We are unplugged from traditional network and cable TV, but I've found a limited way to watch some of our favorite news and sports shows without paying more.
Background: In my home, the television sets are basically monitors for DVDs and videos that we get from the library or rentals.
Problem: Occasionally, my children miss standard and cable TV, which they view only at their friends' homes or when we're on vacation. I miss sports: I've become a major sports fan and I would love to watch the NBA Direct channel, NFL direct or ESPN.
Solution: My kids like the Disney channel and we've found a frugal way to watch some of their favorite shows. Through the Internet, Disney.com lets you download and watch (almost) the complete lineup of shows, including That's So Raven, Kim Possible, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and other programs. A limited amount of episodes are available for each show, but the rotation is current and updated regularly.
For example, before Halloween, my kids watched Halloween episodes of That's So Raven and The Proud Family. Really cute & with limited commercials (roughly 22 minutes of viewing). Here's the link to Disney Channel on Demand:
Likewise, through NBA.com, I watch highlights of all of my favorite NBA games, plus the pre-game and post-game interviews with coaches and stars. NBA.com also had great clips of the 10 best plays of the week, etc. The menu also includes the NBA weekly wrap-up, which is a full length talkshow, analysis and highlight program.
At CBS.com, there are several of full length shows that you can watch for free. The menu includes: CSI Miami, CSI New York, How I Met Your Mother and Survivor. There are other options, including the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.
I like TV-on-Demand, especially when it's free and on my timetable. And don't even get me started on YouTube.com