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Best Cheap Cable TV Service of 2021

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The cheapest cable providers in October

As American viewing habits evolve to a hybrid of pay TV and internet content, cheap cable TV is more in demand than ever.

Of course, as cable prices rise year after year the term "cheap" becomes a relative term.

Still, if you know where to look and how to get the best cable deals you can do a pretty effective job of keeping that monthly cable TV bill under control.

Considering the notorious lack of competition in the industry, you might feel the outlook is bleak when it comes to finding cheap TV service.

There are options, however, which we'll cover, along with the best TV providers and how to negotiate the best rate for your service.

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Best cheap cable TV provider

Xfinity TV

Call to order now: (888) 473-8978
Download
Channels
10-220
Calls
Monthly Price
$30-70
See all plans
Call to order now: (888) 473-8978

Xfinity TV Plans

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Basic TV

10 Channels

$30.00

Extra TV

140 Channels

$67.00

Preferred TV

220 Channels

$70.00

Xfinity TV & Internet Bundles

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Peformance Pro Internet + Basic TV

200 Mbps

10 Channels

$60.00

Blast! Internet + Basic TV

400 Mbps

10 Channels

$60.00

Extreme Pro Internet + Basic TV

800 Mbps

10 Channels

$70.00

Peformance Pro Internet + Extra TV

200 Mbps

140 Channels

$80.00

Blast! Internet + Extra TV

400 Mbps

140 Channels

$80.00

Gigabit Speed Internet + Basic TV

1200 Mbps

10 Channels

$80.00

Peformance Pro Internet + Preferred TV

200 Mbps

220 Channels

$90.00

Extreme Pro Internet + Extra TV

800 Mbps

140 Channels

$90.00

Blast! Internet + Preferred TV

400 Mbps

220 Channels

$100.00

Gigabit Speed + Extra TV

1200 Mbps

140 Channels

$100.00

Extreme Pro Internet + Preferred TV

800 Mbps

220 Channels

$110.00

Gigabit Speed + Preferred TV

1200 Mbps

220 Channels

$120.00

Xfinity Triple Play Bundles

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Peformance Pro Internet + Extra TV + Voice

200 Mbps

140 Channels

Unlimited

$90.00

Blast! Internet + Extra TV + Voice

400 Mbps

125 Channels

Unlimited

$90.00

Peformance Pro Internet + Preferred TV + Voice

200 Mbps

220 Channels

Unlimited

$100.00

Extreme Pro Internet + Extra TV + Voice

800 Mbps

140 Channels

Unlimited

$100.00

Blast! Internet + Preferred TV + Voice

400 Mbps

200 Channels

Unlimited

$110.00

Gigabit Speed + Extra TV + Voice

1200 Mbps

140 Channels

Unlimited

$110.00

Extreme Pro Internet + Preferred TV + Voice

800 Mbps

220 Channels

Unlimited

$120.00

Gigabit Speed + Preferred TV + Voice

1200 Mbps

220 Channels

Unlimited

$130.00

Call now to order: (888) 473-8978
Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Flexible bundles

  • Month-to-month service option

  • Quality DVR choices

  • Mobile app

Cons

  • Less than stellar customer service ratings

  • Known for its occasional outages

Provider Benefits
  • Optional no contract plan

  • Great flexible bundle deals

  • Top quality DVR choices

  • Good add on channel options

  • Plenty of on demand content

  • Includes a voice remote

  • Online virtual support

  • 24/7 customer support

The draw with Comcast's Cable TV packages is their deeply discounted introductory rate. What else do they have to offer?

  • Bundles - You can bundle TV, home phone, and internet with XFINITY and save money. You can even bundle a home security service.
  • Contracts - XFINITY offers plans that range from no-contract to 24-month contracts.

With those benefits come these:

  • Hidden Fees - XFINITY charges you a broadcast TV fee.
  • Price - Your promo price doesn't lock in for the full term of your contract.

XFINITY TV packages

PackageChannelsPrice
Xfinity Basic TV10$30
Xfinity Extra TV140$67
Xfinity Preferred TV220$70

Best cheap cable & internet bundles

AT&T TV

Call to order now: (866) 551-0247
Download
Channels
65-130
Calls
Monthly Price
$70-95
Editors Take
4.5 / 5
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Call to order now: (866) 551-0247

AT&T TV Plans

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Entertainment

65 Channels

$69.99

Choice

90 Channels

$84.99

Ultimate

130 Channels

$94.99

AT&T TV & Internet Bundles

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Internet + Entertainment

100 Mbps

65 Channels

$114.99

Internet + Choice

100 Mbps

90 Channels

$129.99

Internet + Ultimate

100 Mbps

130 Channels

$139.99

AT&T Triple Play Bundles

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Internet + Entertainment + Phone

100 Mbps

65 Channels

Unlimited

$134.98

Internet + Choice + Phone

100 Mbps

90 Channels

Unlimited

$149.99

Internet + Ultimate + Phone

100 Mbps

130 Channels

Unlimited

$159.99

Call now to order: (866) 551-0247
Pros & Cons

Pros

  • User-friendly interface

  • Solid bundle offerings

  • Good plan selection

Cons

  • Data caps on some plans

  • Contract required for best deals

Provider Benefits
  • Pause and rewind live TV and sports

  • Record as many shows as you like at the same time

  • Thousands of on-demand titles

  • Access to Netflix, Pandora and more

  • Features a cloud DVR - record 500 hours worth of shows

  • Good selection of plans

  • Google Voice assistant

  • Easy to use

Like other cheap cable offerings, AT&T TV features a bare-bones plan with local networks plus other low-tier channels.

