Thursday, May 24, 2018
TV and Media

Cord cutters: Is a la carte streaming a better deal than cable?

Cord cutters rejoiced last week after HBO and CBS announced plans to sell stand-alone streaming services, a move that cable and satellite television providers have resisted for years. Customers tired of paying big fees for hundreds of channels they never watch just to have access to a few favorite shows might be expected to start cancelling cable service in droves. Get Netflix, throw in HBO, add a network here and there — why would anyone sign up now for cable? Is a la carte streaming a better deal?

Combining current streaming services including Netflix, Hulu, CBS All Access and the expected price of HBO's service, which starts next year, would run you about half of the average price of monthly cable and satellite television service.

If you're a sports fan, sorry, the streaming services won't do it for you alone. But adding an a la carte option to your basic cable subscription might offer you more choice than buying up on the next rung of your cable or satellite service.

Even if other networks jumped on the standalone bandwagon, trying to buy all your favorite channels a la carte would add up quickly, says FBR analyst Barton Crockett.

"The way things are priced, you won't be able to get more than four or five channels for less than your pay-TV bill now, and even getting two or three channels will be a significant portion of that bill," he said in an interview Monday. "I think because of that there will be a strong incentive for people to sign up for a (cable) bundle."

Here's a look at how the costs stack up:

Netflix

Starts at $8.99 a month for streaming only service. Includes original programing, past seasons of popular TV shows and a wide range of movies.

Hulu Plus

$7.99 a month. Includes selected new and older shows from networks including Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC and the CW and cable channels like Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and Bravo. Original programming, movies and Latino and British shows are also available.

HBO

$15 a month or more (estimated). Includes HBO original series, movies, sports, comedy and documentaries.

CBS All Access

$5.99 a month. Includes 15 current prime-time shows such as The Good Wife and Survivor available the day after they air, the ability to stream CBS stations live in 14 markets and to watch previous seasons of current shows, as well as older shows from both CBS and other networks like Twin Peaks and Cheers. It does not include live-streaming of sporting events, including NFL coverage.

Total for all four services: $37.97

Amazon Instant Video

Included free with $99 Prime loyalty club membership

Average cable subscription

$64.41, combined price of basic service and the most subscribed cable programming service excluding taxes, fees and equipment charges, per the FCC.

Average satellite subscription

Combined price of basic service and the most subscribed cable programming service excluding taxes, fees and equipment charges: DirecTV $63.99; DISH Network $59.99, per the FCC.

Comments
Sports on TV/radio Tuesday, May 22

Sports on TV/radio Tuesday, May 22

TODAYBaseballRed Sox at Rays7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMIndians at Cubs7 p.m.ESPNMarlins at Mets7 p.m.FSFRockies at Dodgers10 p.m.ESPNCollege baseball, conference tourneysSEC: Texas A&M vs. Vanderbilt10:30 a.m.SECACC: Pitt vs. Georgia Tech11 a.m.Fox SunSEC:...
Published: 05/21/18
There’s a new ‘Bachelorette’ contestant from St. Petersburg

There’s a new ‘Bachelorette’ contestant from St. Petersburg

When ABC’s reality dating competition The Bachelorette returns next week, the pool of 28 contestants vying for love and roses from Becca Kufrin will include a fitness trainer who lives in St. Petersburg. Here’s what we know about 25-year...
Published: 05/21/18
Here are some of Harry and Meghan’s official wedding photos

Here are some of Harry and Meghan’s official wedding photos

LONDON — Kensington Palace has released three official wedding photographs taken of Prince Harry and the former Meghan Markle shortly after their wedding.Alexi Lubomirski's images include a family portrait of the couple with Queen Elizabeth II,...
Published: 05/21/18
Yes, Harry Styles (that Harry Styles) will executive produce a sitcom on CBS this fall

Yes, Harry Styles (that Harry Styles) will executive produce a sitcom on CBS this fall

Washington PostThe most unusual executive producer on a new fall show for CBS? Harry Styles.Yes, that Harry Styles. The 24-year-old pop artist, the breakout star of boy band One Direction. Anyway, the sitcom is called Happy Together. It stars Damon W...
Published: 05/21/18
Have your favorite shows been canceled? Here’s a breakdown by network

Have your favorite shows been canceled? Here’s a breakdown by network

Last week brought the up-front presentations, when broadcast networks show off their new fall series to advertisers and, less ceremoniously, dump dozens of others. This year the bloodletting included beloved sitcoms and high-concept dramas, and the ...
Published: 05/18/18
Updated: 05/21/18
Summer TV preview: For your viewing pleasure, a look at the lineup

Summer TV preview: For your viewing pleasure, a look at the lineup

Get ready for another hot summer of sensational TV. We want crazy thrillers. We want exaggerated plot lines. But don’t count out prestigious and gut-wrenching dramas. The summer TV season begins earlier each year. We’re only halfway thro...
Published: 05/17/18
Today’s sports on TV/radio

Today’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYBaseballCardinals at Twins1 p.m.MLBRays at Royals2 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMBrewers at Diamondbacks (in progress)4 p.m.MLBDodgers at Marlins7 p.m.FSFYankees at Nationals7 p.m.ESPNAstros at Angels (in progress)10 p.m.MLBCyclingTour of California, Stage...
Published: 05/15/18
Pauley Perrette claims she endured ‘multiple physical attacks’ on ‘NCIS’: ‘Nothing is worth your safety’

Pauley Perrette claims she endured ‘multiple physical attacks’ on ‘NCIS’: ‘Nothing is worth your safety’

Pauley Perrette left the long-running CBS forensic show NCIS after 15 seasons last week under what was originally presented as a professional decision. On Twitter, however, she told a different story."I refused to go low, that’s why I’ve never told p...
Published: 05/15/18
14 classic movies to see at Tampa Theatre this summer

14 classic movies to see at Tampa Theatre this summer

Tampa Theatre revealed today the lineup of movies for this year’s Summer Classics series. Among the more notable screenings are 2009’s The Blind Side, featuring a question and answer session with actor Quinton “Big Mike” Aaro...
Published: 05/14/18
Updated: 05/15/18
8 TV shows to watch with your mom for Mother’s Day

8 TV shows to watch with your mom for Mother’s Day

Mom should spend Mother's Day however she wants. And if she doesn't want to go anywhere, suggest a heartwarming TV show to binge together. My mother and I have always shared a love for television, and I remember proudly declaring to my fifth-grade cl...
Published: 05/10/18