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Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant show how cable could die by a thousand cuts

Updated Apr 1st, 2013 1:23PM EDT
Cable Cord Cutting Analysis

Survey after survey shows that America’s major cable companies are among the least-liked businesses in the United States, but The Houston Chronicle’s Dwight Silverman sees hope for everyone out there who wants to watch top-notch programming without overpaying for cable television. Silverman notes that once Comcast (CMCSA) boosted his speeds for Internet service, he found that he could more easily rely on third-party over-the-top providers such as Netflix (NFLX), Hulu Plus and Amazon (AMZN) Instant Video to get his television fix for a fraction of what he was paying for his AT&T (T) U-Verse television service. 

Silverman found that paying only for the shows that he regularly watches over assorted third-party content providers would cost him $402 per year versus the $1,620 he’s paying each year for U-Verse. Silverman concludes that he plans on relying on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon for a week and “if all goes well, I’ll give U-verse a call next week and tell them we’re terminating service.”

This approach won’t work for everyone, however: Silverman concedes that he doesn’t watch a lot of sports and thus won’t miss ESPN or any of his local sports programming. And of course, this approach still leaves television fans no way to watch HBO shows since the channel remains frustratingly locked down for non-cable subscribers. All the same, if you’re not a sports fan and aren’t addicted to Game of Thrones, Silverman’s experiment in cord-cutting is an intriguing approach.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.