Happy Friday Cord Cutters!
This week we're talking about Disney+ and why this new streaming service is being called a hit before it even launches.
Also: Q&A on why streaming TV packages make you pay for local channels, short cuts, new on Netflix, must-see OTA TV, and more.
As always, if you know of someone who might need some insight or help with cutting the cord on cable or satellite, please forward our newsletter, or use the handy share buttons at the top of this email.
OK... now let's get to it!
NEWS: Everything Cord Cutters Need to Know About Disney+
Q&A: Why Are Streaming Services Allowed to Charge for Locals?
Send us your most pressing cord cutting questions via email so we can answer them in an upcoming issue.
Today's question comes from Rick who says, "Why are streaming services (Playstation Vue) allowed to charge for FREE channels that I receive Over-the-Air? They keep raising rates citing costs and the additional channels (mostly OTA) provided."
Have a question about cord cutting that you'd like answered? Send us a note and you may see your question in an upcoming issue of Cord Cutting This Week!
The reasons are complicated, but basically, there's no rule preventing PlayStation Vue from charging for locals, and they almost have to because of how the TV economy operates.
That's because in 1992, a US federal law came into effect which made it mandatory for cable companies to carry local networks in their 'basic tier'. Local stations could, however, opt-out of the 'must carry' rule and instead require cable operators to get written permission for their content instead. This is known as 'retransmission consent', and includes a provision for local broadcasters to charge a small fee to cable companies for their programming. Almost all stations operate under this model today.
That means cable operators are basically stuck paying these fees which have risen 600% since 2006. There's no rule preventing them from passing those costs along to consumers, so to remain profitable, they do.
Some streaming providers like Sling TV, Philo, and now Frndly TV have chosen to exclude local channels from their bundles to avoid this problem, something traditional cable companies cannot do.
Streaming providers who still chose to carry locals like Playstation Vue, AT&T TV NOW, and YouTube TV, incur the same costs for that content as their traditional cable TV competitors, which is on average $11 per month per subscriber. Guess who's gonna pay for it? You.
The only way for consumers to avoid being sucked into this convoluted set of kickbacks and blackouts is to ditch pay-TV packages that include local channels, and use an Over-the-Air TV antenna instead.
SHORT CUTS: Roku Power User Tips, Deals & More
Most weeks there's more news than we can cram into this email. Thankfully 'short cuts' delivers the cord-cutting news and deals we didn't have room for, including:
STREAMING: What's New on Netflix
Alongside all of the free TV you can watch with an antenna, check out our picks for great shows and movies on Netflix for you to enjoy in September:
See the full list of new Netflix shows in the US and in Canada.
- Check out American Psycho or 300 if you're in the mood for an intense flick.
- Feel like something funnier? Try the classics Superbad or Stripes.
- Looking for a chick flick? There's Eat Pray Love or The Lake House.
- You can also check out the new Between Two Ferns movie, season 1 of the documentary Surviving R. Kelly, or the second installment of the animated show Disenchantment from the creator of The Simpsons
- Canadians can also enjoy Dirty Dancing, IT, Casino, Scarface, and Pitch Perfect 1 & 2
WHAT'S ON: Must-See OTA TV
As always, there's lots great TV coming to you FREE with an antenna this week including:
- Enjoy a new season of NCAA College Football - August 31st @ 12:00 p.m. ET on ABC & FOX
- See a preview of new and returning shows in the 2019 Fox Fall Preview special - September 1st @ 12:00 p.m. ET on FOX
- Get a sneak peek at new shows and returning favorites on ABC's Fall Preview Special - September 1st @ 7:00 p.m. ET on ABC
Don't forget to regularly check the TV SHOWS > PREMIERING filter on your Tablo app to find and set new and old favorites to record!
CANADIAN CORNER: Save $20 on Antennas Direct Clearstream 2MAX
Canadians can also get a sweet deal on one of the most popular outdoor antennas on the market!
The Antennas Direct Clearstream 2MAX is $20 off through September 5th at Best Buy Canada.
Now's the time to get your antenna mounted because the 's-word' will be here before you know it.
We hope you enjoyed this edition of Cord Cutting This Week!
If you know someone who may be interested in cutting the cord on cable or satellite, please feel free to forward this newsletter to them or use the handy share buttons at the top of this email. Make sure to ask them to sign up as well!