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Saving up on recurring expenses is the ultimate cheat sheet for budgeting. A cable TV subscription is one of those expenses. It is natural to ask yourself the question how much should I be paying for Cable TV? Well, you don’t have to pay through your nose for cable TV.

Local Franchising Authorities (LFAs) have placed a requirement on cable companies to include a basic package with local broadcast channels. These packages are highly affordable. If you are also looking for an economical cable TV option, this blog is for you. We will talk about some of the most useful basic cable packages by different providers

Best Basic Cable TV Plans

When it comes to cable TV plans, almost all providers offer the same channel lineup in their basic tier. The channels that come as an inclusion to these packages are ABC, CBS, PBS, Fox, and other other public-access local channels . There are also other channels in a basic plan varying from provider to provider. Let’s get down to discuss some of these packages.

1. Spectrum TV Select Signature

The lowest costing plan for Spectrum Cable TV is Spectrum TV Select Signature, which costs $64.99/mo.* with 150+ live channels, including ESPN, Discovery, CNN, and more. You also get Disney+ Basic with this package.

Additionally, you get access to 85,000 titles from its On-Demand library and access to the free Spectrum TV App. This is, however, a pricier option than the ones we are about to lay out for you.

* For 12 mos. Availability varies by location.

2. Cox Contour TV Starter

Cox Contour TV Starter has proven to be one of the best options out there for cable TV packages. At $61/month*, it offers 75+ local channels, including top networks like CBS, NBC, FOX, PBS & more.

There are additional benefits to subscribing to this plan. You are also eligible for a Contour TV box with a voice remote. You also get access to 150,+ titles in their On-Demand library. With the Cox Contour Streaming App, you are also able to get all your streaming platforms like Netflix, Prime Video, and Peacock in one accessible destination.

3. Xfinity Choice TV

It seems as though that Xfinity TV designed this plan for people who subscribe to cable TV as a backup and mainly rely on streaming. You get ten channels on this plan starting at $20/mo*. These include

*Prices, speeds, channels and package availability may vary from area to area.

4. Optimum Core TV

This is a relatively pricier option with many more benefits than a regular basic plan. In this plan, you get a free set-top box with this package along with a voice-activated remote. For $95/month*, you get to enjoy 220+ channels with a lot of premium channels like ESPN, Disney, Nickelodeon, CNN, SNY, and TNT in HD for free.

* for 12 months + Price of Internet

Key Considerations for Basic Cable TV Plans

With all these plans laid out for you to select from, there are also some things you should be wary of before subscribing to these plans.

First off, you should always enter the basic cable subscription with the knowledge that these packages only come with very limited set of choices. So, if you wish to diversify your content options, you may find yourself in a bind.

You should also be cautious of additional fees with a basic plan. With higher-tier plans, these fees may be omitted. However, with basic plans, you may end up paying a lot more than expected because of hidden additional fees.

Affordable Alternatives to Cable TV

  • 1. You can save more with an OTA (over-the-air) antenna. It has a one-time installation fee of $30-$70, which is lower compared to a monthly cost of $20-$70 per month. For this meagre investment, you get all your local channels in HD.
  • 2. Streaming services also prove to be an economical alternative to Cable TV. You expenditure on streaming is somewhere from $5 to $20 per month. Whereas, live TV streaming services can cost between $25 and $160 per month. There are also some free TV streaming services.

Even though these alternatives have their strengths, cutting the cord may not be the easiest for cable TV customers. With Basic Cable TV, you can add on your desired premium channels with your basic plan while OTA has that limitation . For streaming, on the other hand, you also need to invest in an ultra-fast internet. This makes Basic Cable TV an affordable and workable option.


What is a basic cable package?

Basic cable is a plan that television companies offer. It is a barebones plan with access to a select list of cable TV channels like ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, The CW, MyNetworkTV, Telemundo, Univision, UniMás, PBS, etc.

What is Cox Contour TV Package?

This package gives you a guide with customized recommendations, and over a dozen premium channels in HD. You can also access streaming apps in addition to a vast On-Demand library. It is a one-stop shop offering control over TV-related entertainment.

How to watch Live TV for free?

If you want to watch Live TV for free, you may find good options in Haystack News, Pluto TV, Plex, and Tubi. You may need to install their apps for access.

Samantha Iris

Samantha is a senior writer and SEO aficionado here at BuyTVInternetPhone, covering all things tech and entertainment. With her exceptional research skills and keen observation, Samantha creates highly informative and engaging blogs that keep our readership updated on the latest provider news. Most of her posts are about AT&T and DIRECTV plans and services. When not writing, you will find Samantha immersed in a good book or catching up with the latest movie releases.