Daughter complains that we cut satellite TV while briefly looking up from iPhone

Estimated read time: 4 minutes

Stories that happen around us impact other stories, events and decisions. My decision to cut satellite TV from the laundry list of bills falls into this category. Let’s take it day by day…

On a Thursday in January 2015, my satellite provider decided to drop the local ABC affiliate from its lineup. They were debating over money. People on my Facebook feed were discussing the news, too.

That prompted me to think about this a bit more:

Do I care? Why do I care at all? I sometimes watch the news on TV. Sometimes.

My first reaction was to post this to social media:

“Honestly, I get most of my news online.”

That prompted people to remind me that ABC has more than local news. OK, fair enough.

I don’t watch “The Bachelor” – even though he’s from Iowa – but I do watch Shark Tank.  I like Jimmy Kimmel once in a while. And I hardly watch anything on live TV. Generation DVR, I suppose.

I love sports – especially football – so I kind of watch that. Honestly, most of the time, I have it on in the background and watch some of it, while playing around on Twitter, Facebook or getting some other work done.

Sometimes, I would know that something happened in the game I was “watching” when I would see somebody mention it on Twitter. I could then rewind to watch it on TV. Sounds like I was taking advantage of the TV stream. 🙂


Then on Friday morning, I received an email from my satellite provider for $180 for the monthly bill. Wowser.

It’s been at that amount for a few months. Yes, some of this is due to sports programming, but even when you take that out it’s still over $100 per month. Right there, that’s over $1,300 a year. Thirteen hundred dollars. Wow.

So, in prior months I barely paid attention. My wife paid the bill. What I watch on TV wasn’t on the top of my mind. But with yesterday’s events, it was, and $180 is a good chunk of change.

Needless to say, the bill came at the perfect time for me and at an unfortunate time for my satellite provider. Snap judgments might not lead to the right decision. so instead of cancelling right then, I decided to discuss this with my social networks. I asked for opinions on Facebook and Twitter.

A few dozen comments were left on Facebook. Some offered alternatives, ways to lower my bill and some reminded me that I like sports.

All good things to consider. Later Friday night we discussed it at home and decided to lower our bill. So, I called and they offered to lower it all the way down to $29/month without sports and most news channels. I was going to go with it until I learned that it wasn’t high-def. At that point we decided to completely cancel the account.

What did my seven-year-old have to say about it?

She looked up briefly from the iPhone to complain. Exactly.

Signed up for Netflix
We did sign up for Netflix, which is about $9 a month.


Day 1 without satellite TV went by quickly. I watched some TV at the gym while doing some cardio. Now there’s a reason to go to the gym! At home, I was able to take a nap and it’s so nice and quiet – even when the kids are around. The $100-plus I paid per month for background noise is now being saved.

Later Saturday, we did decide to get Netflix, but that’s about $9 per month – so much better.

Amazon Prime ($100/year – also includes free shipping for Amazon orders) also offers some shows for free or at per episode rates. That’s how I watched Shark Tank, which cost me $1.99 for one episode.

In addition, I had an unused HD antenna that is now synced up and allows me to watch local channels over-the-air.

This personal series of events is a great reminder that the timing of release times of stories and customer touch points can be crucial. Unfortunately, for the brands, the timing can’t always – if ever – be perfectly controlled.