How Much Does Cable TV Cost?

Written by: Staff
Last Updated:  August 13, 2018

Cable TV has become a staple in most United States-based households.  Without cable TV, you’re generally limited to local programming or online services such as Netflix or Hulu.

How much does cable TV cost?

On average, cable TV packages will range anywhere from $20 to as much as $200 per month.  This is all going to depend on the package, the channels selected, the equipment and company you use.  Basic cable with Comcast can be close to $25 per month, while Cox Communications will charge about $22.

According to this recent FCC report, the average basic cable TV bill is around $64 per month.

ProviderCosts (per month)
AT&T U-verse- $50 for 145+ channels
- $55 for 150+ channels
- $60 for 175+ channels
- $70 for 220+ channels
- $75 for $240+ channels
- $125 for 315+ channels
CenturyLink- $40 for 150+ channels
- $45 for 200+ channels
- $55 for 310+ channels
- $85 for 340+ channels
Charter- $30 for 125+ channels
- $49 for 175+ channels
- $69 for $200+ channels
COX- $10 for starter (10 channels
- $35 for 220+ channels (Contour)
- $76 for 50+ channels
- $82 for 280+ channels
- $105 for 340+ channels
- $165 for 380+ channels
DirecTV- $50 for 145+ channels
- $55 for 150+ channels
- $60 for 175+ channels
- $70 for 220+ channels
- $75 for $240+ channels
- $125 for 315+ channels
DISH Network-$55 for 190+ channels
- $65 for 240+ channels
- $75 for 290+ channels
Frontier Vantage- $77 for 200 channels
- $92 for 250 channels
- $124 for 300 channels
Google Fiber TV-$130 (not available on its own; you must purchase -Fiber 1000 plan)
Verizon Fios- $75 for 50 Mbps Internet and custom TV
- $90 for 50 Mbps Internet and preferred TV.
Windstream- $45 for 120+ channels
- $50 for 200+ channels
- $60 for 250+ channels
WOW!- $40 for small
- $100 for medium
- $124 for large
Xfinity/Comcast- $29 for local programming only
- $40 for 45+ channels
- $45 for 140+ channels
- $55 for 220+ channels
- $100 for 260+ channels

NOTE:  These are introductory prices for the first 12 months.  Unless you negotiate with the company, these prices will increase by as much as 30-40 percent.  Also, this won’t include adding DVR, additional televisions or other premium channels.  Treat this like an introductory base price.

What is going to be included in the estimates?

The package is going to be limited to what you choose as a package.  Generally, each package will have a certain amount of channels listed on the website.

You should also get a standard box that will connect to your TV.  This is in order to get the channels from the cable company.  They will also provide the necessary cables to connect to the TV service.

HD and DVR boxes can be included as well, but it will come at an extra cost.

Most cable companies will also throw in the installation for free.  This varies from company to company.  Be sure to ask ahead of time to see if they charge any installation fees.

What are the extra costs?

DVR boxes will cost more throughout your home.  On average, this will cost $5-$10 a box, per month.  A DVR will enable you to record, pause and rewind TV.

Satellite companies will charge for each TV you want to hook up.  Since each TV will require its own box, additional charges can apply.  These usually range anywhere from $5 to $15 per box, per month.

Some companies may charge a one-time installation fee.  This will vary from $50 to $200.

If your cable hardware fails, a service technician may have to come to your home.  Your average house call is $99.

HD channels for an HD TV will cost extra.  While some companies such as DirecTV include it for free, many charge $10+ additional per month.

Premium channels, such as Showtime, HBO and Cinemax, all cost more on top of your packages.  Premium channels can start at $5 per month.

Some companies may also charge extra for your local programming.  Consider getting a digital indoor antenna to cut these costs.

Tips to know

If your provider requires you sign a contract, make sure you write the fine print, especially when it deals with the introductory pricing.  While the first year may seem like a bargain, the year after may be a lot more than expected.

Depending on your provider, some may charge you for each TV you want to connect to the service.

How can I save money?

Drop your cable altogether and consider services such as Netflix, Sling TV, Hulu Plus or Amazon Prime.  Between that and your local channels, you should have more than enough content for less than $10 a month.  Consider looking at a GetRichSlowly post that breaks down the price for cable TV as well as ways to save on your channels.  Major channels such as HBO and ESPN allow you to view their content directly on their website for nothing.

Consider bundling your phone, the Internet and TV all in one package.  Many companies will give you discounts by doing this.  Also, check for other savings such as auto-pay and more.

Look for 6 to 12-month promotions.  By taking advantage of these promotions, you can get rather good deals and even free months.

Those who just subscribe to a cable Internet package will find that most cable companies will include basic cable free of charge.

Compare packages online.  Most larger named cable companies will provide pricing right on its website.  Always make sure that you check your local area to ensure that these services are available.

Order the services online.  Many major companies will have specialized deals for those who order directly online.  It’s best to order directly from the company since many authorized retailers may charge more to get their own commission.

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Average Reported Cost: $39.95

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How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. Terry VanPay (Kewaunee,  Wisconsin) paid $39.95 and said:

    Had Dish but the receiver didn’t work half the time. First time I called they sent another one. Next time I got a foreigner I could hardly understand, and he have instructions yo fix it! Remove the plug in cord from the back of the TV and reverse it with the receiver!!!! Sooooo every time I turned TV on I had to reverse this cord! Finally got tired of that and quit cable, got an antenna instead!

    Was it worth it? Yes

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