By Melanie Mayberry, programming editor

Last week, we published an article on the pros and cons of streaming video. Today, we pick up the flip side of that argument with a look at what you would miss if you cut the cord entirely to save money. That means you are leaving all subscriptions to expensive cable and satellite TV services behind. And you are saying no to the live streamers, too, some of whom charge cable-like rates. The whole idea here is to save money by just getting a few services such as Netflix, Max and Disney+. What would be missing in your life if you do this? Here are four things.

1. Sports

Streaming services may offer some sports packages, but they often lack the extensive range and immediacy that traditional TV networks provide. Cutting the cord means potentially missing out on live sporting events (particularly regional sports networks, many of which are missing on the leading live streamers.).

2. Channel Surfing and Serendipitous Discoveries
Channel surfing, the art of randomly flipping through channels, can lead to unexpected discoveries. Traditional TV viewers might stumble upon a fascinating documentary, an intriguing movie, or even a captivating talk show during their casual browsing. The lack of channel surfing in a streaming-only world can make it harder for viewers to stumble upon content they didn’t know they wanted to watch, limiting their exposure to diverse programming and unexpected gems.

One way to keep channel surfing after cable and satellite is subscribe to a live streamer such as YouTube TV and DIRECTV Stream which also offer multi-channel on-screen guides. But that would expand your monthly cost by as much as $100 a month and now we’re getting close to your old cable bill.

3. Local Programming and Community Engagement

Traditional TV often dedicates airtime to local news, weather updates, community events, and regional programming. These features play a vital role in fostering a sense of local identity and community engagement. Cutting the cord could mean losing touch with local issues, missing out on community-centric shows, and disconnecting from the events and people that make a particular region unique. (Again, one way around this is to subscribe to a live streamer. At the aforementioned cost. Another way: Get an antenna.)

4. Scheduled Programming and Shared Experiences
Traditional television follows a programming schedule, which creates a sense of anticipation and encourages viewers to gather around specific shows at designated times. This shared experience leads to watercooler discussions, online communities, and a collective buzz around popular programs. Streaming services, although providing on-demand content, can dilute the communal aspect of television viewing, leading to a more isolated and personalized viewing experience.

Bottom line: Cutting the cord will save you money, but you will experience changes in your normal way of watching television. If you’re good with that, start cutting.

Editor’s Note: This article and research within was compiled by the TV Answer Man team and ChatGPT.

Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at Please include your first name and hometown in your message.