Cord Cutting’s not for everyone

Here’s a story based in my interactions with a customer a few months ago. I spoke to a lady who really wants to cut the cord. Fixed income, it would seem, and just couldn’t pull off a $100/month bill for satellite TV. She wanted my advice on how to reduce that bill.

I asked her what sort of programs she watched. “That’s the thing,” she said. “I really only watch one channel.” Generally when I hear that I know the person is a good candidate for cord cutting. Except, not this time.

She was a displaced fan.

You’ve heard the term. A displaced fan is someone who lives in one city but roots for a team in another. In this case, this Detroiter rooted for the Baltimore Orioles, and the one channel she watched was MASN, home of all the Orioles games. And that was the problem.

I explained how she could get MLB.TV and watch games that way. It would be a lot less expensive than a satellite subscription. She explains that she watches MASN all year round, not just when games are on. She likes the lifestyle programming and all the other things MASN brings to the table.

And that’s the problem.

See, as I said in the title, cord-cutting’s not for everyone. There’s a reason that DIRECTV Satellite is more expensive than other options. It’s because it offers choices that cord-cutting services won’t offer. And if one of those services, like the ability to get a regional sports network from out of state, is important to you, then you really need to stay with DIRECTV Satellite.

She asked me why she couldn’t just buy MASN separately. I said, they just don’t do that. Even if they did it would probably be more than $100/month to buy it straight from them. She asked why MASN didn’t have an app like other regional sports networks. I guess I don’t know the answer to that. I can say that even if they did, you’d have to log in with a provider account.

People forget the magic of provider accounts.

There are literally dozens of apps you can use to get live TV streaming for free. HBO GO, ABC, HGTV… all the major stations have one. (I guess MASN isn’t a major station by that measure. Sorry.) All of these provider apps would seem to be a great value for cord cutters but there’s just one problem. They only work if you have a pay-TV provider. There are a few standalones, like HBO NOW and STARZ but for the most part you can’t get live TV from these apps unless you sign in with your account information, the information you can only get if you actually have pay TV.

Sure you could steal someone else’s password but eventually you would be found out. So, using provider accounts, while it seems magical, is a bad choice for cord-cutters.

It’s ok to stay where you are.

There’s a reason that people love DIRECTV Satellite. It’s people like this lady who really prove how valuable it is. Plain and simple there is a lot of programming that you won’t find anywhere else. I do feel bad for this lady who is essentially paying $100 a month to get one channel, but on the other hand, how cool is it that the channel is available! That’s what DIRECTV Satellite brings to the table.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 9,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.