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The Cheapest Cable TV Plans for 2023

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Key points

  • Xfinity has the cheapest cable TV plan at $57/mo. after fees.
  • You can save money with most providers by bundling with internet.
  • Live TV streaming services like YouTube TV are cheaper and come with more channels, but you’ll have to subscribe to internet separately.

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

These days, there aren’t a lot of cheap cable TV plans available. When you factor in broadcast TV and equipment fees, most plans start well over $50/mo. — and that’s usually for channels you can pick up for free with a TV antenna. That said, you can still find some good deals by bundling TV and internet together. Here are all of the cheapest standalone cable TV packages available:

PlanChannelsBase priceFeesEquipment
Cox: TV Starter75+$56.00/mo.Up to $25.00/mo.Included
Xfinity: Choice TV10+$20.00/mo.$27.80/mo.$10.00/mo.
Spectrum: TV Select125+$59.99/mo.$22.20/mo.$5.00-$10.99/mo.
Sparklight: Economy TVUp to 20$42.00/mo.$14.44-$30.54/mo.$10.50/mo.
Optimum: Basic TV (internet required)50+$30.00/mo.$9.99/mo.Included
*Pricing per month plus taxes for length of the contract. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices are subject to change at any time. May or may not be available based on service address. As of 03/01/23.

Cox: TV Starter

What we like

  • Equipment included in base price
  • With no contract, you can cancel at any time if you decide to upgrade or switch services

What we don’t like

  • Only local channels in cheapest plan
  • Up to $25/mo. broadcast TV surcharge
  • Low customer reviews

With Cox’s TV Starter plan, you’ll get access to a lineup of over 75 local 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 poor customer reviews. Out of more than 600 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 3.9 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 61/100, five points lower than the average for subscription TV services.

Xfinity: Choice Limited TV

What we like

  • Lowest starting price of any cable TV company
  • 20 hours of DVR storage included
  • Access to the Xfinity Stream TV app

What we don’t like

  • Cheapest plan only includes 10 local channels
  • Equipment costs an extra $10/mo.
  • $27.80/mo. broadcast TV surcharge

Xfinity is 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 $20/mo. in most areas.

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 A+ rating from the BBB and an average of 3 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 65 in consumer satisfaction, one point lower than the industry benchmark.

Spectrum: TV Select

What we like

  • Over 125 channels in cheapest TV plan
  • Available in over 40 states
  • Discounts when bundled with internet

What we don’t like

  • High starting price
  • $22.20/mo. broadcast TV surcharge
  • $5-$11/mo. equipment fee
  • Poor customer reviews

Spectrum is more expensive at $59.99/mo. (plus a $22.20/mo. broadcast TV charge), but you’ll actually get a solid lineup for the price, with 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 a C- 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 2,800 customer reviews. Customers cite surprise charges, unclear pricing, and a difficult cancellation process as reasons for negative reviews.

The ACSI gives Spectrum a 63/100, three points lower than the industry average.

Sparklight: Economy TV

What we like

  • A+ rating from BBB

What we don’t like

  • High starting price
  • Only 20 local channels in cheapest plan
  • Expensive fees

Sparklight offers two standalone cable TV packages for $42/mo. or $109.75/mo. You’ll also pay between $14.44 and $30.54/mo. for a broadcast TV fee and another $10.50/mo. for equipment. With all those added fees, Sparklight doesn’t end up being very cheap, and you can pick up its 20 local channels for free with a TV antenna.

Sparklight has an A+ rating from the BBB, with a 1.35/5 scor in customer reviews. Some customers cite poor customer service connectivity issues among their top complaints. Sparklight doesn’t have many third-party ratings, so it’s difficult to truly gauge overall customer experience.

Optimum: Basic TV

What we like

  • Over 50 channels
  • Equipment included in price
  • Cheap starting price

What we don’t like

  • Only available when bundled with internet
  • DVR storage costs extra
  • Only local channels included in Basic TV
  • Poor customer reviews

Optimum’s basic cable package is one of the cheapest options on our list, but you’ll need to subscribe to Optimum internet to access it. That said, it’s cable plans offer decent channel lineups for the additional price. Like most TV providers, Optimum has an on-demand library of movies and shows that you can watch whenever you want.

Optimum has an F rating from the Better Business Bureau. Out of over 1,900 customer reviews, Optimum receives an average one out of five stars, with customer service and connectivity issues among the top complaints. Optimum was second-last in the ACSI’S ratings, too, with only 57/100 — ahead of only Suddenlink (which is now a part of Optimum).

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. Choosing a TV provider that’s not cable may actually be your best bet — satellite and streaming services offer a much better deal these days.

  • Opt for a live TV streaming service instead: Services like YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV are significantly cheaper than cable TV, and usually get you a lot more channels, too. You’ll just need to subscribe to a home internet connection separately.
  • 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.

Cable TV FAQs


Who has the cheapest cable TV?


From the list of providers above, Xfinity 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, opting for basic service, or switching to a cheaper live TV streaming 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.


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.

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