The current average monthly cost of cable TV is around $78, with fees ranging anywhere from $19.95 for a promotional deal to well into the hundreds of dollars when those promotional deals run out. However, you can find everything from network news to primetime shows to cable programming itself online today. Check out Hulu.com, iTunes, and Amazon.net for what’s available for free, or additional programs and even movies for a fee of $7 or $8 a month. In addition, while online streaming TV isn’t exactly commercial free, most of the time the commercials last no longer than 30 seconds, they’re only on at the very beginning of the show, only rarely in the middle. Finally, if you really want to stick with your cable bill, most cable operators don’t advertise this, but there’s a federal law which requires them to allow consumers to tack on one or two premium channels to that most basic cable package for about $17 a month. Generally a cable company will try to get you to jump to a higher level “premium cable package” that costs three times as much in order to get that one channel you really want. Savvy consumers need to be ready to spend a little time on the phone, and some patience to really get the best deals!
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