Happy Friday Cord Cutters!
This week we're talking about how a contract dispute over local broadcast TV may cause more consumers to cut the cord on pay-TV.
Also: Q&A on cord-cutting for country dwellers, short cuts, 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: Nexstar vs. AT&T/DirecTV Retransmission Fight May Grow
UVerse, DirecTV, and DirecTV NOW customers across the country have been caught in the crosshairs of a contract dispute between Nexstar and the TV services' parent company AT&T.
In early July, more than 120 local ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and CW stations were blacked out for customers when the two companies could not reach an agreement. Tonight, another 17 CBS stations could disappear from channel lineups.
The fight stems from something called retransmission consent fees, which are costs paid by TV providers like DirecTV to rebroadcast local TV content from operators like Nexstar.
AT&T is claiming that Nexstar is asking too much their content, despite the fact that broadcast TV features 97 of the top 100 most-watched shows and DirecTV NOW's growth over competitors like Sling TV has been built on the availability of that content.
Nexstar is complaining that AT&T is prioritizing its own content and requesting 'unreasonable and extreme terms'.
But as Variety writer Janko Roettgers noted on Twitter, this blackout — like others before — could be a boon for antenna manufacturers, as consumers discover they can circumvent the blackout and watch their favorite local shows for free:
Do you know someone who's cutting the cord because of this dispute? Are you ditching DirecTV NOW in favor of other streaming options and antenna TV? Tell us on Twitter or Facebook.
Q&A: My Internet Is too Slow for Streaming, Can I Still Cut the Cord?
Send us your most pressing cord cutting questions via email so we can answer them in an upcoming issue.
Today's question comes from Karen who says, "I live in the country and my only internet option is super slow. Can I still cut the cord?"
Rural consumers are often relegated to painfully slow and relatively expensive internet packages, with low data caps. Unless you love watching the buffering spinning circle of death, this can certainly put a damper on streaming-focused cord-cutting plans. But as long as you're willing to make some sacrifices, you can still escape the clutches of pay-TV.
Here are some cord-cutting options to consider:
- Over-the-Air TV
You might need to spend a bit more on a good quality outdoor antenna, but the best way for rural folks to watch live TV without cable or a streaming subscription is still free Over-the-Air TV! (Although if you want to record antenna content, most OTA DVRs will still use a small amount of external internet to download program guides, but super-fast speeds are not required.)
- Netflix DVD Subscription
2.4 million people still use Netlfix's DVD-by-mail program. If your internet is too slow for streaming or is limited by a super-low datacap, this is a great way to watch your favorite movies and TV shows. Redbox and your local library are also excellent sources for entertainment on DVD.
- Download Now, Watch Later
Alternatively, if you have access to high-speed internet at work, at a friend's house, or the local library, you can use the 'download for offline viewing' option from services like Netflix, iTunes, Vudu, and others to grab content to watch at home later. Just make sure the folks you're borrowing bandwidth from are OK with it first!
One last note... Even if you have fast internet at home, some of the tips above are handy for those planning to hit the cottage or go RVing this summer. Enjoy!
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!
SHORT CUTS: Remote Options & Alternatives, Post-Prime 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:
WHAT'S ON: Must-See OTA TV
As always, there's lots great TV coming to you FREE with an antenna this week including:
- Golf enthusiasts can check out third and final round action in the 2019 Open Championship - July 20th & 21st @ 7:00 a.m. ET on NBC/CTV (Planning to watch later via Roku? Read this first!)
- Enjoy the miniseries Ancient Skies - July 24 @ 8:00 p.m. ET on PBS
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: Catch Free MLB Games on YouTube
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!