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Best TV Packages and Deals for November 2021

Treat yourself to an upscale viewing experience with one of CableTV.com's best satellite, cable, or streaming TV package picks.

Best current promotion

Best plan

  • The Most Fios TV ($105.00/mo.*)
  • 425+ channels
  • 1st set-top box and multiroom DVR included

 

Deals

  • $150.00 Verizon e-gift card + Google Nest Mini w/ The Most Fios TV (exp. 11/10)
  • Up to a $200.00 Verizon e-gift card w/ TV plan (exp. 11/17)
  • Sling TV free for two months (exp. 2/19)
Best for sports

Best plan

  • ULTIMATE All-Included ($84.99/mo.*)
  • 250+ channels
  • 200 hr. DVR

 

Deals

  • Free 2021 NFL SUNDAY TICKET§
  • Three months of free HBO MaxTM, SHOWTIME, EPIX, and STARZ§
Best for families

Best plan

    • America's Top 200 ($89.99/mo.† Note: price goes up to $94.99/mo. effective Nov. 16, 2021)
    • 240+ channels
    • 500 hr. DVR

 

Deals

      • Free Multi-Sport Pack
      • Discounted year of HBO Max
      • Three months of free SHOWTIME and STARZ
Best movies package

Best plan

  • Spectrum TV® Gold ($94.99/mo. for 12 mos.‡)
  • 200+ channels
  • Variable DVR storage

 

Deals

  • Package includes HBO MaxTM, SHOWTIME®, STARZ®, STARZ ENCORE®, THE MOVIE CHANNELTM and more

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
* Per month + taxes & equip. charges. For eligible new res. custs. $99 set-up & taxes & terms may apply. Subj. to credit approval & may require a deposit. Fios avail. in select areas. & may require a deposit. Fios avail. in select areas.
† for 24. months. Everyday Price $109.99/mo. New customers only. All offers require 2-year commitment with early termination fee and eAutopay. Price includes Hopper Duo for qualifying customers.
‡ For the first 12 months.
§ with CHOICETM plan and higher
¶ with American's Top 120+ and higher

ALERT: Effective November 16, 2021, all DISH plans increase in price by $5 a month.

We get asked about the best cable TV packages all the time, so we’ve combed through the offerings of several top providers to find the good stuff. But, while these packages are the best, they’re not exactly cheap. The good stuff never is. But if you invest in one of these prime plans from DISH, DIRECTV, and Spectrum, you’ll really level up your TV experience.

To see if you can get these primo TV plans in your area, enter your zip code below.

Please enter a valid zip code.

November 2021 TV promotions and deals

We’ve combed through our files on cable and satellite TV providers to find the best limited-time only deals. Here’s what we found—get ’em while they’re hot.

  • Verizon: New customers can get a $150.00 Verizon e-gift card and a free Google Nest Mini (2nd gen) with The Most Fios TV ($105.00/mo., expires Nov. 10, 2021). Verizon also offers up to a $200 Verizon e-gift card that you can apply to any Verizon purchase, including your bill, with More Fios TV and higher (expires Nov. 17, 2021). And all new and existing Verizon Fios TV customers can get Sling TV free for two months (expires Feb. 19, 2022).
  • DISH: Until November 15, 2021, the DISH Multi-Sports Pack is free when you order America’s Top 120+ ($79.99/mo., 190+ channels) or higher. Also, DISH has ongoing promotions like DISH 55 (for seniors) and “Those Who Serve” (active military, first responders, nurses, teachers, and veterans) that include various perks like extra channels, free movie rentals, six free months of equipment protection and upgraded identity theft protection.
  • Xfinity: If you’re active military or a veteran, you’re eligible to receive a $25 Xfinity coupon that can be applied to your bill or used toward Xfinity On Demand rentals or purchases. Also, if you signed up for Xfinity service with a minimum term agreement within the past 90 days, you can get a special $100 Visa® prepaid card (expires Dec. 31, 2021).

Black Friday 2021

Looking for limited time deals on TV packages? Check out our Black Friday 2021 deals page!

Best TV packages and plans

These cable deals have so much to offer it may be hard to choose just one.

Compare the best TV plans and pricing

Price Channels DVR Details
$84.99/mo.* 250+ 200 hrs. View package
$89.99/mo.† 240+ 2,000 hrs., View package
$94.99/mo.‡ 200+ Variable View package

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
* for 12 mos. plus taxes and Regional Sports Fee w/24-mo. agmt. Autopay & Paperless bill req’d. Prices higher in 2nd year. Regional Sports Fee up to $9.99/mo. is extra & applies.
† for 24. months. Everyday Price $109.99/mo. New customers only. All offers require 2-year commitment with early termination fee and eAutopay. Price includes Hopper Duo for qualifying customers.
‡ For the first 12 months.

