Putting the “E” back into ESPN

A faithful reader sent me a link to another story about last week’s layoffs at Mickey’s World.  You can argue about the underlying economics and the impact of ESPN’s perceived grasp of liberal politics all you want, but what’s more interesting to me is that the axe fell on the journalism side of the operation, rather than the personality side… which tells me all I need to know about where the WWL intends to go to keep the non-cord cutters tuning in.

From my selfish standpoint, it’s even more reason not to watch.  I probably need to investigate cord-cutting myself.  Who’s taken that step, and how are you still able to watch college (that is, Georgia) football in the fall?  Let me know in the comments.

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109 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil

109 responses to “Putting the “E” back into ESPN

  1. SemperFiDawg

    I havent watched ESPN since 07. Haven’t had cable since 2009-10. I have an antennae which pulls in the Big 4. Otherwise I listen to it on the radio. I can honestly say I enjoy listening to it on the radio as much or better than watching it. There’s also something I find nostalgic about it. I can do anything that needs doing around the house/yard and not miss a single play and the bonus is if they lose I haven’t wasted 4 hours
    of my life on a couch. I realize most are not going to find this appealing, but for me it’s fine.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. David K

    Cut my tv cord this winter. Haven’t made it through a Fall yet. Never watched ESPN outside of football games anyways. Missing Fargo and Better Call Saul is tough but I can buy those individually through iTunes if I want. Doesn’t help for live games obviously. Not sure how football season will go but my Comcast bill is $100 cheaper per month.

    Like

  3. AthensPacker

    I use Playstion Vue. It’s $35 a month, and I can watch pretty much every channel I want.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Does it have some sort of DVR capabilities?

      Like

      • It has a version, but it’s not as robust, obviously. Do a control F search for DVR for more info on the link below. I’ve had PSVue since last September and love it.

        https://www.playstation.com/en-us/network/vue/faq/

        Liked by 1 person

      • Allen Edwards

        Parrish is right. I was initially drawn to it because of the DVR feature and the ability to stream from multiple devices. But the DVR is really more like having “on demand” from your cable provider. Sometimes you can fast-forward through shows and other times you have to watch with “limited commercial interruption.”

        I also had issues trying to use it on my iPad. They only allow you to watch the service in your set service location, so you can’t stream from your phone or iPad if you leave your house. And if you take your device with you, the service is sometimes blocked when you return. I tried to use the Chromecast I’ve had for a few years and cast from my iPad, but had to buy a Roku for my bedroom television. Smart TVs have always worked perfectly, however.

        It’s worth the free offer to see if it works for you.

        Like

  4. JH

    Cutting the cord has been great. To watch SEC games, we set up a digital antenna, which brings in the major networks in HD (for free). It can be hard to find those channels, depending on your location, etc. We also sign up for Sling TV on our Roku/internet/whatever. It’s a $25/month to month contract. You can quit whenever you want…like last year, I quit after we lost to Tech.

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    • Normaltown Mike

      Thank you! I just got ROKU so the wife could watch her netflix stuff but didn’t know I could get some sports on there.

      Like

      • AlphaDawg

        So you pay for internet only through your local provider then that fee to Roku?

        Like

        • Normaltown Mike

          Roku was a one-time purchase but allowed me to connect my tv (via wifi) to netflix, amazon and some free stuff too.

          Like

        • JH

          roku is a small box system that you pay for once. By small I mean very small. It has thousands of channels – many free, some you have to pay for – that you can download. These are things like Netflix, Hulu, amazon prime, and Sling tv. It’s a month to month contract with no penalties for cancelling. Basic package comes with ESPN, but $5 more gives you 10 or so more sports channels, including sec network.

          Also, Sling sometimes has deals that give you a roku stick if you prepay for three months. Happens a lot around college football season for some odd reason…

          Like

  5. saildawg

    Live sports is the only reason I have kept cable. I did spend 2015 season without cable and did the following. For UGA, can watch all games on espn app (if you know someone with a cable/satelite subscription), CBS has online streaming SEC game of the week for free (at least they did in 2015).
    For the Falcons, you would need a digital antennae for fox/cbs/nbc. NBC also lets you stream Sunday night football for free. My biggest problem is that I would need a monster antennae to get ATL stations from Athens, and my wife wont allow those asthetics on our house. Is anyone using an antennae in Athens to get CBS/FOX/NBC/ABC?

