Boomers Are Keeping Cable Alive: Is It Actually Cheaper Than Streaming?

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In an era marked by the rise of streaming platforms, cable TV persists, with Baby Boomers leading the charge in keeping it alive.

As the world shifts towards Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming giants, many Boomers are content with keeping their cable subscriptions. It begs the question, is cable actually more cost-effective than streaming?

The Cost of Cable

Traditional cable packages can range in cost, often starting from $60 and going up over $100 per month, offering a wide variety of channels, including news, sports, and entertainment.


  1. All-In-One: Cable provides a variety of channels in a single subscription, and viewers don’t have to switch between different platforms to find their desired content.
  2. Live Programming: Cable is ideal for real-time viewing, such as live sports, news, and events.
  3. No Internet Required: Cable doesn’t rely on a high-speed internet connection.


  1. Higher Average Cost: Generally, cable subscriptions are more expensive than streaming services.
  2. Limited Customization: Limited ability to customize packages to viewer preferences.
  3. Additional Equipment: May require additional equipment like cable boxes that come with rental fees.

The Cost of Streaming

Streaming platforms generally have a lower monthly fee. Platforms like Netflix and Hulu range from $9 to $18 per month. However, many viewers subscribe to multiple platforms to access all the content they want to watch.


  1. Lower Average Cost: Each service is generally less expensive than a cable subscription.
  2. Custom Content: Viewers can pick and choose which platforms they want to subscribe to based on the content they offer.
  3. Accessibility: Accessible from a variety of devices anywhere with internet connectivity.
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  1. Multiple Subscriptions: Costs can add up if subscribing to multiple platforms.
  2. Internet Dependency: Requires a stable and fast internet connection.
  3. Delayed Viewing: Not all streaming platforms offer live programming.

The Bottom Line: Is Cable Cheaper than Streaming?

The answer largely depends on individual viewing habits. For those who enjoy a wide range of channels, including live programming, and who may not have a reliable internet connection, cable could be a more suitable choice. However, cable generally comes at a higher monthly cost and with less flexibility.

For those who are content with a more limited, on-demand viewing library and who are looking for a lower monthly expense, streaming platforms are a cost-effective alternative. It allows viewers to tailor their subscriptions to their viewing preferences, albeit with the necessity of a good internet connection.

In conclusion, while Boomers are keeping cable alive, the debate on cost-effectiveness between cable and streaming services hinges on personal viewing habits, preferences, and priorities. The trend, however, suggests a growing preference for the flexibility and lower cost offered by streaming platforms.

Editor's note: This article was produced via automated technology and then fine-tuned and verified for accuracy by a member of GOBankingRates' editorial team.

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