These are three of the best TV packages out there, and each appeals to a different lifestyle.

DIRECTV is the way to go for sports fans because it has the most sports channels of any TV provider—plus it’s the only place to get NFL SUNDAY TICKET. New customers who choose the CHOICETM plan or higher get the current season of NFL SUNDAY TICKET free, plus a free year of HBO MAXTM and three free months of CINEMAX®, SHOWTIME, and STARZ. For the most sports channels, we recommend going with ULTIMATE All-Included ($84.99 a month, 250+ channels).

Families will love DISH for its education and kids channels, excellent parental controls, and Hopper 3 DVR, which stores 2,000 hours of HD content—and can record up to 16 movies at once. We recommend America’s Top 200 ($89.99 a month*, 240+ channels). Since DISH charges $10 a month for the Hopper 3, your total payment for this plan would be $99.99  a month.

(*As of November 16, 2021, America’s Top 200 will cost $94.99 a month.)

For movie fans, we suggest Spectrum’s TV Gold package ($94.99 a month, 200+ channels) because it includes HBO MAX, SHOWTIME, STARZ, STARZENCORE, and THE MOVIE CHANNEL at no extra charge.

Best for sports: DIRECTV ULTIMATE All-Included

Price:
$84.99/mo.‡
Channels::
250+
DVR:
200 hrs.

Pros

  • Access to NFL SUNDAY TICKET
  • Affordable prices (first year)
  • Genie DVR included in plan

Cons

  • No Pac-12 Network
  • Second-year price hikes

DIRECTV has a strong reputation for being the best TV provider for sports programming. Although it may be tempting to opt for its most massive package—DIRECTV PREMIER™ for $134.99 per month—we recommend you keep your eye on the ball with DIRECTV ULTIMATE at $84.99 per month. But watch out, because DIRECTV has serious price increases in the second year of your contract.

DIRECTV ULTIMATE has all the big sports channels, including NFL Network, NBA TV, MLB Network, and NHL Network. You’ll even get a year of NFL SUNDAY TICKET at no extra cost. If you never want to miss another big game, this is the package for you.

Best for families: DISH America’s Top 200

Price:
$89.99/mo.†
Channels::
240+
DVR:
500 hrs.

Pros

  • Hopper 3 DVR
  • Inexpensive packages
  • 2-year price guarantee

Cons

  • NO NFL SUNDAY TICKET
  • Limited internet/phone bundling options

DISH offers Disney Channel in America’s Top 120+, but America’s Top 200 is where you start getting more specific family favorites. If you’re an Animal Planet, Disney XD, or Nick Jr. fan (or if at least your kids are), America’s Top 200 will meet all your needs for $89.99 a month (until November 16, 2021, when it increases to $94.99 monthly).

What really sets DISH’s plan apart is its partnership with Common Sense Media. Using the Hopper 3 DVR, you can tailor your child’s viewing experience with age-appropriate recommendations and ratings in eight different categories:

  1. Educational value
  2. Positive role models
  3. Positive messages
  4. Sex
  5. Violence and scariness
  6. Language
  7. Drinking, drugs, and smoking
  8. Consumerism

Pro tip: For more DISH deals, check out our guide to DISH Deals and Promotions.

For keeping kids happy on the go, you’ll appreciate the DISH Anywhere App. It plays your favorite shows away from home while still allowing you to filter content by age and set up separate accounts for each of your children. That’s a lot of peaceful car rides for you—and no worries about inappropriate shows popping up for your kids.

Best movies package: Spectrum TV Gold

Price:
$94.99/mo. for 12 mos.†
Channels::
200+
DVR:
varies

Pros

  • Best value for included premium channels
  • Plan buyout for switchers

Cons

  • Only 90 hrs. of DVR storage

Premium channels have a reputation for being prohibitively expensive. Not so with Spectrum! The Spectrum TV Gold package comes with all your favorite premium channels included for endless hours of movies that won’t cost you a Taj Mahal to watch.

If you’re sick of your current TV plan but worried about paying cancellation fees, Spectrum is eager to steal you away. When you bundle Spectrum TV with Internet and phone services, it’ll buy out your contract (up to $500) to rescue you from the dungeon of your current provider’s plan. Don’t keep settling for a plan you’re not in love with.

There is one important note with Spectrum: its DVRs are behind the times. Nobody’s perfect, right? To record all the great movies this package includes, treat yourself to a TiVo BOLT VOX instead of the Spectrum DVR. With the 1 TB model, you can record up to four standard and HD channels at once and save up to 150 HD hours. That’s enough to record the entire Fast and the Furious franchise nine times.