    Like

    • Borodawg

      Try an antenna booster. Also, if you can’t put the antenna outside try installing it in the attic (ie get it as high as possible).
      Go to antennaweb.org, enter your address and it will show what channels you can get from your location and where the antenna needs to point to pick up a station. Also google HD2605 antenna, a little pricey but works great.

      Like

      • saildawg

        Thanks, I am goint to try an attic mounted one. No luck with antennaweb, but tvfool gives me a little hope.

        Like

    • Allen Edwards

      Check out the Mohu Sky 60. I bought one six months ago and love it. It can be mounted in your attic, unless you have a metal roof.

      Like

      • saildawg

        Of course I do have a metal roof. May not be much hope for me, still going to try I guess

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        • AthensPacker

          I have a metal roof and a wife who is super conscientious about how our house looks. We mounted ours on the tallest eave on the side opposite our driveway, and it hasn’t bothered her too much. It’s definitely an improvement over the gigantic metal antennae of years past.

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  6. Timphd

    Living in Maine, I have basically felt forced to keep cable to be able to watch my favorite sports, mostly UGA football and college football in general. The local CBS affiliate only this past year started carrying the CBS game of the week instead of showing old hideous chick flicks. And with so many UGA games on the SEC network or ESPN2 lately, I have had no other choice. If any of you know of alternatives that allow me to watch the SEC and especially the Dawgs, let me know. My cable bill is outrageous at this time.

    Like

  7. Cut the cord several years ago. During football season, I sign up for Sling TV and add the sports package, about $30 a month total. You can use your Sling login to login to the WatchESPN app, which is what I do because I like the interface there better than the Sling TV app. Once football season is over, I disconnect Sling TV again. It’s worked out well. A good digital antenna will pick up all the broadcast channels – I recommend using one of the Mohu Leaf antennas, they have several options and great customer service to help you decide which option is best for you.

    Like

    • Oh and I have a roku on one tv and a chromecast on the other. There’s so much great programming now on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon that I don’t miss watching “regular” tv at all. Roku and Chromecast are both great. Biggest difference is that you can’t watch Amazon stuff on a Chromecast, as Google and Amazon are competitors in that arena. I watch more Netflix and Hulu than Amazon, but some people love the original programming on Amazon.

      Like

    • Dante

      This is exactly what I also do with Sling. $25/month and cancel after the season. Using the ESPN App is nice but what’s even nicer is that you can switch to the Sling app if the ESPN app starts to act up (which it did a few times last year). As far as cord-cutting in general, I maintain a Netflix membership and rotate for everything else. Sling gets college football season. After that I jump around to Hulu, HBO, Starz, etc. to watch the shows I want to see, never keeping my subscription active on more than one of those at a time. And this is why I think ESPN is resisting an a la carte option. How many people are really going to keep ESPN year round if they don’t follow all of the sports?

      Like

  8. I cut my cable a few months ago. I used the 1 week trial for the SlingTV app on my Amazon Firestick to watch the UGA spring game. They have a sports package that includes ESPN and the SEC Network. It worked great. I plan on turning it back on when the season starts. Right now it is $25 a month ( 20 for basic, 5 for sports). I get CBS through a new antenna I hung outside. The one I am going to miss is GPTV in the fall for Friday night games. I cant pick them up with my antenna.

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    • Borodawg

      Do you have a signal booster? If not I would recommend buying one. Also, this is an excellent antenna http://antennadeals.com/HD2605.html. It will pick up signals from 150 miles.

      Like

      • I plan on doing something different but have not decided yet. I put up a cheap $40 yagi that works great except that since it is a yagi, it is directional. Every network is to my northeast except GPTV which is to my southwest. Plus I have trees.

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    • Captain Obvious

      No worries, my Colquitt County Packers are going to win it all anyway. I’ll keep you updated on the bball type scores we put on everyone.

      Like

  9. Russ

    Did Beth Mowins survive the cuts? If so, then Georgia football is safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Former Fan

    I cut the cord this year. Went with Playstation Vue. Lots of games are still available at a lot lower pricing. And if I want to watch a game I can’t get, then I will either watch it online, or go to the local sports eating joint. Of course, there’s always the radio.

    Like

  11. Macallanlover

    “perceived grasp of liberal politics”, now that is funny right there.

    I also only watch the WWL for CFB games, and the first two days of The Masters, and US Open, but I would rather pay the extra cable money than work through the other options at this point. Other than sports and live news, I don’t need cable or satellite, everything else is watched off DVR with little wasted time for commercials so I am close to being able to cut the cord. Just waiting for it to simplify and others to find the best method. I have had cable since 1970, until the last five years when I went to DirectTV I like them and the convenience/simplicity just fine but the constant increases are annoying since I only watch about 30 channels anyway. Someone let me know when it all gets figured out, until then I am not cutting back on the ease of watching CFB.

