Cutting the cord and switching to streaming services may seem like the trend, but 83 percent of households still rely on pay-TV plans for their fill of news, movies, and hit TV shows. With so many cable TV providers and packages available, most subscribers can find a perfect match that fits within their budget and channel needs. Here’s a closer look at a few notable pay-TV plans that cater to a wide range of viewers.
The Best Budget Packages
Budget is often a big factor in choosing a cable TV package. Luckily, those looking for the essentials, including local news stations and a few popular channels, can spend just over $1 per day on cable TV. Based on channel lineup and price, there are two cable packages in particular that provide a lot of bang for the consumer buck.
One of these plans is the Advanced TV Economy package from Cox®. For just $31.99 per month, subscribers get more than 40 channels, including USA, FX, TBS, and other popular networks. Cox also offers an optional 24-month Price Lock Guarantee, so users don’t need to worry about the price raising after 12 months — a common occurrence in the pay-TV world. And with the Cox TV Connect app, subscribers can watch live TV on various devices in any room in the home.
Another great budget option is the Standard TV package from Time Warner Cable®. For $39.99 per month, users get more than 70 channels, including AMC, CNN, NBC, and other hits. The package also includes TWC TV®, which allows subscribers to watch live TV on tablets, computers, or smartphones, at home or on the go.
The Best One-Size-Fits-All Packages
Many consumers want a great middle-of-the-road package that offers a lot of channels without breaking the bank. These middle-tier packages are often the most popular, as they provide more channels than the basic packages but are still affordable.
For a little bit of everything, a great option is the TV Select package from Charter Spectrum®. For $59.99 per month for 12 months, users get more than 125 channels and access to more than 10,000 On Demand choices, including HD and movies in 3D. The TV Select plan includes free HD service, and with the Spectrum DVR, subscribers can watch TV on up to four TVs and record 780 hours of programming. With this package, viewers can also use the Charter Spectrum app to stream live TV and On Demand content from smart devices.
XFINITY® also offers a great middle-tier option with its Digital Preferred package. For $54.99 per month for 12 months and a 12-month agreement — or $64.99 per month for 12 months without a term agreement — subscribers get more than 220 channels, including 24/7 sports coverage as well as 100 preloaded top shows. With the XFINITY TV Go app, users can also stream live TV from a smartphone, computer, or tablet.
The Best Premier Packages
For some, cable TV is as much of an essential as Internet or electricity. These subscribers want options, a high-quality picture, and added perks with their cable TV packages. Enter the premium tier of cable plans.
At first glance, the FiOS Video Prime package from Frontier® may seem like an average pay-TV package — for $71.98 per month for 12 months, users can get more than 225 channels. But thanks to Frontier’s fiber-optic network, subscribers are also getting a clear HD picture, hundreds of digital channels, more than 40 HD channels, and thousands of videos On Demand. TV’s top shows never looked so good.
Back again with Time Warner Cable, the Preferred TV package with Whole House Service is ideal for cable connoisseurs. For $79.99 per month, customers get more than 200 channels, HBO®, and a choice of SHOWTIME® or STARZ®. Plus, with the Whole House HD-DVR, subscribers can watch a show in one room and move to a different room to finish it. This package also gives viewers access to Primetime On Demand, Entertainment On Demand, and the TWC TV® app.
The Best Bundle Packages
Subscribers who need both Internet and cable TV can often save money by bundling plans together. Most cable TV providers also offer Internet, making it easy for users to get both services from the same company. However, there are two particular bundled plans that really stand out from the crowd.
First is one of Cox’s more popular bundle deals — the Internet Preferred + Contour TV plan. The package costs just $89.99 per month for the first 12 months with a two-year agreement. With Contour TV, subscribers get more than 220 channels and access to thousands of On Demand titles. Opting for the HD-DVR will provide an even better viewing experience, as the device can record up to six shows or movies at once. And with the Internet Preferred half of the bargain, users receive up to 50 Mbps of downstream speeds.
The other standout bundle package is the Preferred XF Double Play from XFINITY for $89.99 per month for 12 months with a two-year agreement. With this bundle, users get the channels from the Digital Preferred cable package mentioned earlier, plus HBO® and Streampix® for 12 months. The plan also includes an Internet package with downstream speeds up to 75 Mbps.
With so many options catering to every walk of life, all a consumer has to do is pick the provider and plan that suits their needs. To get started, users can check out an online provider search to see which cable TV providers are available near them. From there, they can connect with their provider of choice and choose their favorite package option.
*Pricing and speeds are current as of writing. Pricing and speeds are subject to change. Not all offers available in all areas.