What’s the Best Cheap TV Plan?
Finding a TV plan that lets you watch your favorite shows without breaking the budget can feel overwhelming. After all, there are so many options available from different companies, including Spectrum, Cox, Xfinity, and Mediacom.
It’s important to get all the details about the best cheap TV plans and how they compare before you sign up for service. That’s why we’re here. We’ve compiled reviews, key considerations, and frequently asked questions about the top providers that offer the best cheap TV plans.
The big players
Spectrum’s Select plan is $49.99/month, has more than 125 channels, and you can add the premium channels you want for an additional monthly fee. For example, HBO is an extra $15/month, and Cinemax is $9.99/month. In some areas, a Basic plan is also available for $23.89/month. No matter which Spectrum TV plan you choose, you’ll get lots of pay-per-view and free on-demand TV options as well.*
Xfinity offers an entry-level Choice TV package for customers in the Central and Northeastern US, but it only provides ten channels. If you want more viewing options, the next tier package with 125 channels costs between $49.99 and $67.27/month. A variety of premium and sports channels are available with all plans, and you can rent a DVR to record shows you can’t watch live. You can save $10/month with paperless billing and automatic payments, and when you bundle Xfinity internet service, you’ll get a 4K Flex streaming TV box for free.*
Cox’s TV plans start at $74.99/month for more than 75 channels. You’ll also get 50 music channels, the Cox Contour app, and access to more than 150,000 on-demand movies and shows. You can add premium channels as well, but this will add to the monthly cost of your TV services.
Mediacom offers an entry-level internet and TV bundle featuring 60Mbps internet service and more than 50 channels for just $29.99/month for the first contract year. You’ll also get a TiVo and a voice-activated remote. However, there’s an additional charge for local broadcast stations and regional sports, so this could increase the overall cost of TV service.
Before choosing a TV provider, it’s a good idea to think about the factors that are most important to you. To decide which provider comes out on top, you should compare contract requirements, available channels and digital video recorder (DVR) fees, among other factors.
Spectrum TV has no contract, which means you can cancel anytime without penalty. Xfinity has a one-year contract, and Cox has a two-year contract requirement. If you cancel before the contract is over, you might have to pay an early termination fee. Mediacom guarantees the price for most TV plans for 12 months, but there’s no contract required for their services.
Spectrum’s cheapest plan comes with 125 channels, including popular options like ESPN, TV Land, HGTV, and The Hallmark Channel. With Xfinity’s Basic plan, you’ll get ten channels, including A&E, Fox News, CNN, Comedy Central, Lifetime, SyFy, and MSNBC.
The entry level Cox TV plan comes with 75 channels, such as CW, FOX, ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, and C-Span, along with more than 50 commercial-free music channels. Mediacom’s base plan has mostly local channels, but you’ll also get Univision, C-SPAN, and QVC.
Spectrum offers a DVR with 35 hours of HD storage starting at $4.99/month. Xfinity’s DVR can store 150 hours, and starts at $5/month. Cox’s DVR fee starts at $10/month, and you can record up to 24 shows at once and store up to 1,000 hours of video. With Mediacom, even the least expensive plan comes with a TiVo DVR. It can play and record in multiple rooms and has convenient pause, rewind, and fast-forward features.
What others are saying
Opinions on the best cheap TV service vary, but all of these providers have earned outstanding reviews.
“All Cox TV/video customers receive Peacock Premium for free (a $5 value). If you’re a Cox internet customer with an Essential or higher video package, you’re also eligible for free access to Peacock Premium.” – CNET
“Comcast promises almost 150,000 video selections for Xfinity TV, including a wide range of cable programming from HBO to MTV to AMC to Comedy Central. In addition, it offers a catalog of movies to rent or purchase, including titles that will be available on the same day as DVD release.” – ZDNet
Spectrum currently has a B+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
“Internet and TV packages start at $29.99 for one year and go up to $109.99/month. All TV Packages come with a TiVo DVR and Xtreme voice remote for easy searching.” – U.S. News & World Report
Cheap TV plan FAQs
Knowing the answers to these frequently asked questions can help you choose a cheap TV plan that you’ll love.
Can I save on TV costs by bundling?
Getting multiple services, like TV and internet, with the same provider can often help you save money. For example, internet service with Mediacom is free when you choose their basic TV plan. It’s a good idea to check current offers from each provider to ensure you’re aware of any potential savings through service bundles.
Can I get sports programming with my TV provider?
Xfinity’s Choice TV package comes with The Olympic Channel and The Golf Channel. In the Northeastern US, the $67.27/month Digital Extra package also includes the Outdoor Channel. With Cox, you can choose any premium channel, including a sports channel, for free for the first year. Spectrum’s Select plan comes with ESPN and ESPN2, and Mediacom’s optional Sports & Information PAK includes the NFL Network, SEC Network, The Cowboy Channel, The Olympic Channel, and The Tennis Channel. It costs $7.95/month, and you can add it to any package.*
Will I need to pay an early termination fee?
If you have to cancel your service early, Xfinity, Cox, and Mediacom charge $10 for every month remaining in the contract. By comparison, Spectrum doesn’t charge an early termination fee.
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*Pricing varies by location and availability. Speeds may vary. All prices subject to change; for current pricing and availability visit our TV service page. Prices as of 3/3/22.
Disclosure | Updater articles are based on our own data and research, independent from partner relationships. We are not compensated by partners for information and opinions presented here. Our Editorial Terms of Service can be found here.