    Like

    • “perceived grasp of liberal politics”, now that is funny right there.

      Glad you’re amused. Since I don’t watch anything on ESPN other than CFB, it’s hard for me to judge. Perhaps you can suggest a better turn of phrase.

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      • ASEF

        Funny how people insist on thinking media companies throw away money in order to pursue “agendas.”

        Media companies have 2 rules:
        1. Don’t drive away advertisers.
        2. Maximize eyeballs, so long as you don’t break Rule 1.

        It’s pure capitalism when it comes to content production.

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        • 81Dog

          If ESPN is engaging in pure capitalism in programming, they’re doing it wrong. Their business model is collapsing, they’re making billions (with a B) less than they were 5 years ago (still making money, just not as much. A bad trend, it seems). It remains to be seen whether going back to their “core competency” will save them, or if they think going the way of MTV (less actual sports, more mouthy, controversial “personalities”) is the way to stop the bleeding.

          Cutting lose the actual journalists to keep the mouthy hot takers is kind of clue. Sorta like newspapers were doing 10 or so years ago. Anyone remember how that worked out for them?

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          • 81Dog

            ugh, “loose” not “lose.” That’s usually a mistake that gets made in the other direction.

            Like

          • ASEF

            Worked brilliantly for Fox News and MSNBC. CNN used to be a news operation, with all of the overhead that entailed. Fox and MSNBC beat CNN’s ratings with a fraction of the resources.

            Capitalism usually sees companies that got big with a winning formula hit a point where they have to change the formula. That’s when your institutional knowledge, formerly a strength, becomes somewhat a liability. It’s a make or break moment for a lot of companies.

            IBM used to the butt of a lot of jokes. They’re doing well again. Anyone remember New Coke?

            What’s going on at ESPN is nothing new under the sun.

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            • Dawg19

              ASEF, I disagree that ESPN is anything like what happened with New Coke. That decision by Coca-Cola is generally regarded as the worst marketing decision of all time. Coke was able to make a comeback because they had the secret formula (7x) that its consumers craved and wanted back. ESPN doesn’t have a secret formula (at least, not anymore). ESPN is the modern day version of The Roman Empire. They got too big and have slowly been picked apart because of their vanity. Unlike Coke, they will never be what they once were.

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              • ASEF

                When New Coke hit, Pepsi was on the come and Coca-Cola was the big, dumb dinosaur who could not adapt to Pepsi’s hip new marketing. Your daddy’s Cola. New Coke was a bit of a panic reaction on that front.

                Yes, Coca-Cola survived and then thrived – but not because it’s age-old formula won out. They expanded into bottled waters and teas and sports drinks and all of the other beverage choices that were eroding Coca-Cola profit margins by buying out any drink company with growth. Problem solved.

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                • Dawg19

                  Yes, but the original formula is still the main engine. Nobody else has it and never will. They just have to make sure not to kill the golden goose. ESPN doesn’t have that luxury.

                  Like

        • Normaltown Mike

          I agree in principal, but I find it funny that journalist love to wax poetic about the 4th estate holding up the pillars of a free society but when you wade through the knee deep smug, they are no different than the WWE in wanting to keep eyeballs on product.

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          • ASEF

            Yes. I love it when newsies go up into the attic and dust off the old suits from the days when news was a loss leader and public service – usually to justify/deflect from whatever dumb-ass mistakes they just made chasing clicks.

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          • 81Dog

            the suits consider “journalism” simply a bridge for ads, which is where the revenue comes from. Soon as “journalism” starts losing money, or as soon as cutting it is more profitable, buh buy “journalists.” The ones who seem to have survived the collapse of the newspaper industry seem to be the snarky hot take people. I guess ESPN is following the same path. People tune in to “conflict,” so rub two dopes together and BAM, RATINGS!

            Like

        • sniffer

          ….which begs the question. Was putting Mike and Jemele on at 6pm eastern a business or “agenda” decision? ‘Cause I can’t see a rationale either way.

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          • ASEF

            Media companies have been throwing crap against the walls for years to see what sticks. Sit-coms, dramas, talk shows, game shows, variety shows, you name it. Why is putting two talkers on at a time when no one’s tuning in to watch highlights anymore bother people so much? An “agenda” would be keeping them on the air even if they can’t build an audience. Which isn’t going to happen. Those two are taking their shot. If they miss: “Next!”

