Live TV arrived online this year, and it’s going to cost you.
The introduction of the first, legitimate Web-based television services happened in 2015. These new options stream live television channels. They include Sling TV from Dish Network and Vue on Sony’s PlayStation game console. These services are meant to be the final nudge that disgruntled pay-TV customers need to cut the cord.
But “cord-cutter” is a misnomer. A consumer who kills off a cable or satellite subscription in favor of online alternatives still needs a cord to the Internet. Combine the price of connectivity with subscription fees for online video services, and the total tab quickly vaults over the average cost of pay-TV. Breaking down prices of online options shows that those reviled cable and satellite companies still tend to provide more bang for each buck.
The average monthly cost for a standalone broadband Internet plan in the US was $69 in 2013, according to the Federal Communications Commission’s latest report this year. That’s within spitting distance of the average price for a “double play” plan that includes Internet and pay-TV. On average, US households paid $85.20 for both TV and connectivity in 2013, the FCC said.