What to look for in TV packages and deals

Not convinced these TV packages are for you? Let us explain what to look for on your quest for the perfect TV package.

TV service types

You should know the different TV services types so you can see which is best for your lifestyle.

Cable TV

This is the classic, transmitted (as you’d expect) via a cable. Availability is often limited to a defined service area. Top cable TV providers include Cox, RCN, Optimum, Spectrum, Suddenlink, and Xfinity—all of which offer cable and internet packages that bundle high-speed internet with hundreds of live channels. This is the service to pick if you have a large household that does a lot of streaming and gaming.

Fiber-optic TV

Some providers, like Verizon Fios, deliver your TV channels via fiber-optic networks. These super-fast connections can handle a lot more data, which mean you’ll have a more consistent—and prettier—picture (ya hear that, 4K TV owners?). Fiber is great for big streaming and gaming households, too.

Satellite TV

Also somewhat of a classic, satellite TV signals get beamed from Earth to space, then back to a dish mounted on or around your home. For that reason, satellite TV is the mostly widely available—which is great if you live in a rural area or an ever-rambling RV. DIRECTV and DISH have a duopoly on satellite TV service.

Channel lineup

The perfect package for you might look completely different from anyone else’s because you have your favorite channels you don’t want to miss out on. Look for packages that include all the channels you want at a good price.

If you’re willing to invest time in examining each package from providers that service your area, you’re much more likely to find exactly what you want.

Area availability

Despite your quest for the best TV package in all the land, you’re limited by what’s in your area. Unless you want to move to a place with all the best TV providers (like Wake Forest, North Carolina), you’re stuck with what you got.

Enter your zip code below to compare TV services near you.

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What about bundles?

This article focuses on standalone TV packages. If you’re interested in cable and internet packages (or cable TV, internet, and phone packages), check out our guides to these providers’ bundle options:

Final take

For those ready to commit to a superior TV experience, allow us to recap our best cable TV packages:

    • The best package for sports fans is DIRECTV ULTIMATE All Included ($84.99/mo.) because it has the most sportsball channels.
    • The best cable TV package for families is DISH America’s Top 200 ($89.99/mo.) for its exceptional parental controls and many kids channels.
    • Movie fans’ best package is Spectrum TV Gold ($94.99/mo. for 12 mos.) thanks to its included premium channels.

Any of these plans should help you binge-watch to your heart’s content. But before you fall in love with one, enter your zip code below to see if it’s available in your area.

Our methodology

Our monthly promotions are tracked down by a rabid team of data specialists so that you get the most accurate information possible. We also put our editorial know-how to the test by comparing the deals and top packages from nationwide providers so you don’t have to. To learn more about our methods, check out our How We Rank page.

Best TV packages and deals FAQ

How much is cable per month?

Standalone cable TV packages run $44.99–$139.99 per month. You can find cheaper basic cable TV packages, but we don’t recommend them. You can get all the same channels by buying an over-the-air (OTA) TV antenna for a one-time payment of about $30.00, which is much cheaper than paying a monthly fee.

Can you still get basic cable for free?

You can’t get basic cable free, but you can get your local channels and several of their subchannels free after you purchase and install an over-the-air (OTA) antenna. You can get a good one for only $30–$60. To learn more about OTA TV and see which antennas we recommend, check out our guide, “What Is Over-the-Air (OTA) TV?

What is the best TV provider?

According to our “Best TV Providers in Customer Satisfaction” survey, DIRECTV is the top provider when it comes to overall customer satisfaction. But our editorial pick for the best overall TV provider is DISH, which rated 4.01 (out of 5.00), with DIRECTV close behind (3.99 out of 5.00).

What is the best TV streaming service in 2021?

In our guide to the “Best TV Streaming Services,” we named YouTube TV the best streaming provider among six other streaming TV services. For $64.99 per month, you get 100+ channels—including tons of sports networks, thousands of on-demand movies and shows, three simultaneous streams, unlimited cloud DVR storage (recordings expire after nine months), and up to six user profiles. The app is also easy to use and runs like a champ on an array of compatible streaming devices.

Which TV provider is cheapest?

In our guide to the “Best TV Providers,” we compared 11 top TV service providers and found that RCN has the best cable prices if you’re looking for cheap cable TV packages. RCN’s plans have up to 304+ channels at the lowest cost per channel ($0.20–$0.41) we’ve seen.

RCN also has some of the best TV and internet service bundle deals we’ve come across. And, out of RCN’s cable and internet bundles, we recommend Signature TV + Gig Internet ($79.99–$109.99/mo., depending on where you live) which has nearly 300 channels plus 940 Mbps cable internet speeds.

