Like many people, I thought about cutting the cord many, many times. Humans have a limited amount of mental bandwidth for consuming content. We only have so much time on this Earth, and I doubt we all spend it wisely. We only have so much money to work with, and I doubt we all spend that wisely either.
So I started making an effort to be mindful of how I use both.
That's when I noticed that the DirecTV portion of our AT&T combined bill was equivalent to a car payment for a gently used preowned automobile. This was a lesson in the dangers of combined billing. Combining internet, wireless, and tv services into a single bill is super convenient, but it's also a good way for price creep and hidden fees to go unnoticed.
Yes, I'm bad at adulting and should go over each bill every single month and examine every item closely. No, I'm not going to do this despite having just acknowledged the importance of doing so.
Justifying the cost of DirecTV became an exercise in embracing bad choices. After all, DirecTV meant access to Sunday Ticket, and spending $300 a season makes sense when there isn't a team in St. Louis and I don't have a favorite NFL team. Yep. That was it. It wasn't the best value or the most reliable. The only reason for choosing DirecTV was the Sunday Ticket thing. Remember, I'm bad at adulting.
It was time to cut the cord or whatever you do with a satellite dish that is attached to the domicile forever.
Unfortunately, eliminating DirecTV without replacing it with another similar service meant losing access to Cardinals games. That's when the irrational (major) and rational (minor) parts of my brain got into a lengthy altercation.
Irrational: I absolutely need to spend 450-500 hours a year watching the Cardinals play.
Rational: Sure you do. That's also just the Cardinals and doesn't include the playoffs and the minor league games as well, idiot.
Irrational: You're right, but the choices are defensible. What else should I do with that time? Most of the games are in the evening anyway. Evenings are for relaxing.
Rational: There is nothing relaxing about watching baseball.
Irrational: That's what you think. I find it very relaxing. Yelling at the tv is normal and cathartic.
Rational: I don't think that word means what you think it means. As for what else you can do with your time, there is always reading, learning another language, or blogging.
Irrational: There is nothing relaxing about blogging, and writing about baseball requires watching baseball.
Rational: Point conceded. You should just stop blogging.
Irrational: You can't make me.
This is basically the entire back-and-forth process that concluded when the two started talking about money. After several weeks of intense negotiations, a deal was reached. Cut DirecTV as long as 90% of desired content can be accessed through other means without spending more than is being saved.
And that's how we ended up adding Hulu w/live tv, YouTube premium, and NordVPN (don't ask but it has nothing to do with MLBtv) in addition to MLBtv, MiLBtv, and Netflix. Net savings: $170 per month.
The end result is that although I still watch a lot of games I also find myself doing actual productive or relaxing things as well. History Channel and Nat Geo because I'm basically 85 and music streaming because I can't find my Def Leppard cd's anywhere (and because I don't have a cd player). Amazon Kindle for reading because I've forgotten everything I should remember from the classics I supposedly read in school.
I'm living my best life thanks to a mindful approach to spending time and money.
But I'd still pay triple the cost of MLBtv to be able to use it without blackout restrictions. Until the regional networks lose their god-like power to control distribution I'll just have to do without because I certainly would never consider using a VPN provider to circumvent location-based restrictions.
Neither should you so please don't go do a Google search on "MLBtv vpn" or anything like that.