If you already have U-Verse internet, it makes sense to go with the cheap cable TV they offer as well.

  • Channel Packages - AT&T offers packages that range from 15-200+ channels.
  • Equipment - AT&T U-verse's HD DVR is included when you sign up for their TV packages.
  • Bundling - If you bundle your home phone, internet, and TV you can save some major money throughout the year.

However, before you switch, keep in mind:

  • Price - Your promo price isn't locked in for the full length of your contract. So be sure to do your research and calculate that into your budget.

AT&T TV packages

PackageChannelsPrice
AT&T Entertainment65$69.99
AT&T Choice90$84.99
AT&T Ultimate130$94.99

Best no contract cable provider

Spectrum TV

Call to order now: (888) 501-9180
Download
Channels
125-200
Calls
Monthly Price
$45-95
See all plans
Call to order now: (888) 501-9180

Spectrum TV Plans

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

TV Select

125 Channels

$44.99

TV Silver

175 Channels

$74.99

TV Gold

200 Channels

$94.99

Spectrum TV & Internet Bundles

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Double Play Select

400 Mbps

125 Channels

$59.98

Double Play Silver

400 Mbps

175 Channels

$89.98

Double Play Gold

400 Mbps

200 Channels

$109.98

Spectrum Triple Play Bundles

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Triple Play Select

400 Mbps

125 Channels

Unlimited

$72.97

Triple Play Silver

400 Mbps

175 Channels

Unlimited

$102.97

Triple Play Gold

400 Mbps

200 Channels

Unlimited

$122.97

Call now to order: (888) 501-9180
Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No contracts

  • Mobile TV app

  • Attractive bundling options

  • One-hour installation appointment window

  • Wide availability

Cons

  • Negative customer service reputation

  • No fiber option

Provider Benefits
  • No contract required

  • No extra cost for HD

  • Customer service online virtual chat

  • Good selection of bundles

  • Convenient self-install options available

  • 200+ HD channels available

  • Free primetime on demand

Spectrum TV packages

PackageChannelsPrice
Spectrum TV Select125$44.99
Spectrum TV Silver175$74.99
Spectrum TV Gold200$94.99

Best cheap family cable provider

Verizon FiOS TV

Call to order now: (888) 512-3393
Download
Channels
125-425
Calls
Monthly Price
$56-96
See all plans
Call to order now: (888) 512-3393

Verizon FiOS TV Plans

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Your Fios TV

125 Channels

$56.00

More FIos TV

300 Channels

$76.00

The Most Fios TV

425 Channels

$96.00

Verizon FiOS TV & Internet Bundles

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Your Fios TV + Internet 200

200 Mbps

125 Channels

$95.99

More Fios TV + Internet 200

200 Mbps

300 Channels

$115.99

The Most Fios TV + Internet 200

200 Mbps

425 Channels

$135.99

Verizon FiOS Triple Play Bundles

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

Your Fios TV + Internet 200 + Digital Voice

200 Mbps

125 Channels

Unlimited

$109.99

More Fios TV + Internet 200 + Digital Voice

200 Mbps

300 Channels

Unlimited

$129.99

The Most Fios TV + Internet 200 + Digital Voice

200 Mbps

425 Channels

Unlimited

$149.99

Call now to order: (888) 512-3393
Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No contract

  • Delivery on all-fiber network

  • High channel counts

  • Mobile app for on-the-go viewing

  • Multi-room DVR

Cons

  • Limited availability

  • Fees can add up

Provider Benefits
  • Test drive a plan for 60 days

  • Multi-room DVR

  • Personalized channel lineup with Your FIOS TV

  • No hidden fees

  • Fiber-optic network

  • Get direct access to Netflix and YouTube

Verizon FiOS offers affordability and the latest technology (fiber optics). Now that's hard to beat.

And that's not all they have to offer:

  • Plans - Verizon FiOS offers no-contract plans that allow you to pay monthly for your service.
  • Bundles - You can bundle your TV, home phone, and internet and save some extra moo-la.
  • Deals - Verizon FiOS allows you to lock in your promotional price when you sign a contract so you're guaranteed that price for the duration of your contract.

There are, however, a couple of points to keep in mind before signing:

  • Deals - That price lock guarantee is only good with bundles.
  • Equipment - Your plan does not include equipment. So your monthly bill will be hired when you factor that in.

