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Sports fans aside, it’s time to dump your cable provider

If this isn’t you, it’s time to stop paying for cable TV. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

What’s hot? Lava, Trinidad Moruga Scorpion peppers and cord cutting. There are constant reports of customers fleeing cable television for greener pastures. For people who don’t watch sports, there are few good reasons to continue paying for cable television. It’s time to cut the cord with cable. Here’s why:

Nearly half of your cable bill goes to paying for sports channels.

Why would you ever pay for something you don’t use? And these fees are going up. Sports are more protected from time-shifted viewing, which appeals to cable networks and their advertisers. Sports fans are unlikely to watch a game a few hours later on their DVR and skip the commercials. That causes expensive bidding wars for broadcast rights to sporting events, and the price is passed down to consumers.

Cable providers pay 20 times the cost of the average cable channel to carry ESPN.

ESPN is the Rolls-Royce of cable channels. Why pay for it if you don’t want to drive it?

There are great alternatives to cable out there.

Netflix, HuluPlus, Amazon Instant Videos, buying shows directly from the iTunes store. We’re surrounded by entertainment. It’s a buyer’s market. Why settle for the price of cable television? With smart televisions and devices such as the Playstation 3, X-Box, Roku and Apple TV, it’s easy to stream online video on your television.

You’ll be saved from terrible customer service.

Cable companies rank among the worst for customer service. If you’re going to pay for channels you don’t even use, can’t they at least treat you well?

If you’re not sure how to cut the cord, here are some tips from your friends at On Background:

About 9 percent of American homes with broadband have ditched traditional TV and its high prices. Nia-Malika Henderson speaks with Jennifer Jolly, host of USA Today's TechNow, about the hardware viewers need to cut the cord. (The Washington Post)

Thursday’s show on also had some insightful remarks from guests Afzal Bari of Bloomberg Government and Jennifer Jolly of USA Today:

More Americans are becoming "cord-cutters" and ditching traditional cable in favor of Web programming. Jennifer Jolly of USA Today and Bloomberg Government analyst Afzal Bari weigh in On Background. (The Washington Post)

Matt McFarland is the editor of Innovations. He's always looking for the next big thing. You can find him on Twitter and Facebook.

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