What's the cheapest satellite TV provider?

We’d say that DISH is the cheapest satellite TV provider. This is based on cost per channel ($0.33–$0.34) and the fact that DISH guarantees no rate hikes for two years. And we should mention that DISH is our pick for the Best Overall and Best for Kids TV provider. You can read more about that in our guide to the Best TV Providers.

Where can I find a list of TV providers near me?

To find a list of internet and TV providers in your area, enter your zip code below.

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How much does it cost to get basic cable?

Basic cable packages start at around $20 per month, though this varies by provider and service area. We don’t really recommend paying monthly for basic cable packages, though. You can get the same local channels with an over-the-air (OTA) TV antenna that you only have to pay for once—and you can get a good one for only $30–$60.

You can learn more about OTA antennas in our guide, “What is Over-the-Air (OTA) TV?

But, if you’re still interested in basic cable, check out our article on “Basic Cable Channels and Package Guide.”

Who has the best TV and internet bundle?

Our pick for the best overall TV and internet bundle is Verizon’s The Most Fios TV + Gigabit Connection. It has 486+ channels and 940 Mbps download speeds or $189.99 a month.

Which states watch the most TV?

ctv-march-tv-viewship-graph
State
West Virginia
Alabama
Kentucky
Arkansas
Louisiana
Rhode Island
Mississippi
South Carolina
North Dakota
Delaware
Hours per day spent watching TV
3.82
3.44
3.3
3.3
3.29
3.28
3.24
3.15
3.14
3.13

Average for 2014–18

All top ten states watched at least 3 hours a day, with West Virginia creeping closer to 4 hours per day. Kentucky and Arkansas tied for third by watching an average of 3.30 hours of TV a day.

While there are no strict guidelines on how much TV you should watch, the more time you spend watching TV, the less time you spend being active.

One study found high television viewing (more than 3 hours per day) and low physical activity in early adulthood were associated with worse midlife executive function and processing speed.2 That means reduced abilities to coordinate, organize, and make decisions, so you’re hurting your chances of becoming a Navy SEAL.

If you insist on watching over three hours of TV a day, consider using commercial breaks to stretch out, do some burpees and pushups, and drink some water.

With that in mind, we wanted to see which states were watching the least amount of TV.

Which states watch the least TV

State
Alaska
Utah
Vermont
Idaho
Montana
Minnesota
Washington
New Mexico
California
Massachusetts
Hours per day spent watching TV
1.71
2.02
2.2
2.27
2.36
2.38
2.38
2.49
2.49
2.52

Average for 2014–18

Alaskans watch an average of 1.71 hours of TV, making Alaska the only state that watches less than an average of 2 hours of TV per day. Utah barely crosses the threshold with an average TV time of 2.2 hours per day.

Increases in viewership with COVID-19 concerns

The number of COVID-19 cases in the US increased to 1,678 by March 15, 2020. By the beginning of the next week, that number exploded to 33,276. Along with it, cable TV saw a 156% increase in live impressions.

With COVID-19 measures taking place, Americans are spending a lot more time at home, but how much more? We took a look at how TV viewership has spiked during new coronavirus concerns.

Live TV impressions

Date Range
March 1–7
March 8–14
March 15–21
March 22–28
2019 2020 % Change
2,670 4,062 52%
2,529 4,627 83%
2,543 6,513 156%
2,453 5,853 139%

In seven major Broadcast networks: ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW, Telemundo, Univision

Among the major broadcast networks, viewership increased dramatically year over year during March.

In the first week of March 2020, the US started with 62 reported cases, but by March 8, that number had risen to 213. By the end of the second week in March, live TV impressions also increased by 83% from 2019 numbers.

Even without live sports going on due to COVID-19 restrictions, March 2020’s live TV showed a 156% increase in viewership from 2019. That third-week spike coincides with President Trump’s announcement on March 17that asked the workforce to stay home.

The fourth week of March 2020 showed a 139% increase from 2019, which is a slight drop from the previous 2020 week but still a significant shift toward increased live TV impressions.

April 2020 continued with shutdowns, layoffs, and stay-at-home orders of varying degrees. Once the numbers for TV viewership are released for April 2020, it’s likely to show a dramatic increase from 2019’s numbers as well.

Methodology

To estimate the amount of TV the average person watches per day in each state, we sourced our data from the American Time Use Survey administered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

We used IPUMS (a survey and census data company) to create an extract of the BLS microdata files. To get our final figures, we used an average of daily time spent watching TV for 2014–2018 to compare each state’s average.