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Sick and Tired of the Cable-TV Bundle: Media Reader Mail

Stocks in this article: TWC CBS VZ CMCSA

A reader by the name of Lacerz wrote: "I get CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, PBS, and a slew of other stations over the air. Netflix and Hulu fill in the gaps. If it's something I must watch and don't want to wait for, I buy a season pass from Amazon (hello Breaking Bad finale). Saving over $1,000 a year and not missing a thing."

CalJames40 added that: "We cut the cord two weeks ago and we're not even affected in San Jose, California. We ordered HDTV antennas for our local broadcasting of CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox, the rest goes through our Netflix and Slingbox. Everything on cable television has gone to crap and we got tired of paying for it."

Indeed, Netflix (NFLX) continues to be a beneficiary of these blackouts as more viewers turn to the television series and movie provider for their dramas while leaning on services such as MLB.TV for their sports. Aereo, the upstart online provider of broadcast television, remains an enticing option for in New York and a handful of other areas where the service has been launched.

Of course, all this talk of cord-cutting is little satisfaction if you're set on accessing ESPN or a 24-hour news channel such as CNN, FoxNews or MSNBC. And that's the rub. Some of these channels are accessible only through pay-TV, and those networks are demanding more money from pay-TV providers such as Time Warner Cable.

Another option altogether is pirating, which the reader Krip Toker appeared to gleefully embrace, exclaiming that: "Torrents are free *wink*"

But not everyone is either savvy enough or comfortable with the notion of pirating television shows. The music industry got hot and bothered over Napster, but eventually Apple (Apple) showed them that most listeners would gladly pay for music as long as they didn't have to buy an over-priced, pumped-up CD for $16.

Ultimately, the iTunes model may eventually become the platform for a la carte television, and in the end, consumers may end up paying as much as they do now to access the traditional pay-TV bundle. But at least they'll have the satisfaction of buying content they actually want to watch.

>Contact by Email.

>News stories and columns by Leon Lazaroff .

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