If you're looking to reduce the amount you spend on cable and Internet, you may want to search the web and inquire about year-end or holiday deals from providers.
And while deals on TV and Internet service are available year round, consumer-savings expert, David Bakke, says they're very common during the end of the year.
"Towards the end of the year it seems as though these deals are more prevalent and it makes sense to take advantage of them," says Bakke, an editor of MoneyCrashers.com, a personal finance website.
Why do Providers Offer Year-End Deals?
Cable and satellite providers always roll out special discounts starting in November, says Bakke.
"One of the main reasons cable companies offer more deals at the end of the year is that this is a time of year when consumers are spending more money," Bakke says.
And because people are spending more on holiday celebrations and gift giving, chances are they will also spend in other areas, he says.
Plus, Bakke adds that "companies may also be trying to meet year-end sales goals." To do so, they may try to entice new customers by offering promotional deals and perks.
What Types of Deals are Available?
Jeff Haynes, editor at the consumer-savings site, TechBargains.com, says some providers run a "New Year's Special" that will help trim the cost of a cable or satellite package.
DIRECTV, for example, is currently advertising a “Year End Savings Event” on the their website. This year-end promotion is geared towards new customers and offers a $5 discount on select TV packages (which start at $24.99/month) and includes a Free Genie upgrade and Free HBO, Starz, Showtime, and Cinemax for three months.
Comcast is also offering a seasonal promotion, urging new customers to “Unwrap the best gift of the season” – an XFINITY Triple Play Package (TV + Internet + Phone) for $99/month for 12 months.
As with most deals, restrictions do apply and savings will vary depending on where you live, so make sure you thoroughly research your options before making any big moves.
But what if you want to stick with your current provider? Are deals only available to new customers? Not necessarily.
Here are some tips that can help you score end-of-year discounts with your current provider:
Use the loyalty card: If you’ve been with your provider for a few years, make sure they’re aware of it when you call to negotiate a lower rate.
Let your provider know you have other options: Whether it’s Netflix, Hulu, or another pay-TV competitor, your provider knows that maintaining customers is tough - especially during a period where it seems like everyone is cutting the cord and streaming their content. So, letting your provider know they could easily lose your business to the likes of Netflix and Hulu can work to your benefit.
End of Year Deals on Sports Programming
In addition to holiday-specific deals, Haynes says that "some providers will also cut deals for specific events, like sports channel packages for the Super Bowl."
This is especially true as the Super Bowl gets closer. Just ask 34-year-old Shawn Byrd, a football fan who called Comcast in December 2012.
"I'd heard that Comcast was going to offer a deal to subscribers to watch the games for free online," said Byrd, who works as an IT specialist.
Byrd was right: Starting in 2012, Comcast offered a mobile stream to Verizon customers.
"For $10 a month on top of the cable fees, I could subscribe to the NFL Mobile application and watch all games online," Byrd says.
Byrd cancelled his service with AT&T and switched to Comcast just in time for the Super Bowl.
"The 10 dollars was a great investment, and I wouldn't have even known about it if I hadn't seen a Comcast ad offering a Super Bowl special for new customers," Byrd adds.