Find Cheap Cable TV For Your Home
If you’ve recently moved, you probably have a long to-do list to get your new home ready. And if you’re a big TV watcher, that probably includes finding cheap cable. Today, there are dozens of TV service providers that offer affordable plans with the most popular channels for everyone in the family.
When you’re shopping for cable television, keep in mind that a lot of providers will claim that they offer the cheapest cable TV. In reality, a lot of cheap TV plans come with fees and extra costs that can add up quickly. To help you find the best cheap cable to fit your needs, we put together a guide with popular cable providers, their prices, and their most notable package features.
Cheapest cable plans
To find the best cable deals that suits your family’s watching habits, you’ll need to gather some basic information, like services, pricing, and availability. Keep in mind that the cheapest cable television option you find may not have what you need. For instance, some of the cheapest TV providers might not have all of the channels in their basic plan that you’re looking for. Others may require you to sign a contract when you need more flexibility.
Make a list of your TV must-haves and compare it to cheap cable plans offered by some of the top cable TV providers. We selected our favorite options after comparing 10 providers that offer plans nationwide. You can use the information below to narrow down your search:
Provider and Plan
Number of Channels
Cox: TV Starter
|$25/month for 12 months||75+||No||19 states|
Xfinity: Choice Limited TV
Charter Spectrum TV Select
$44.99/month for 12 months
Mediacom: Internet 60 + Local TV
$49.99/month for 12 months
|50+ channels and internet speeds up to 60 Mbps||Yes||22 states|
RCN: Signature TV
|$59.99/month for 12 months||291+||No|
*As of 2/27/2020. Prices based on ZIP Code™ Charlotte, NC, 28208
We sourced providers by researching the cheapest cable plans in the market. We then chose and analyzed our list of top packages based on offerings, channel selections, contract options, and availability.
Why Cox made our list
At just $25/mo., it’s one of the most affordable cable options you’ll find. It’s also a great choice for people who have multiple TVs in their homes
Not only is Cox TV affordable, but you also get access to a lineup of over 75 channels. The most basic cable package allows you to watch all your local stations, including ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, PBS, and more. You can also get shopping networks like QVC and HSN, as well as a variety of music channels. If you want access to HD channels, you can rent a CableCARD™ from Cox for an added fee.
Cox has an A rating Better Business Bureau (BBB), which grades companies based on how they respond to and try to resolve customer complaints. On the BBB site, Cox receives lower average customer reviews. Out of more than 200 reviews, customers give Cox an average one out of five stars, citing confusing pricing and connectivity issues among the top complaints.
Cox receives a slightly higher 2.5 star (out of five) customer satisfaction rating on ConsumerAffairs. Top positive reviews compliment Cox technicians and customer representatives for their helpful service.
Based on the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Cox got a 59, three points lower than the average for subscription TV services.
Cox’s pros and cons:
- Cox offers the most affordable cable TV plan of any provider we reviewed.
- With no contract, you can cancel at any time if you decide to upgrade or switch services.
- The channel lineup only includes basic local channels — premium channels come with an additional price.
- The company receives lower average customer reviews, despite the price.
Why Xfinity made our list
Xfinity is probably one of the most well-known cable TV providers in the country. It has a pretty wide coverage area and is available in nearly 40 states. Xfinity does offer pricey cable packages if you’re looking for HD channels or specialty add-ons, but its most basic cable package sits at $30/mo.
But like the plan name states, one downside to Xfinity’s basic cable package is that it has very limited channels. You’ll only get access to 10 channels, like NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, and CW. This packing is the best for the basic TV watcher.
A major benefit to this service is that all customers get access to the Xfinity Stream TV app, which lets you watch thousands of on-demand shows and movies.
Xfinity has a C rating from the BBB and an average of 3.5 stars (out of five) based on more than 3,000 customer reviews. Positive reviews compliment knowledgeable technicians and customer service representatives. Negative reviews cite unclear promotional pricing and billing issues among the top problems.
The ACSI gives Xfinity by Comcast a score of 57 in consumer satisfaction, five points lower than the industry benchmark.
Xfinity’s pros and cons:
- Xfinity offers low-cost, basic cable that most people can fit in their budget.
- You also get access to the Xfinity Streaming app, where you can watch your favorite on-demand movies and shows.
- Xfinity’s basic TV plan does not have a wide channel selection.
- Some customer reviews claim that many cable packages have unclear pricing and expensive hidden fees.
Why Spectrum made our list
Spectrum fell in the middle of our list, and we included it for a variety of reasons. For one, it’s still a relatively affordable option at $44.99/mo. That’s more expensive than Cox and Xfinity, but you’re getting a wider lineup of over 125 channels, like ESPN, TBS, TNT, USA, and more.
Cable TV packages from Spectrum also include free HD and free on-demand content. And if you bundle two or more Spectrum services, you can save a significant amount of money on your monthly bill.
