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cable tv


If you are thinking about getting a new TV services package or TV and internet bundle (and you can see some great impartial reviews of DIRECTV internet here), you may be wondering whether it is worth including the premium cable channels like HBO, Showtime and Starz in your bundle, or getting the sports networks that cover the sports you love, when you can usually find a way to see these things online. Here we take a look at some of the pros and cons of subscribing to premium channels.

Cable TV

Wikipedia photo

Why You May Not Actually Need Those Paid Channels

If your intention is just to be able to see things, like your favorite football, baseball, hockey or basketball team playing live or the newest episode of Game of Thrones, then you can usually find ways to stream these things. While not always completely legal, streams do tend to exist, which is how people from outside of the US who want to watch US sports events not televised outside of the States or see American shows before they are aired in their own countries manage to watch these things. The quality will not be great in most cases, and unless you have the hardware to run your computer’s images through your TV you will have to watch them on your laptop or tablet, but you will be able to get the gist of what is going on. If you want to watch the shows on premium cable but don’t care about seeing them as soon as they are aired, you can also just wait for a much cheaper service like Netflix to carry them and marathon watch the whole season or series sometime in the future.

Why It Can Be Worth the Money to Keep Premium Cable

If you use all of the features and watch a lot of live sport or high end drama, then cable can be well worth the money for the enhancement it gives to your home entertainment options. If simply ‘seeing’ something is not enough, and you want the best possible experience (which can make a lot of difference when it comes to lavishly designed TV shows or sports games where you want to truly be able to spot whether you agree with a referee’s decisions), you want to watch it in glorious HD or 3D on your TV. For many, this quality alone is worth the subscription, as is getting the shows the moment they air, helping avoid those pesky Twitter and Facebook friends who post spoilers! By using interactive features that give shows more depth, DVR features that ensure you never miss anything, on demand services that let you catch up and discover new shows, and the facility to watch shows from these networks on the go on your phone or tablet, you can actually get a lot out of your cable package.

In short, whether cable is worth it or not depends on what matters to you with your TV viewing. Do you simply need to see it and know what happened, or do you want it beautifully presented with interactive features, and available instantly at a time to suit you?


The Walking Dead Season 5 opener has been watched by 17.3 million people, breaking cable viewing records.

It marks the biggest cable audience for a non-sports program in the US, according to television viewing figures tracking company Nielsen.

The Walking Dead, which stars British actor Andrew Lincoln, held the previous record of 16.1 million for its fourth season debut last year.

The end of the series also set a new benchmark for a finale with 15.7 million.

The Walking Dead Season 5 opener has been watched by 17.3 million people, breaking cable viewing records

The Walking Dead Season 5 opener has been watched by 17.3 million people, breaking cable viewing records

Sunday’s return to the air also triumphed in the valuable 18-49 age range with 11 million viewers. Its nearest scripted rival was popular comedy The Big Bang Theory, which pulled in 6.9 million people in that key demographic.

Variety reported that the AMC show also reached record levels for the number of people obtaining the show illegally, with piracy tracking firm Excipio logging 1.27 million downloads in the first 24 hours after transmission.

But the level of piracy for TV series Game of Thrones pushes The Walking Dead into second place, with its fourth series premiere registering 1.86 million illicit downloads.

It added that Fox has rushed the show to some 125 markets around the world in a bid to thwart piracy.

The hit show tracks the fortunes of sheriff Rick Grimes – played by Andrew Lincoln – as he attempts to survive flesh-eating zombies.