How much do you watch TV? Cord-cutters are known for wanting to steer clear of pricy cable bundles, and they want to get the best value they can. With that in mind, I’ve taken a look at the most popular streaming video services to see which ones offer the most “bang for your buck.”
Do You Watch TV for These Programs?
According to IMDb, these are among the most popular television series thus far in 2017. With that information in hand, I set out to see which streaming services offered each of the series in at least some format.
You Can’t Have It All in One
Television Series Availability on Streaming Services as of April 11, 2017
Alas, you’ll see from the chart above that there’s no single solution offering you all 10 of these programs. The CW is a network that’s particularly difficult to get, available only through YouTube TV. Fortunately, you can get programs from The CW for free with the network’s app. So, at least there’s that.
The Low-Cost Alternatives
If you want to get the most value for your hard-earned money, take a look at Sling Television, DirecTV Now, or PlayStation Vue. Each of those options will get you at least half of the programs deemed most popular as of April 2017. That level of programming only requires the most basic packages for each cord-cutting service, plus the additional premium networks HBO and Showtime. DirecTV Now, unfortunately, doesn’t offer Showtime at this point.
The Most Expensive, but Most Complete, Options
These are the routes that Apple or Amazon would love for you to take. They’re also the most complete options, if you want to get as many of these programs as possible. Through iTunes or Amazon Video, you can stream almost all of these series on your iPhone or iPad. Through iTunes, you can purchase current and past seasons of all of the programs except for Iron Fist and 13 Reasons Why. You’ll pay for them, though. You’ll pay an incredibly huge amount of money.
On Amazon Video, you have even more options, some of them included if you have Prime. All of the series except for Iron Fist and 13 Reasons Why are available through Amazon Video. Certain seasons of Shameless and Mr. Robot are even available with your Amazon Prime subscription, and you can subscribe to HBO through Amazon Channels to get Game of Thrones along with all of the premium network’s movie and television catalog. The same holds true for the maker of Shameless, Showtime, which is also available from Amazon Channels. The downfall of Amazon Video, of course, is that you can’t easily stream it to your Apple TV.
The New Kid on the Block
Availability for YouTube TV is pretty limited right now, but I thought I’d throw it in the mix anyways. Surprisingly, the channel-limited service offers a good portion of the most popular television series. YouTube TV has rights to The CW, which most of its competitors don’t have. That means fans of Arrow and The Flash can enjoy those episodes on the streaming video service. If you’re looking for The Walking Dead, though, you’ll be disappointed – YouTube TV hasn’t managed to sign on AMC just yet. Game of Thrones and Shameless are there, but only if you pony up the extra cash for the premium networks HBO and Showtime.
Read up on YouTube's streaming television service
The Veteran in Streaming Television
Sling Television might be the most popular cord-cutting solution, and it offers a great deal of the programming that is popular this year. With its most basic offering, you get almost all of the series. The Netflix programs, Iron Fist and 13 Reasons Why, are missing for obvious reasons. You do, however, get USA Network’s Mr. Robot, notably absent from both Hulu and Netflix. If you pay the extra cash for premium “channels” HBO and Showtime, you can also enjoy Game of Thrones and Shameless.
For more about Sling Television, check out these articles
Okay, What’s My Best Option to Get All 10 Programs?
If you want to consume as much popular programming as possible, there’s no single option for getting all of it. If you don’t mind combining services, though, here’s what you need to watch everything either as it airs or the day after:
Here are the apps you'll need
Wrapping Up the Cords
So folks, there you have it. If you want to cut the cord completely, wrap it up, and shuffle it away in a closet, those are your options. You can enjoy the 10 most popular television shows plus quite a bit more for less than $60 a month. What are you waiting for? Ditch your cable or satellite subscription and join the ranks of the cord-cutters.