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            • sniffer

              Why is putting two talkers on at a time when no one’s tuning in to watch highlights anymore bother people so much?

              Doesn’t bother me at all. I wouldn’t watch if Huntley and Brinkley were doing the show. My point was that these two are pundits, not reporters. Dan Patrick or Stewart Scott, they are most certainly not.

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      • Snoop Dawgy Dawg

        I don’t watch ESPN much these days outside of live broadcasts and the college football final at 7AM on sunday mornings to see the highlights I couldn’t stay up for the night before.

        I do see ESPN on the treadmill at lunch every day. I think they have a different time slot now, but for a while, 12-1230 was jemele hill and michael smith as the anchors of a talk show style show. they had bits like “jaywalking”, music impresarios, producers, talked about pop culture and movie releases. they occasionally would reference a sports event and it’s cultural context. it was the noon slot for sportscenter and the show was only nominally about sports.

        That… is why I don’t watch ESPN any more outside of live contests. Probably many more like me. The network’s embrace of liberal social values as the only values is only more onerous on someone like me that goes to sports as an escape valve from work, life, and political stresses. These are people who can barely put sentences together intelligently. I don’t care about their thoughts on grave matters of national interest.

        I think cord cutting is issue #1. That they’ve embraced entertainment over sports is #2.

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      • Scorpio Jones, III

        I’d like to know who is perceiving ESPN’s liberal bias and how that bias manifests itself on air. Anybody?

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        • You can start here. Some of it strikes me as pretty silly, like the reaction to Kaepernick, but nevertheless, it’s apparently a real perception out there.

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          • Scorpio Jones, III

            Ah yes, Kaepernick, of course. For some folks there is a perception of liberal bias with every breath taken. If you watch/listen to ESPN enough, something will offend you.

            The cost is offensive to me.

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          • ASEF

            “You know, if newspapers had just stayed away from politics 30 years ago, then viewers would never have migrated to TV….” ESPN’s profit margins are shrinking because people are migrating to wireless platforms and niche content providers. The same sort of migrations that killed local newspapers and now threatens the relevance of local TV affiliates like WSB.

            ESPN’s politics are driven by advertisers. ESPN’s position is Coca-Cola’s position. As part of the move towards personalities and opinion over actual information, they have revised their policies to give those figures a little more latitude – which probably means more politics, not less.

            Like

          • 81Dog

            apparently, the perception is shared by noted right winger (she’s a former hockey player) Linda Cohn of ESPN, as quoted in the noted right wing publication, the Washington Post. LC feels at least “some” of the ratings decline is attributable to the political tone at ESPN. But she’s only been working there what, 20 years? I’m sure there are many factors at play, but that seems to at least be one of them, in so far as ESPN’s profitability is concerned.

            https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2017/04/30/politics-definitely-a-percentage-of-espns-problems-linda-cohn-says/?utm_term=.e3d58d193cab

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            • Scorpio Jones, III

              Fake views.

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            • ASEF

              Fox News is losing some viewers because it isn’t conservative enough.

              MSNBC is losing some viewers because it isn’t liberal enough.

              It’s not just a hyper-partisan moment in our history, it’s hyper-political. Some viewers feel ESPN went too far. Some feel they didn’t go far enough.

              But ESPN isn’t reorganizing because it’s milquetoast political statements have kneecapped their ratings.

              It’s a relevant correlation, but not the cause.

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      • Macallanlover

        The humor was from the “perceived” description. I don’t think there was any doubt about it, but I agree with those who feel sports should stay out of the business of politics, regardless of their slant. There is a large divide of pretty equal size groups, a sports based business has a lot to lose, and it doesn’t matter if it is left lean, or right lean

        Like

  12. paul

    I’m a cord cutter. You can get sports through Sling TV and there’s no contract. Buy it for a few months in the fall and winter and shut it down after bowl season. For everything else I use Hulu and Amazon Prime. I hard wired my home so I don’t have to use wireless. This does improve the quality of the picture and generally prevents buffering issues.

    Like

    • Chi-town Dawg

      Paul, how do you get high speed internet? I’m trying to figure out the Sling TV plus Amazon Firestick option, but HIGH speed internet is the issue. Comcast is the only good broadband internet provider in my neighborhood and they still charge an arm and a leg for 100 mbs internet. Most of our house is wired with CAT6, so that helps. Any other thoughts/suggestions are greatly appreciated.

