At some point you’ve most likely seen advertisements or billboards on the internet advertising free cable TV. Is this even possible? Unfortunately for people who are looking for something for nothing, the answer is no.
The reason why the paid cable TV structure came into being was for programmers to receive payment for their programming. Since Cable TV’s inception, its generally held more niche programming than its free over-the-air television counterpart. Why is this? The major over-the-air networks make money through advertising revenues, which most cable networks do as well. However, since most cable only networks have a smaller viewing audience than the major networks, they also require subscriber fees to create high-quality programming for their viewers.
This method worked great for about 30 years – until the internet came along. Now anybody with a hacked cable feed and a juiced internet connection can stream “free” cable TV over the internet. This type of live-streaming to a mass audience is currently illegal in the United States. Beware anyone making promises that they can give you cable television over the internet – free or otherwise!
The good news for the consumer is that the advance of technology has also enabled him or her to have more legitimate options on how to receive cable television programming. Whereas a geographical area may have had only one option for cable programming in the past, there are now a myriad of options in satellite, cable, and fiber-optics providers. While nothing in life is free, make sure to take advantage of the cable TV provider search tool on this page to make sure that you’re getting the best value!