Slimmer cable bundles may finally be coming

Don't Waste Your Money
Posted at 7:25 PM, Apr 26, 2017

The biggest complaint people have about the cable bills these days: why do we have to pay for dozens of channels we don't watch?

Good news: after years of losing subscribers to streaming services, cable companied are on the verge of offering slimmer and cheaper packages, sometimes called "skinny bundles."

Cord cutters worrying cable providers

Millions of people have cut the cord in recent years, to cut their soaring cable costs.

"We were paying $115 a month, and we decided we were not watching that much TV anyway," one mom told Don't Waste Your Money.

Former cable customers like her are now streaming their shows via Hulu, Sling TV, DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue, and other services.

Cable companies have noticed the bleeding, and are getting worried.

So Bloomberg News says they are now about to roll out something they would never consider before: sports-free cable bundles.

You will soon be able to subscribe to cable without the expensive sports channels that can add $25 a month, or more, to your bill.

Why going sports-free could be frustrating

But from the "doesn't that stink" file, the a sports-free bundle that may leave you with too many missing channels.

Hulu, Sling TV, DirectTV Now, and the upcoming YouTube TV all currently offer slim bundles, but each have drawbacks, in the form of whole groups of missing channels.

Some packages are missing the Viacom channels, including MTV, VH-1, and Nickelodeon.  Some don't include Scripps Networks channels like HGTV and Food Network.

If you are missing a whole tier of channels you want, you may say "doesn't that stink?"

Or you may decide you want to watch your local NFL team, only to learn that the game is on ESPN, which you no longer have.

In addition,Bloomberg says when sports providers learn they are not going to be part of a package, they may pull other channels too, and may even sue the cable company.

What you can do

If your cable bill goes up, the quickest thing is to call your provider and see if they are already offering a slimmer bundle.

If you are not offered anything better, ask for the "retention department," which specializes in keeping customers who threaten to leave.

You may be able to drop your bill $25 a month, and not even notice the change, so you don't waste your money.

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