      Like

      • paul

        Yeah, I’m still beholden to Comcast for the high speed internet since I live on a barrier island along the Georgia coast. However, where I used to live, in the ATL, there are at least some other options. Outside of of a major metropolitan area I think you’re still going pay Comcast something. But we still save $60-$75 a month. That adds up. And it helps hasten the day when Comcast has no choice but to unbundle and quit their maddening pricing strategies. I have a relative that works for the Mouse Kingdom. Believe me, they’re laser focused on unbundling. I don’t know why we can’t make the cable monopolies share their networks. We made AT&T share their lines and the gas companies share their pipes. In both cases, the consumer benefited greatly. Just force the cable companies to do the same and things will change dramatically almost overnight.

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        • doofusdawg

          exactly.

          Like

        • Sanford222view

          The cable networks not the cable providers are the ones forcing the bundling of the channels offered. If a cable TV provider wants any of the Disney/ESPN networks they are forced to buy all of them. The network, in this case, even dictates where the channels are located in the lineup/what level of service they are offered in.

          I would be sincerely interested to hear from your relative how Disney/ESPN is focused on unbundling video programming because I have experienced nothing but the opposite when dealing with them. Disney/ESPN is by far the most expensive programming in the industry and has never shown any flexibility in allowing providers to offer anything a la carte to the viewer. Does he/she mean they are focused on doing this directly to the customer via streaming options or adopting a new strategy when selling content to the cable and satellite TV providers?

          Cable providers don’t offer custom video packages or more skinny bundle options because they can’t due to the contracts set by the networks. The cost of programming has sky rocketed over the last ten years and it is due to retransmission consent from local broadcasters and constant rate increases from the cable networks. Cable TV is almost a loss leader at this point for many providers because programming costs account for over 60% of every dollar spent to deliver it in some cases.

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          • doofusdawg

            Comcast offers two packages… the more expensive one is for the sports. That has nothing to do with network bundling.

            The other big question is the growth of providers purchasing their own content. Keep an eye on the AT&T / Time Warner merger.

            Curious to see how these mergers affect the willingness of providers to offer other than organic programming. The government is in the background forcing providers to carry a more broad based bundle of programming to serve the needs of all the people. The providers don’t mind because they can charge more and the government doesn’t mind because they get a percentage of gross as taxes.

            Lots of competing interests for the dollars… not so much for the consumers.

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          • paul

            He tells me at this point all options are still on the table but they see unbundling as necessary and inevitable. The sooner the better. The conversations we’ve had indicate they’re looking at new strategies for selling content to the cable and satellite TV providers. Ultimately, as consumers, you and I will pay more per individual channel but since we’ll only be buying the channels we actually watch, we’ll be spending less money.

            Like

      • Did you build your house and have CAT6 wired during construction or did you bring somebody out to do it later? I’m looking to do the latter in my house I’ve had for a few years and am looking for advice from folks that went through the process.

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        • Try this first before considering retrofitting CAT 6. https://www.netgear.com/home/products/networking/powerline/

          Not as fast as CAT 6 but a hell of a lot cheaper. I’ve been using this for a year now with zero issues, and about half the speed of ethernet.

          Like

        • Chi-town Dawg

          Audit Dawg – we had the CAT 6 wiring retrofitted when we bought the house. We had an electrician do the work, but my stepson is the one with the Tech knowledge, so he literally told the electrician what we wanted. We had several existing avenues for the electrician to run wires up from the basement and thru the attic in order to reach all the rooms, so it was fairly easy for him and an apprentice to do the work. I believe it cost us less than $1,000 including the wire (my wife paid the guy, so I don’t know the exact amount).

          I think our stepson even did some of the wiring himself in the easy the reach places. When he’s home from college in a couple of weeks, I’m going to ask him to take a look at cord cutting options and let me know his thoughts. Good luck with everything!

          Like

          • Thanks for the insight. I’m handy enough with electricity that I can run the wiring myself. I just don’t have the tech knowledge to understand how to design the layout or incorporate switches and platforms. I’ll keep digging,, but it’s in the two year plan for my house.

            Like

      • I have 75 Mbps with Comcast and stream tv trouble free. I have a family of four and we are all using bandwith at the same time every night. I used to have the higher option, I think it was 100 Mbps and did not notice the change when I stepped down.

        Like

  13. Rex

    firstrowsports.eu is free live streaming. I cut the cord years ago and have watched every game. Pop ups are a pill but only come back if you minimize the screen.

