Many southeast Texans said they are dropping cable and satellite for video streaming services because of high costs, too many commercials and convenience.
“When I got away from cable my bill was almost $200,” Jason Rufus said. “I didn't watch half the channels that were on it, versus Netflix where I pay $8.99 a month and I get to watch what I want to.”
Rufus is one of thousands of Southeast Texans who watch TV daily, except he gets his programming from companies other than cable.
Business Insider reports there are 49.1 million cable subscribers in the nation. That’s 1.5 million fewer subscribers than in 2014.
Many of those dumping cable are now paying for streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu.
Netflix has 40 million subscribers or 36 percent of all streaming service subscriptions.
But even without cable, Rufus can still watch his favorite team – The Dallas Cowboys.
Lamar student Johnny Lively can support his favorite teams without breaking the bank as well.
“Now they have the college football on some satellite packages and it's almost $200 a year and it's really expensive,” Lively said. “Now, I'm using this free app by college football and as long as you have internet you can watch any game live.”
But Lively also loves his movies and shows, which he also gets at a much cheaper price.
The monthly bill for his Amazon Prime and Netflix account are $8.99 each and Hulu is $7.99 per month.
Combined, it’s much cheaper than the nearly $200 a month he used to pay for cable and satellite.
Chelsea Manack, gets to watch her favorite programming for even less than that.
“To be honest, I use my family accounts, were all on the same thing so we're saving money packaging that way,” Manak said.
In addition to costs, commercials are driving customers away.
“I will say cutting the cord has been great on how much time I have gained now,” Lively said. “I'm not sitting on the couch as much.”
That’s because he no longer has to wait or fast forward through commercials.
But as a former weather man for Lamer University’s LUTV, Johnny knows the importance of keeping up with local and national news.
He said that task is much harder without the east of cable or satellite but he finds ways to stay informed with what’s going on in the community.
“I got to watch all the debates on Twitter and Facebook live, so you don't even need cable for that,” Lively said.
But for people like Manak who work two jobs and are hardly home, she likes the convenience of watching her favorite shows when she has time.
“If I just want to lay in bed with my MacBook or iPad I can do that,” the Lumberton woman said. “Being able to watch and be done with it is very convenient.”
“With every show running on the top of the hour every 30 minutes, everyone's lifestyle is different,” Rufus said. “Everyone's life isn't fixed on 30 minute intervals.”
And as most parents know, keeping kids entertained can be a handful.
“(Kids) don't just have to watch what Nickelodeon has on at that time,” Rufus said. “They can watch a certain show that usually comes on the Disney channel when they come home after school.
(© 2017 KBMT)