Who should and should not cut the cord

You should cut the cord if

You're a TV fan and at least one of the following four items applies

  • You will mostly watch broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, NBC, PBS) on an antenna ($10+) or Hulu Plus ($8)
  • You can get your favorite shows through HBO Now ($15), Sling TV ($20 for A&E, AMC, CNN, Disney, ESPN, Food, History, HGTV, Lifetime, TNT, TBS, more), or Hulu Plus ($8 for Bravo, Comedy Central, USA, much more)
  • You can wait a year for your favorite shows to come to Netflix or Amazon
  • You will buy shows on iTunes or Amazon (most shows available day after they air, premium networks such as HBO and Showtime not available for several months)

You're a sports fan and at least one of the following three items applies


  • You realize streaming isn't perfect and may buffer, be choppy, or potentially drop out during big events

You should not cut the cord if

You want to watch one of the following networks that is only available through cable or Playstation Vue ($50-$70)

  • Cinemax, Discovery, FOX News, FX, Nickelodeon, Showtime, Starz, or others

Sports fans that

  • Want to watch local teams on a regional sports network
  • Want sports networks such as RedZone, NBC Sports, FOX Sports, Golf Channel, college networks, etc


  • You like channel surfing
  • You want the best picture quality
  • You don't want to worry about internet data caps or issues with streaming


A lot of this comes down to individual content preferences. Can you get your your favorite shows online and wait for the rest to come to streaming services or online stores? See more about what networks are available on various streaming services with this nice tool from The Verge.

Cable is still a good value for households that watch a wide variety of programming. It's also nice to have a single box and remote with access to live TV, DVR'd shows, and on-demand content. However, that means you're tied to your TV.

With the exception of antennas, cord-cutters will have access to everything on mobile devices and computers. And likely have a much better streaming experience than cable's mess of authentication and myriad network apps. Streaming isn't as reliable as cable TV, and it can be frustrating when routers and modems need to be restarted to get everything working again.

Some programs are simply not available without cable and you'll have to go to a bar, invite yourself to a friend's house, or do something illegal to watch it. If that sounds ok, you can save quite a bit of money by getting rid of cable.