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  14. Beave

    I bum off my in-laws Dish Network login information to stream games via the Watch Espn and CBS sports app. I use Chromecast to stream the games on the tv. It doesn’t cost them anything extra nor does it slow anyone’s bandwidth.

    Like

  15. 92 grad

    I’m in the same boat, I use Amazon fire tv, Amazon prime and Netflix, and use sling tv in the fall. I’m hoping that sling improves their service, was a bit clunky last year. The hang up is logging in with a tv provider to watch espn affiliated networks. My local internet provider does not have an espn contract, so I am limited to using Directv or sling. I can’t get cable tv where I’m at, nearest terrestrial tv tower is 70 miles away, so my internet viewing is limited to fringe options. If you’re in a metro area you have several options, even subscribing to internet tv through a cell phone company, like Verizon fios.

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  16. I cut the cord three+ years ago. With Playstation Vue (and Sling and YouTube’s version) you don’t need cable for much these days, however you still need to pay the same companies money for Internet, which I assume will keep going up in price to make up for some of the lost revenue from cord cutters.

    Like

    • That’s one of the amusing things to me when people tell me they’re “cord-cutting”. Sure – you’re killing the cable service, but you still got to pay somebody for that internet service. There’s no true cord-cutting, only re-allocating the dollars to a currently cheaper method of consuming television. Until, as you said, they start raising the prices of internet service to make up lost revenue.

      Like

      • I thought cord-cutting referred to taking a more a la carte approach to the programming you pay for.

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        • Some of the younger millenials I interact with at my job describe cord-cutting as a way to detach themselves from it completely without acknowledging that they’re still paying that corporate behemoth for their ISP.

          I agree with your description, btw.

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        • As an old millennial…

          I chose to cut the cord because my wife and I found we simply weren’t watching TV much due to working and then coming home and hanging w/ and taking care of our kids. So we looked at it as a way to cut costs we simply weren’t using. And we had a nice DirecTV set up, to be honest. In reality we probably only save about $50 or so a month. We’re paying $47/month for TV now (PSVue ($35 and 4k Netflix $12)). Our Internet is fast, but not super cheap ($60/month via Comcast). So we’re above the $100/month range. I bet before we made the switch we were probably paying around $160 or so. Maybe a bit less.

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  17. Normaltown Mike

    I cut the chord in 2009 and for a long time Georgia games became a time to visit parents and grandparents to gather round ye old TV and cheer for the Dawgs. Quaint but was a nice tradition.

    If I’m home and really want to see a game, I watch streamers via wiziwig. They get chased from country to country but seem to always find a place to set up shop. If you’re going to try wiziwig, I’d recommend trying out a game you don’t care about to learn how to click through all the garbage correctly to get to your game.

    Like

  18. WarD Eagle

    We have Sling, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Broadcast.

    I turn the Sling sports option on for football season and off the rest of the year. I get all the Auburn games and assume you’ll get all the UGA games. I’m probably ahead $15,000 by not having season tix.

    Like

  19. PTCDAWG

    Good look syncing up two-three TV’s to the same game streaming….I keep cable for the convenience and super internet access.

    Like

    • As we’ve gotten more time to watch, I think the convenience side of the equation is a strong one. We don’t miss anything we want to watch, but the ease of simply turning on the TV and having what you want holds appeal. I would probably get a cable/sat hook up again if it were 100% my call, but I’m not tied to it enough to press my wife on it as she loves not having cable. This is what I get for marrying a finance person.

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  20. The Georgia Way

    This is great news.

    More off-field stories and less on-field coverage shines a noble glow on the moral excellence of The Georgia Way.

    Be sure to tune in as we are ESPN’s featured college football story again today.

    And that’s another Bulldog Point of Pride!

    #COMMITTOTHEG

    Like

  21. HoleDiggingMutt

    Question for those who have cut the cord – have you ever run up against your ISP data limit in a month? I’d be really curious how much data someone uses during the fall months (i.e. football season.)

    It sounds as if I am like many here that use my satellite subscription primarily as a football delivery system, but I have a family of five, two of which are pretty heavy Netflix users so while I think cord cutting would work for me personally, I’m curious if we’ll run up against our 1 TB data limit in the fall.

    Thanks for any insight out there.

    Like

    • I have not, and we stream a lot and it’s always in HD. I don’t stream much (if anything) in 4k, though, and I know that takes up a lot more data.

