A Cord Cutter’s Life is a series of guest posts by Greg Baker, featuring stories on the motivations, challenges, and benefits to cutting cable. If you’ve considered cutting the cord, let our visiting Cord Cutting Guru show you how in this fun, helpful series.
Far and away, the worst way to spend football Sunday is in a sports bar. Let’s go over a few quick reasons why:
- Trips to the bar cost as much as your monthly cable subscription would
- You have to get dressed
- On the west coast, games start at 10am and half the bars open right at 10 so you miss kickoff a bunch of the time
- You don’t want to be awake at 10am
- Your waitress doesn’t want to be awake at 10am
- It can be a challenge to consume alcohol at 10am
- Some people are too enthusiastic about consuming alcohol at 10am
- Sometimes, when the Panthers lineup to kick a field goal with 3 seconds left, but the Browns/49ers game is starting in 10 minutes, bartender will inexplicably change the channel from something exciting you are invested in, to something that nobody wants to watch, and then after several grown men in jerseys yell at her and she turns the game back, it will be over and then a 40-something, balding, fat man wearing a Julian Edelman jersey will throw a barstool halfway across the room.
- Bars are loud
- Half the time they’re not playing the audio from your game
- You have to pay to be there
- Hundreds of women flock to you and ask for your number (maybe this is just a problem I have?)
- You are powerless to change the volume on the TV
- No couches
For all those reasons listed above and more, I hereby and henceforth claim that a sports bar is the absolute worst place to watch a sports game. Why not just do it at home?
Why not? Because you think you can’t. Because you’ve been lied to for years and have been told that streaming live sports isn’t practical, that cutting the cord means cutting off ties to your hometown team, but fear not because I’m here to tell you that ditching cable does not mean ditching sports. Here are some ways to get around it without having to masochistically attend a sports bar where the waitress gives your table away because you were in the bathroom.
Contrary to popular belief, you are 100% able to stream NFL games without cable. DirecTV’s Sunday Ticket package has streaming options for around $55 per month. Sounds expensive? It’s really not. Let’s crunch some numbers real quick: with a liberal assumption that this month has bye weeks where 14 games are played every weekend, that gets you 56 games a month. 56 games for $55? Now I’m no math nerd or algebra genius, but by my best estimation that’s basically a dollar a game. What if you only watch your favorite team? If they get four games in a month, it’s not even $15 a game. Compare that to ticket prices or bar expenses, and you’re saving money every time.
Enough with the football, let’s get into some hoops. Everyone likes watching LeBron ball it up, Steph swish threes, and Lonzo Ball miss free throws, and with NBA League Pass, all these games and more are right at your fingertips. For less than 30 bucks a month, you’ll get access to the entire spectrum of NBA games to stream from your TV, phone, tablet, PC, or even a VR set. Only cheer for the hometown boys? Knock that price down to a cool $17 per month. Getting back to the calculator, teams play about 14 games a month, so if you’re watching your team, it’s a whopping dollar a game. Looking league wide? Thirty-two teams playing 14 games a month at a $28 price tag is far too much math for me, but if I had to guess, you’d probably end up making money. Not a raw deal.
As a dedicated and die-hard Boston Red Sox fan, I can firmly say without a doubt that MLB.tv is 100% worth it. With probably the cheapest plan in sports and the most games played per season, the MLB gets in done in hooking you up. For $90 a year, you get your hometown team’s games, which comes out to basically 50 cents a game. Unbeatable. They also have the single greatest feature I’ve ever encountered: you can turn the announcers’ voices off. It’s perfect. Some of the stuff these guys talk about during the broadcast is absolutely heinous. It’s bad jokes, useless stats, obvious statements, and two guys arguing over the infield fly rule, all while they won’t even talk about that home run Mookie just hit. I can’t stand announcers, and thank the big man upstairs every day that MLB.tv lets me just shut them off.
As the last and most overlooked of the big four sports, the NHL doesn’t get enough credit for having great content. Hockey is by far the most interesting sport to watch because there is almost always action going on, and with the advent of HD televisions, you can actually see where the puck is now. Additionally, you can count hockey as two sports because you get your boxing fix whenever two dudes come up fists flying. For a reasonable $140 a year or $25 a month, you can get this action for the entire league with NHL.tv. There are also single team subscriptions for $110 a year. Considering that you’re actually getting content from two sports when you watch a hockey game, this package pays for itself in no time.
Now, I don’t understand soccer, but that doesn’t mean you don’t love it. The world’s most popular sport has a growing following in the States, and you can be a part of it for only $80 bucks a month. Looking at the ESPN+ site, it seems as though you can get regular season games from every team for only $4.99 a month. Though I am bad at math and don’t know how many soccer games are in a season, even I can tell that this is the deal of a lifetime, and while I’m not a soccer fan, I can tell this deal is a real… home run? Hole in one? Oh, right, it’s a GOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!
Now you may be asking, “what about golf? Tennis? Wrestling? Curling? What about these other sports I watch?” Well, at this point in time we’re almost living in 2018 which sounds very futuristic, and a great part of living in the future is that pretty much everyone’s realizing that streaming is king. Just about any sport you follow and find joy in can be found in an easily streamable form.