The BBB gives Spectrum an F rating due to unresolved complaints filed against the company and a failure to respond to complaints. The company receives an average of one out of five stars based on more than 1,600 customer reviews. Some customers cite surprise charges, unclear pricing, and a difficult cancellation process as reasons for negative reviews. Positive reviews praise some helpful technicians and customer representatives.
The ACSI gives Spectrum a 59, three points lower than the industry average, but on par with competitor Cox Communications.
Spectrum’s pros and cons:
- Spectrum offers a wide lineup of channels for the whole family.
- No contract allows for more flexibility.
- It’s available in over 40 states.
- Customer reviews complain about unclear pricing.
- Some customers write negative reviews about a difficult cancellation process.
Why Mediacom made our list
Mediacom’s cheapest cable TV package is a killer deal that has the added bonus of coming with bundled internet. For less than $50/mo., you can get access to over 50 channels and have internet with speeds of up to 60 Mbps. If you already have an internet plan, you can cancel it and save money by going with this all-in-one package. The downside to that is you’re not getting a huge lineup of channels.
With this cable and internet package, you also get access to the Xtream TV app, which lets you watch live TV or TiVo recordings from your mobile device, computer, or tablet. If taping your favorite shows is important, you’ll love that this package comes with 1,000 hours of TiVo DVR space.
Keep in mind that the website is pretty clear about added fees. On top of the monthly cost, you’ll also pay a monthly local broadcast station surcharge ranging from $13.45 to $20.38.
Mediacom is not rated on the BBB and doesn’t have many customer reviews. Out of 80 reviews, Mediacom receives an average one out of five stars. Some customers cite poor customer service connectivity issues among their top complaints. Mediacom doesn’t have many third-party ratings, so it’s difficult to truly gauge overall customer experience.
The ACSI gives Mediacom a score of 56, which is six points lower than the average industry score.
Mediacom’s pros and cons:
- The plan includes high-speed internet for an affordable price.
- It comes with the Xtream TV app for watching movies and shows on-demand.
- You’re required to sign a year-long contract.
- Added fees are going to drive up the price you actually get billed each month.
Why RCN made our list
RCN’s basic cable package is the most expensive option on our list, with a monthly fee of almost $60. We chose RCN over similar providers because they offer an extremely wide lineup of channels — the most of any provider on our list.
With over 290 channels to watch, you’ll be sure to find something for the entire family. Not only do you get access to local stations, but you can also watch CNN, ESPN, Disney, and more. Like most TV providers, RCN has an on-demand library of movies and shows that you can watch whenever you want.
RCN doesn’t have many customer reviews, but they do have a B+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Out of only 26 customer reviews, RCN receives an average one out of five stars, with customer service and connectivity issues among the top complaints.
RCN is not specifically mentioned in the ACSI benchmark.
RCN’s pros and cons:
- Customers get access to over 290 channels.
- It comes with an on-demand library of free movies and TV shows.
- No contract allows for flexibility.
- Only available in six states.
- It’s the most expensive cable provider on our list.
Tips to help you find the cheapest cable TV after you move
To save money on cable service, you have first to examine the plans available and see which ones fit your needs. The next step is to figure out how long you’ll stay in your new location. The length of your stay will help determine how comfortable you are with getting service that involves a contract. You can then look for the best deals using the tips below:
- Subscribe to fewer premium channels: Each premium channel comes with a price tag. The amount may be small, like $5 or $10 a month, but they add up quickly. If you only get the channels you absolutely need, you can save a good amount of money.
- Downsize your Cable TV plan: Most people only watch around 20 channels, yet they subscribe to a couple hundred. You may be able to shave some money off your monthly bill by choosing a plan that only has the channels you absolutely need.
- Call the provider and ask about discounts and current promotions: Cable TV providers are usually running promotions and discounts to attract new subscribers. It always helps to get a customer representative on the line to discuss what new customer discounts you may be eligible for.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who has the cheapest cable TV?
From the list of providers above, Cox has the lowest monthly rate. But to choose the right cheap cable tv for your home, think through other factors like channel selection, availability, and no-contract options.
How do I reduce my cable TV bill?
You can reduce your cable TV bill by cutting back on extra channels and opting for basic service.
How do I find a good deal near me?
The best way to find a good deal is to go to a provider’s website and do a search based on your ZIP Code™. Then, contact the provider and ask about current promotions in your area.
How long do cable television contracts usually last?
Typically, a contract will last from one to two years. Each provider has different contract stipulations, and some have no contracts at all.
Do cable providers offer discounts?
Yes, some cable providers do offer discounts, especially for new customers. Discounts aren’t always advertised, so we recommend calling providers individually to see what discounts you qualify for.
How do I get cable TV?
To get cable TV, shop around to find the package that fits your needs and your budget. Most providers allow you to choose a package and pay online instantly. You’ll also be able to choose add-on channels and schedule an appointment to have your equipment installed.