      Like

    • David K

      I have 5 teenagers in the house who are constantly on their phones using the wifi watching Netflix, etc. Never had an issue using up too much data from Comcast.

      Like

    • Wife and two teenagers in my house. We watch Amazon, Netflix, and…ahem…another popular app that starts with a “K”. The most I have used is about 400GB in a month. I tend to avoid an 4K streams though. They can really burn the data.

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  22. I use PlayStation Vue and like it a lot. Did not like Sling. Didn’t like the interface, the lack of a DVR at the time, or that they let you use your login for very few apps or sites. With Vue, it works for pretty much anything.

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  23. 3rdandGrantham

    Honestly, unless you really are on a very tight budget, I personally would not recommend SlingTV. I had Sling for about 8 months, and, while I enjoyed the savings, the additional headaches simply weren’t worth it. First off, you still need to have an internet package, and when you don’t bundle it with TV, its very expensive as a stand alone service.

    Where I live (with tons of competition), 50 mbps internet plan only is $80 a month, whereas a bundled service with cable (along with whole house DVR) only runs me $140 including all taxes. If I do sling plus internet only, I’m still paying $110 a month, so now my monthly savings is only $40 a month — not $100+ or whatever.

    Finally, you can’t DVR sling, which is a big, big deal to me, and thus you have to watch everything live. Also, I personally experienced quite a number of disruptions in service, whether my internet was slow during peak hours, SlingTV was unavailable, etc. Again — all of these headaches only saved me a few $$$ a month in the end, not to mention the 100+ fewer channels I received as well.

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    • 3rdandGrantham

      One more thing I forgot to mention — internet providers more and more are putting ‘data caps’ on their service. Thus, after streaming more than ‘X’ amount of data in any given month, you are hit with various surcharges for extra data. If your provider has such caps and you go to 100% streaming, you almost certainly are going to be paying overages — often to the tune of $50 a month or more. A friend of mine got hit with such a bill a few years back, and the next day he went right back to traditional cable.

      Make no mistake — cable companies are losing the war, but they still have a lot of arsenal for now and will do everything possible to prevent you to going to a 100% stream format.

      Like

      • Will (The Other One)

        Well, the still more common thing is they won’t charge you more, they just throttle the hell out of your data. I’ve been working from home more and Comcast decides by the weekend that I don’t need any HD video content anymore.

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  24. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    We’ve talked about cord cutting at home, but haven’t because we get some things in our Uverse package that we didn’t want to part with right away and had no viable Roku-type option. We also can’t tell what ESPN costs us because it’s just part of the package. I don’t watch much ESPN with the sound on, and almost never watch it live. (Record game, start watching after about 30 minutes of programming which usually lets me zip through commercials until half time, then pause, rinse, repeat). I do watch a fair amount of SEC network, including women’s sports, and if we were any good in baseball, I’d watch some of that also.

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  25. Will (The Other One)

    For those with Sling, how’s the picture quality?

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    • Good. Same as cable. I watched the spring game in HD, 1080i I believe. It did not buffer once either.

      Like

    • Rarely an issue with picture quality. I just don’t like the interface of it. Not sure how to describe other than just kind of clunky. Even when I had it during the football season I never used it – I logged intO WatchESPN for the football games, and just used Netflix/Hulu as usual for my non sports viewing. For me, it’s just a way to get a login for WatchESPN st a good price with no contract. I don’t have much use for the actual service itself.

      Like

  26. Will Trane

    On Dish and Windstream…about $2,300 per year. Part of doing business and living in America. When you live in a rural area that is what you have to pony up. But that cost is offset by other perks.
    Part of my decision to stay on both is not for sports alone. Football is not my only sports to watch. I’ve gone to the Braves games for a weekend. Season tickets to UGA and contributions to UGA. Cost of tickets, meals, lodging, transportation, and time add up to big dollars. Other sports on cable than football… NASCAR, Stanley Cup, The Triple Crown, MLB, SEC programming…that cable bill is way cheaper. Same for the Dawgs and other SEC sports. Plus the high school games on Friday night for Georgia and Florida. If you want to watch it, you have to pay. Comfy of home with food and beer or other game essentials are much cheaper.
    ESPN like all businesses have to make decisions re profits, return on investment to shareholders, operating costs, capital investment…not easy running a business today.
    But I only watch ESPN for the games. Never listen to their commentary. Prefer to read that. Rarely listen to GAME DAY crowd. Just watch the games and no ads.
    Like this site, I am old school. I would rather read comments than listen to someone. Much more educational. Plus it fits your schedule much better.
    ESPN, doubt if those layoffs and restructuring at present has any impact on anyone. Will I miss Mark May? Nope. Do I miss Mark Richt? Nope.
    Gas is cheap at present, like most hard commodities. But they are going to move higher.
    If it gets too high in price. I’ll just buy a few more rounds of rimfire, shells, and centerfire plus targets, and fishing gear.

