The Most Messed Up Thing Cable TV Does to Its Customers

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Pursuant to Tuesday's Why We Don't Quit Cable TV, I crunched some numbers ...

What I pay now for television versus what I would pay if I cut the cord. That is -- jettisoned DIRECTV (DTV).

Because of my job, it's not a parallel comparison. I pay for stuff (particularly Netflix (NFLX) and Hulu) I probably would not pay for if I didn't do what I do for a living. So we'll just go with what I pay DIRECTV only.

My most recent monthly bill came to $180. That's for the "Ultimate" programming package (one step below the "Premier" package, which costs $48 more), Time Warner's (TWX) Home Box Office (HBO) (and Cinemax) and pay-by-the-month subscriptions to "NHL Center Ice" and "Major League Baseball Extra Innings." The $180 also includes small and temporary promotional discounts.

If I cut the cord, I would likely subscribe to Hulu (so I could keep up on some current programming), NHL Game Center and MLB Baseball At-Bat Premium. That would run me much less -- roughly $60 a month. So a third of the cost of satellite, however I would not have access to HBO, Disney's (DIS) ESPN as well as Kings, Ducks, Dodgers (all else equal) and Angels games. They get blacked out on the NHL and MLB online feeds.

Herein lies the deal breaker ...

In a perfect world, HBO offers HBO GO unauthenticated for like $15-$20 a month (don't be surprised to see HBO offer wider access, in some fashion, over the next year or so); Disney does the same with ESPN; and, for an additional fee, the sports leagues rip the bandaid off in one fluid motion lifting local blackout restrictions from their apps. That would easily take us at least close to, quite possibly back to and maybe even over the $180 I pay now.

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