How Much Are We Willing to Pay for The Daily Show and Archer? - Live Like a Mensch
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Live Like a Mensch

How Much Are We Willing to Pay for The Daily Show and Archer?


I lived without cable for quite some time. As my dear friend Megan once put it, "Let me get this straight: I give the cable company money, and they take away my free time. How is this a good deal?"

Then, somehow, J and I became cable subscribers. For the past 7 years (give or take), we have had cable and enjoyed some fine programming.

Earlier this week, I recieved a bill from our cable company. This bill seemed rather outlandish in its size and hugeitude. After several tense moments of reviewing the bill, I realized that Comcast had charged us for a month of premium channels, even though they had assured me that the premium channels which we were only receiving 3 months worth of for free would go away on their own after the said 3 month period was over.

Of course, that wasn't the only change. The bill seems to be bigger each month, with no real explanation for why we are sending more and more of our hard-earned money Comcast-ward.

So, while I had the customer service representative on the phone to clear up the HBO issue, I asked him how much we would save if we were to drop cable, and only keep the phone and internet.


$90+ with taxes.

To recap--we are currently sending these folks about $150 a month total. Ditching cable would save us 60 bucks per month, which is nothing to sneeze at.

Rather than jumping at the chance, which is probably what I should have done considering the fact that it is highly unlikely that any other customer service rep will be able to offer us the same price when I call back, I gave it a second thought.

"What about The Daily Show?" my second thought whispered.

I told the customer service rep to please send me that price via email so I have proof, which he did not, and I said I'd discuss it with my husband.

When J came home, I saw a similar Jump at it/On second thought reaction from him. 60 bucks is 60 bucks, but we can't seem to get his favorite show Archer on Hulu or Netflix.

Which means, J and I are choosing to spend $720 per year in order to watch a show that has 7-episode seasons about once every two years (Archer) and a show that airs four days a week for about 32 weeks of the year (The Daily Show)...

Yeah, I think I need to make a phone call.



frugal_fun said:

Ouch! Personal opinions on the Daily Show aside, $720 annually would buy some *really* nice dinners out.

Also, if you need a Daily Show fix, they usual have clips on the Comedy Central website the day after. A bit late, but fewer commercials and it's usually the best of. So maybe the Daily Show wouldn't go away entirely???

February 21, 2013 5:11 PM

haverwench said:

Never mind clips; you can watch the Daily Show in its entirety through the website (http://www.thedailyshow.com/). That's what we do. The Colbert Report, too.

Archer isn't available online, except for clips, but you can always wait and buy the DVDs. (Seasons 1 through 3 are already available for less than 20 bucks each.) That's what we do with A Game of Thrones.

February 22, 2013 12:09 PM

bobi said:

I have this conversation with myself from time to time but when I'm really honest with myself, I admit to watching way more than 1 or 2 favorite shows. I would miss checking the radar on the weather channel whenever there is a storm coming and catching special events and shows and I still get my breaking news from tv. Yep, cable bills make me mad too, and with all due respect to frugal fun's suggestion, the restaurant meals I've had in recent years just don't seem like a good trade off. Saving a lot of money giving up something you enjoy is fine if you either "need" the money or have a more compelling use for it, but if you're just saving it because it seems like you "should," I'd keep taking that second look until the decision becomes more clear.

February 22, 2013 12:19 PM

frugal_fun said:

@haverwench - Ohh, very nice substitute for watching those shows on TV. I wonder how long it's going to take shows to catch on about giving away the store on their websites. Til then.. awesome. :)

@bobi - I just sort of threw out dining out idea, which is a bigger deal with kiddos. I tend to agree that most restaurant meals now around just "meh".  It's mostly just about fantasizing that there's something magical about not having to plan, cook, and clean up. *pauses for time in magic food dream land*

Anyway, for us, cable has been off the radar scope for a long time. We can get that information other ways. I also find that I'm much less twitchy if I'm about a week or month behind on "breaking news". Simply saving the money without another specific purpose is a much better deal for us. There is simply not enough return for the time and money spent, even if there are some enjoyable parts.

That said, lots of other people really like cable and it sounds like you're getting the value out of it. It *is* easier to just turn on the TV for the weather, etc. There's nothing wrong with that at all, even though that's the first bit of advice on the "how to save money" articles. We spend money in ways that are not "Frugal Ninja" approved either but they work for us. ;)

February 22, 2013 12:58 PM

haverwench said:

"I wonder how long it's going to take shows to catch on about giving away the store on their websites."

Well, they aren't exactly giving it away, since they do get ad revenue from it. And this way they can still make a little money off the people who are never, ever going to pay for cable, like me. So I don't see why they would need to stop doing it.

February 23, 2013 4:29 PM

kay in canada said:

"Potato, a ***."

Still funny.

March 10, 2013 11:18 PM

Live Like a Mensch said:

Image courtesy of Dave Winer You may recall that I recently discovered that J and I could save ourselves

March 21, 2013 5:17 PM

Live Like a Mensch said:

Image courtesy of Ralpharama You may recall my previous complaints and hand-wringing over dealing with

April 30, 2013 5:20 PM

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