A lot has changed in the last 40 years, technologically, hasn’t it? Most would agree. One big change which is evolving are people watching TV on the Internet instead of on the television set. So how do you get TV on the Internet at a rate lower than a Cable, Satellite or Fios provider you ask? Well, it depends on what you are looking for.
Some Internet companies such as Comcast and AT+T you can get ESPN360.com as part of your package and you get a handful of college games for free. Want pro sports? If you go to the web sites of the respective pro leagues you can get a monthly package rate for a fraction of the price online as you can through a real satellite provider. Let’s choose Major League Baseball as an example. For this upcoming season, according to the MLB.com web site you can get the MLB TV package online for $99.99 $119.99. Plus that also includes Spring Training games which is something you would not get with TV companies due to contracts and big money. So what is the difference in the price you ask? For an extra $20 a month you can get DVR features, have your choice of which team’s broadcast you want and you can also get the game in split screen. Now let’s compare this to some of the Cable and Satellite operators.
While they have not come out with prices for the up coming season or has yet to post on their web sites anyways, prices last year went around $160 with DISH Network and DirecTV. One advantage to DirecTV’s Major League Baseball package is it does have a mix channel where you can watch up to eight games at once or you can manually choose any one of the eight games being shown on the mix channel at the moment. However, the main downside to the MLB package is the blackout rules. If you live in your home team’s area the game is going to be blacked out if the game is not sold out 72 hours in advance. In addition there also may be additional blackout rules where major networks have bought rights have been bought by another station and are therefore blacked out in your area. According to it’s web site, DISH Network is not carrying MLB Extra Innings this year.
Cable also has their own version of MLB Extra Innings called InDemand. The suggested retail price for the InDemand price is $199, according to the InDemand web site but the prices by the individual cable companies have yet to be determined. If you choose to go that route the blackout restrictions still apply.
The next good example of getting cheaper Internet TV service is NBA League Pass. However, one advantage to having League Pass through the Cable and Satellite Operators is you can watch games online for free. If you just want the Internet games without the TV you can get it for the half season price at $49.95 if you choose seven teams or if you decide you want the package for all your teams it’s $79.95 according to the League Pass web site.
If you look at the prices of Cable and Satellite Operators, with DirecTV you can get it for $99.96 and you have to get all 32 teams, there are no options just to choose certain teams.DISH Network’s is pretty much the same price and with Comcast. With all cable operators certain blackout rules do apply. The last version offered of NBA League Pass is the mobile version which you can get if you own an Android phone with Verizon. The half season price on that for this year is $19.99, which is significantly cheaper than all other versions.
Sports is not the only venue where certain programming is offered online. All of the major networks, local and national put their most popular programming online. If you are not a fan of any specific network and you are not looking for sports you can also go to Hulu.com where you can access thousands of shows for free. Hulu.com has it’s channels neatly broken into categories so you can watch whatever it is you want at anytime, yet another advantage over satellite and cable. The only thing Cable and Satellite operators have to compete with that is On Demand and DVR’s which cable does and some satellite operators do but do not do well since the signal to the satellite only travels in one direction. But even with DVR’s you have to wait for it to be on before you can record it.
If there are certain shows you are trying to get on major networks, most networks will broadcast their main shows as well. For example, if you go to the web site of MSNBC at the top of their web site their is a link to all the major news shows they broadcast throughout the day. A simple click and you can watch the shows whenever you want. If you go to the web site of Fox News you can do the same thing. This theme repeats with every single major and national network. The upside is you don’t have to wait for it to come on or shell out extra money for DVR service. It’s right there whenever you want to watch it. Another good example of Internet TV service has been the Olympics going on right now at NBColympics.com where it will show you the Olympics video coverage and in their words you can even relive the opening ceremony. The best part? It is all on the web site for no charge.
After all, isn’t it clear that Internet TV is the way of the future and a cheaper way of doing business than satellite and cable TV? Like it or not, everything in the future is going toward all that technological stuff.