5 Cable TV Alternatives Help Your Small Business Cut Costs and Improve Customer Experience

Cable TV Alternatives for Small Businesses: 5 Ways a Small Business Can Cut the Cord

Just as today’s consumers are relying less on traditional cable for their home entertainment, some businesses are also cutting the cord and instead opting for non-traditional screen content. For example, a doctor’s office that used to play kids’ shows in the lobby might now utilize a streaming service to offer similar programming without the excessive cable bills.

Chicago Bagel Authority Owner Greg Gibbs said in an email to Small Business Trends, “Cord-cutting is at the point now where it offers a platform at least equal to its cable/dish counterparts. Features are added frequently on the software side of the experience. The technology is improving and adding features that are impossible with cable/dish. It’s just the right time to jump ship.”

Cable TV Alternatives for Small Businesses

Here are a few of the different ways you can make better use of your business’s TV screens instead of relying on traditional cable programming.

Subscribe to YouTube TV

Streaming services like YouTube TV, Netflix and Hulu allow your customers to see various shows, movies and other video content on-demand. So you can purchase a subscription, which should be less than your monthly cable bill. You can even add multiple streaming services to one device like a PlayStation Vue, which is what the Chicago Bagel Authority has done. So the company has channels based on specific interests and can play video content from streaming channels like Netflix or marketing content like UpShow.

Use UPshow

UPshow is a social entertainment platform for businesses that allows you to display content from the top social media publishers in a given topic. This ensures that the videos shown are actually relevant to your business and can help to create an interactive experience as well.

Crosstown Fitness Owner Charlie Graff said in an email to Small Business Trends, “As a business owner, I’m always looking for places to save money and cut expenses. But not at the cost of diminishing our customer’s experience. Cable TV was not adding value to my business, was actually depreciating return from my staff being distracted as well as an added expense to our bottom line. UPshow, turned our TVs into a value-add, marketing tool and staff engagement line.”

Include Trivia or Interactive Games

For businesses like restaurants and bars where customers might be hanging out for significant periods of time, you can also create an interactive experience by showing trivia or games on your screens. Platforms like Buzztime give businesses tailored sets of questions and challenges to help keep patrons engaged and entertained without the need for cable.

Display Marketing Messages

Even if you don’t use a specific platform for it, you can use your screens to display marketing messages from your business. Film a series of short videos or even create some photo slideshows to display when you’re not showing longer video or interactive content.

Increase Revenue with Advertising Messages

It might even be a good idea to turn your business’s screens into revenue generators. If your business is a popular meeting place in the community, other businesses might be willing to pay a fee to display their own marketing messages on your screens, similar to how some businesses will advertise in local movie theaters before the previews start.

Photo via Shutterstock


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

3 Reactions
  1. You also need to consider if it is really necessary. Sometimes it is not. There is already enough entertainment on the Internet.

  2. For the last two points, there’s a free app called Promota that lets you make photo slideshows and cast to a TV. They have a bunch of templates you can customize too. Definitely check it out! 🙂

  3. I just talked with Youtube TV, and they do not have licensing for commercial use. You must be a private residence to use Youtube TV; otherwise, you are breaking the licensing of those channels and can get into legal trouble.