Avoid Paying For Movie Channels

When signing up for a new tv service, whether it be DirecTV, Dish Network, Charter, or some other company, these providers almost always give you free premium movie channels (most for just 3 months). The freebies include HBO, Cinemax, Starz, and Showtime.It’s a great deal while you’re not paying for them, but once that first bill comes in, your opinion may change. Most of these movie channel companies claim to have hundreds of movies and shows per month, which sounds like a great deal right? No, this is just another ploy to get people to sign up for these premium movie channels.

Out of these hundreds of movies and shows per month, maybe about 20 of them are actually interesting enough to watch. Skimming through the guides you will find movies that you’ve never even heard of, most of which are 1 star movies. Some movies are good though, but they replay them so many times per day/week/month that you get tired of seeing them. It is easy to be fooled into purchasing movie channels, especially when you see the movies they advertise on tv. With having had all the premium channels, I noticed a few things; they like to play commercials for movies they don’t even have yet. Sometimes they will promote a movie saying turn to such and such channel and watch now. The truth is, it will be weeks until they actually show that movie.

Another ploy they use is giving you the premium movie channels over a weekend for free. The weekend they do this, they make sure to play the best movies and shows that they offer to make people think that this is how it will be all the time.

Ok now I will get to the main point of this article, the saving money part. Lets break it down on the costs of theses premium movie channels. HBO is $16/month; Starz is $13/month; Cinemax is $13/month; and Showtime is $13/month. This totals to $55 per month for all of the premium movie channels, which equates to $660 a year.

Now you must be thinking, “If I cancel or don’t get the premium movie channels, how will I get commercial free movies without leaving my house?” well, there are a few ways, Netflix and Blockbuster are the main ones which offer movies by mail or instant streaming over the internet. With both of these companies, you get to pick which movies and shows you want to watch and when you want to watch them, so you’re in complete control. Blockbuster offers a few different things (which you can get a free 30 day trial), one of which is a movie pass for customers of dish network that offers instant streaming of thousands of movies, seeing that Blockbusters whole online streaming and partnership with Dish Network is fairly new I’m not too sure of all the details.

As for Netflix, they offer a movie by mail program for $7.99 per month which limits you to 1 movie out at a time (they also have upgrades which let you have more than  movie out at a time at a higher cost per month) that you can exchange out for another movie as many times as you want. The only problem with this is that it takes a few days to get a movie, return it, and get another. Luckily Netflix also offers a program that lets you watch as many shows and movies as you want instantly for only $7.99 per month (they offer a 30 day free trial). This is the better deal, mainly because it is half the price of 1 premium movie channel pack and you get to pick what you watch and when you watch it. The way it works is through an internet connection, you can do it through your computer, TV (if it’s newer and has the feature), Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wi, and iPhone/iPod Touch.

So the break down, if you completely eliminate having any movie channels you can save up to $55 a month, or $660 a year. If you eliminate the movie channels and opt for the Netflix option you can still save $47 a month, or $564 a year.

Anum

Anum Yoon is the founder and editor of Current on Currency. She loves all things personal finance, which is why you’ll find her work all over the PF blogosphere.

2 thoughts on “Avoid Paying For Movie Channels

  • March 13, 2012 at 12:17 am
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    No premium movie channels here! Two other options are renting from the library for free or hitting Redbox for $1/night DVD rentals.

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  • June 11, 2012 at 8:11 pm
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    This is a very good article. I already use the Netflx via the Wii and rent from Redbox. Also you can buy the streaming media boxes for about $30.00 that will handle Netflix, Pandora, and other stuff. We have one of these as well. I love the Pandora feature so I can play music on my TV.

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