I think paying $60 a month to watch 3 or 4 channels is too expensive. However, there is no cable or satellite provider that allows you to “pay per channel.” Wouldn’t that be nice! The traditional business plan is to have over a hundred channels, but only a few select that you care about. This allows the satellite and cable companies huge bargaining power with the networks. When will customers have the ability to pay per content? Well, it is slowing starting to become a reality today.
HD antennas provide free HD programming for the major networks (ABC, FOX, NBC, and CBS). You can buy a DVR or connect the feed into a PC with a tuner card to record your favorite TV shows. This of course is not as easy as compared to Dish or DirecTV, but it is still possible.
Popular TV shows are available over the internet through Hulu and individual network internet sites. In fact if you are willing to pay $8 a month you can get hulu-plus which allows you to access most of the popular shows in HD quality. You can also subscribe to Netflix streaming which offers several TV shows over the internet. Netflix streaming is available from many TV and set-top providers. Between Hulu, Netflix, and the internet you can get most content (besides sports). To make it a better user experience you do need a PC hooked up to your TV or a Roku or AppleTV set-top box.
Which leaves us to the last and sometimes most important piece – SPORTS! That is the missing link. If you do not have satellite or cable, you cannot get sports outside of the major networks. For example, if you want to watch college football on ESPN, and you don’t have cable or satellite, you are out of luck. You might be saying you can watch ESPN online. This is true IF you have an existing cable or satellite contract. For example Century Link DSL does not allow ESPN streaming. Century Link will not pay ESPN for the rights. So if I wanted to ditch my satellite I would not have the ability to watch sports.
So for now, the sports portion is keeping me paying the $60 a month. As soon as can watch college football online (without an existing cable or satellite contract) then I am ditching the dish!