Why You're Probably Paying Way Too Much For Cable TV

When you get that cable bill in the mail at the end of the month, does it make you cringe? You're not alone.

It's no secret that cable is an expensive luxury. With rising costs and more affordable and attractive options popping up -- hello, Netflix -- more and more people are asking if pay TV is really worth what they shell out every bill cycle. And according to these new numbers from Nielsen, it might not be.

According to a new report, TV viewership hit a six-year low, with subscribers only tuning into 9 percent of the channels they actually pay for. That's right, 9 percent. To give you a better visual, consider this: Last year, the average subscriber had 189 options available when it came to cable channels. That number jumped from the 129 channels offered in 2008, but that also means that the average American is only watching 17 channels out of the 189 they're now paying for.

Another fun fact when it comes to your cable bill: Thanks to online streaming services like Hulu, which has stolen more than a few customers from the major cable giants, your bill has increased substantially. For every person who cuts the cord, cable companies hike their prices. So you're paying more for the same handful of channels you always watch.

At the Cable Show in Los Angeles last week, execs skewered services like Netflix, saying they offered inferior programming and content with their simplistic nature. They're banking on the idea that more access to programming -- such as HBO's much lauded HBO Go -- will sway users to stick to their bill and continue their subscription. According to Nielsen, that idea might also be a bust. A small 21 percent of subscribers actually view programs using those alternative services, making the dream of TV for everyone, everywhere seem less and less like a reality for cable companies.

So, is it time for you to cut the cord?



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