    Like

    • Dawgy45

      “If it gets too high in price. I’ll just buy a few more rounds of rimfire, shells, and centerfire plus targets, and fishing gear.”

      This^^^

      Like

  27. simpl_matter

    Here’s something that needs to be taken into account, and a(nother) reason to dislike the new administration, at least from where I stand: the new FCC is proposing to reverse the 2015 Net Neutrality Order. It’s a vague proposal at this point (shocking, right?), but the end results will likely be a rollback of the particulars that enable government control over ISP business practices, traffic-throttling, in-particular.

    What’s that mean? That means Verizon, Comcast, Frontier, etc., would now be able to throttle the internet service to all you cable-cutters whenever you use your Roku, Chromecast, etc.,. It would be a trivial procedure; bundled customers are in Group A, internet only customers are Group B. The providers know the IPs of Netflix, Amazon, etc.,, when a Group B customer wants to access a known content-streaming IP, that traffic gets slowed-down or assigned to a suboptimal route.

    That’s the key here, they don’t even have to throttle your speed (which might be a violation of the TOS), they just add a few hops that send your traffic through Alaska, to an over-worked station, or wherever that want. They can do whatever, because they are no longer under government oversight. After a few months of lag and timeouts during your favorite programs, you’ll be running right back into their bundled arms….

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  28. Will Trane

    Might not have been a good draft weekend for the Dawgs unless your name was Ryan Seacrest.
    He is teamed with a very sexy, good looking woman, Kelly Ripa.
    Congrats to UGA grad and Georgia “boy” for being a top round pick!

    Like

  29. OPLI

    Other People’s Log Ins.

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  30. Sherlock

    I cut the cord last spring. I used SlingTV for football season. I used the login for the WatchESPN app instead of watching ESPN though the SlingTV app. I agree with most of the sentiments above.

    My advice here is for those that have put up an HD over-the-air antenna or are thinking about it. I have a 4-tuner Tablo DVR. It is fantastic.

    https://www.tablotv.com/

    It is a “whole house” DVR. It connects to an antenna I installed in my attic and to my local network. You then attach a USB hard drive. You can then use a number of apps to connect to it. I primary use the app on my Amazon FireTV. They also have apps for Roku, AppleTV, Android TV, Android, iOS, XBOX, web browser, etc. The picture quality and user experience is far superior to the DVRs provided by the cable companies.

    You can watch different programs on several different devices at the same time. You can even hit pause on the TV and resume from that spot on your tablet while in the bathroom, only to hit pause and resume again on the big screen.

    Because you select the hard drive, you can make it as large as you want. I have a 5TB drive attached to mine which will hold several thousand hours of 1080i/720P content. It is enough storage to hold all episodes of all the the shows I watch plus the new shows for the entire season so that I can binge watch (or delete bad new shows) each show. I can’t got back to watching one episode per week.

    Like

    • Is the DVR reverse-compatible where you can record shows from your streaming services or will it only pick up what is coming through the antenna?

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      • Sherlock

        Only from your antenna. It is completely separate from any streaming service like SlingTV or PS Vue.

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  31. OhioDawg

    I have AT&T UVerse for my home internet and get the local channels through them basically for free since I have their internet. That allows me to get all of the CBS games. For the ESPN/SECN games, I sign up for the Sling TV sports package at $25 a month. It’s a no contract service so I start it the week of the first game and cancel it after the season. That allows me to stream those games via either the Sling app or the ESPN app on my phone/Roku/AppleTV/Xbox. I went with that set up all of last season and it worked perfectly.

    Like

  32. Very good discussion on this topic. Nobody bashed Kirby, Richt, ADGM nor the Senator. It was very informative reading and very rewarding. Kudos to all posters on this topic.

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  33. Hey thanks to everybody for their suggestions on service. Will have to check them out. I DEFINITELY appreciate all the info.

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  34. MurphDawg

    like a few others, we have the Amazon Fire (both box and stick) and subscribe to PlayStation Vue. With 150mb up/down and the Vue subscription we spend $130/month and have all the channels we cared about from cable. The only thing I miss is Paladia channel for music.

    Like