I can't believe we used to sit down and watch the TV Guide channel — those scrolling, little blue boxes that displayed program information. The despair one would feel after switching to it, only to narrowly miss the network by a single digit, sighing and waiting for it to circle back around so you can see what's coming on in the next hour and a half.
Cable sucks, but it still has a lot of great shows, like Live PD, so how does one go about watching it without a subscription?
Streaming platforms like Netflix have really spoiled us by making all of the episodes in a show available from day one once it's debuted. This is a business model that makes sense for the platform and the cast and crew involved in making a program. Mostly because Netflix'll know off the bat if it's being streamed enough to warrant ordering more episodes, and whoever's working on the series will be able to start coming up with ideas for an additional season. It's a win-win.
There's also the added benefit of not having to wait for a specific time to watch the show that you wanted to watch, racing back from the bathroom or kitchen during a commercial break so you don't miss the action, or having a show change drastically "mid-season" because of a bone-headed network executive move that is more concerned with trying to draw in more viewers than creating, you know, an actually compelling story.
So it makes sense that Cable companies are losing out on millions of customers every year, and are constantly coming up with incentives and enticing packages to try and get customers to pay for network packages that regurgitate reruns of the same home renovation or cooking show we've all seen a jillion times before.
But there are some cable shows that are immensely popular and get insane ratings, like A&E's darling reality series: Live PD.
Creating a show like that is a no-brainer, Cops was pretty much the biggest program on TV while I was growing up and it seemed like it was always on in the background of any and everyone's house I ever visited. There was always some shirtless dude running away from the police who gets tackled in someone's front lawn, and DUI arrests were always fun too.
A&E's take on the tried-and-true formula is working out big time for them.
It's the No. 1 rated cable TV show in the nation, which is a big, big deal. Cable subscriptions might be in decline, but those numbers mean that Live PD is a show that people want to watch. Period. It could get kinda tricky to watch the show, however, if you don't have a standard cable subscription.
But don't worry, there are some streaming alternatives you can use to get your law enforcement fix.
How to watch Live PD without cable:
FuboTV gets you access to not only A&E but tons of other channels that traditional cable subs offer, but all for a way more enticing price: $55 a month. They even offer a 7-day free trial, something I took advantage of during the World Cup.
Philo's another great alternative to FuboTV that offers a free trial as well but is a fraction of the cost: $20. For that price, you'll have 13 less channels than Fubo's subscription, however.
I personally use Sling TV for $25 a month, and it's got a decent selection of channels. My only issue with the service is I've noticed that broadcasts tend to cut out a little bit while I'm watching them. It's happened on more than a few occasions. I didn't have the same problem with Fubo when I was subbed, and I've never had that issue with ESPN+ either, another live streaming service.
If you've got the Hulu premium app that includes live TV streaming, that gives you access to A&E TV, so you'll be able to stream episodes straight from the site, like the show I'm currently filming, Ghost Hunters, or Hero Ink, Live Rescue, Intervention, and tons of the network's other programs.
Streamable has a handy-dandy guide that'll help you find the best streaming solution to see the cable shows you want without hopefully having to pony up too much dough. I'd let you borrow my Sling TV login, but I've already got too many family members using it, sorry.
And while cable TV is losing the war against streaming platforms, I have noticed that the increased competition has caused networks to up their games, which means us, as viewers, win big time.
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