies. They know the market. It sucks.


    Monopolies stink. Time Warner has one and they know it. Yes, you could switch to different providers, but you’d have to give up something. I’ve spent lots of time looking for alternatives. I also hate having to pay for tons of channels that I don’t care the least bit about just to get the handful of channels that I regularly watch.

    You can get a bit of a break by getting on the TWC customer loyalty program, but it comes with strings attached. What you have to do is call them and tell them that you just can’t afford their service anymore and that you plan to switch to something else unless they give you a break. They will give you a year-long discount, but you have to pay a severance fee if you drop them during that time frame. Also, they will increase your rate again after that year is up.


    A very narrow silver lining – TWC just extended my “loyalty discount” package for another 12 months, without my even asking. That tells me they are feeling the heat at least a little bit. And given how much TV I watch (still the cheapest form of entertainment out there, especially for a sports person), I can live with it.

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