Verizon FiOS TV packages


Best cheap cable TV alternative

Dish TV

Call to order now: (888) 474-3462
Download
Channels
190-290
Calls
Monthly Price
$65-100
Editors Take
4 / 5
See all plans
Call to order now: (888) 474-3462

Dish TV Plans

Package

Internet

TV

Phone

Price

America's Top 120

190 Channels

$64.99

America's Top 120 Plus

190 Channels

$79.99

America's Top 200

240 Channels

$89.99

America's Top 250

290 Channels

$99.99

Call now to order: (888) 474-3462
Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Transparent pricing

  • Strong sports offerings

  • Whole-home DVR

  • Compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa

Cons

    Provider Benefits
    • Whole Home DVR

    • Consistent pricing throughout contract

    • No contract option

    • Good sports coverage

    • Standard installation included

    • 99% signal reliability - in all weather

    • Up to 80,000+ movies and shows available On Demand

    • Google Voice remote

    Dish TV packages


    Cable TV availability by ZIP code

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    Key considerations when comparing cable providers

    There are a few useful facts to know before you even begin your comparison of cheap cable companies.

    • The FCC requires that all cable companies offer a basic tier of service. This is the most inexpensive package and typically includes local broadcast networks like NBC, ABC, and CBS, along with the PEG access channels (public, educational, and governmental).
    • While cable providers are required to offer the basic set of cable channels, they don't always list this option on the website. You may have to call to request the lowest tier plan in order to get truly cheap cable.
    • Choosing cheap cable doesn't prevent you from accessing your favorite premium options. You will still have access to pay-per-view, as well as the option of adding on channels like HBO (for an additional monthly charge).
    • Some cheap cable services require an agreement (generally one to two years in length) in order to lock in the promotional price. It's best to avoid this if possible, just in case you do decide to upgrade to more channels or add another service later on.

    Compare cheap cable packages

    ProviderChannelsMonthly Price
    XfinityXfinity10-220$30.00-70.00
    MetronetMetronet100-295$30.00-105.00
    SpectrumSpectrum125-200$44.99-94.99
    CoxCox75-250$50.00-130.00
    Verizon FiOSVerizon FiOS125-425$56.00-96.00
    SuddenlinkSuddenlink200-340$58.00-124.99
    DishDish190-290$64.99-99.99
    DIRECTVDIRECTV160-330$64.99-134.99
    AT&TAT&T65-130$69.99-94.99
    OptimumOptimum220-420$74.99-119.99

    Cheap basic cable

    With so many different packages out there, from 10 cable channels all the way up to 400 or more, the term "cheap cable" can definitely be subjective.

    Your idea of affordable pay TV may be just the bare essentials like local networks, or it may be getting all of your favorite sports channels and other frills at a bargain rate.

    No matter what you're looking for, the following advice can help you get the best deal on cable for your budget and preferences.

    Basic cable

    The cheapest cable TV option is usually called basic or limited.

    This package typically includes 10 or more channels, including those such as: ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, and Fox.

    Other channels that come with cheap cable will vary depending on where you live. For example, I live near the Canadian border so the basic cable plan in my area comes with a couple of Canadian networks, like CBET.

    Use our comparison engine to find TV providers by ZIP code, then you'll be able to see which stations are offered with basic cable in your area.

    Cheap basic cable packages range in price between about $10 and $25, depending on which cable providers are available in your area.

    Expanded basic cable

    Expanded cable is a solid cheap TV service option for those who want a little more variety than basic cable without going overboard. Cable providers may market this package under different names.

    For example, Comcast calls expanded basic cable "Digital Economy". Channels vary from provider to provider, however commonly networks with expanded basic cable include CNN, Food Network, Cartoon Network, Lifetime, A&E, and Animal Planet.

    What you won't get with expanded basic cable are networks like ESPN and HGTV. Still, as far as cheap cable services go, expanded is an affordable option with plenty of popular viewing choices.

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    Cheap TV service FAQs

    What are the cheapest TV packages?

    Prices can vary within regions, but Xfinity offers a great selection of low-cost tv packages.

    Can I get cheap TV service with no contract?

    Yes, a number of providers offer no contracts for their tv packages including Suddenlink, Cox, AT&T, and Spectrum.

    Recap

    In order to get the cheapest prices for your cable TV service, know what kind of programming you want, compare all available TV providers' rates, and work with your chosen provider to negotiate a package that works for you.

    Whether you're working with a customer service representative on the phone or through live chat, be polite yet firm. Sticking to your needs and budget allows you to resist being talked into packages you're not interested in.

    With a little time and legwork, you can find the services you want at a price you can afford.

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    Rob Webber
    Rob Webber

    Rob has 15+ years experience in the US and UK running price comparison sites for cell phone plans, smartphone deals, TV, and internet. He loves thinking outside of the box to build tools that empower consumers to make more informed decisions.