How Much Is Cable per Month?

Average monthly cost ranges from around $40 to $145 or more, depending on the provider and number of channels.
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There’s nothing like curling up on the couch with the remote and a favorite snack to remind you how comforting TV is. What’s less comforting is figuring out how much cable is per month. Have fun wading through bundles, packages, promotions and various levels of service.

But we’ll give you the short answer for now. As of this writing, the monthly base cost for cable (without internet) typically ranges from about $40 to $145 for new customers. The cost depends mostly on the provider and number of channels. Also, taxes and installation can push up your price.

This price range is from Cox, Spectrum and Xfinity. The provider you work with often depends on your location and whether the company offers service in that area. Note that these are prices for cable only, rather than streaming services (like Netflix) or satellite (like DirecTV).

What about packages and bundles?

For an additional cost, some providers also offer a set of extra channels on top of their base price. For example, Cox’s mid-tier TV plan of local channels and basic cable is $115 per month. You could tack on a pack of sports channels for an extra monthly charge of $10. Xfinity presents a long list of programming bundles and streaming services you can add on before checkout, at additional cost.

Many providers also offer “bundles,” meaning they pair cable with internet service or a home phone line, typically for one promotional price.

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How to avoid overpaying for cable

As with any contract, scrutinize the agreement terms and fine print. For example, Xfinity advertises its lowest TV package at $20 per month, but the checkout process adds a "broadcast TV fee" that more than doubles the total monthly charge. This could come as a surprise if you went into the agreement thinking you’d pay only $20 per month. And Spectrum’s prices for costlier options are flagged as for the first 12 months only.

This type of pricing structure — that is, a prominent low base cost with additional fees only mentioned in the fine print — is changing soon. The Federal Communications Commission adopted new rules in April requiring cable providers to show a single, clear "all-in price" in ads and bills. The date when providers must comply is scheduled for later this year, or early in 2025 for small providers.

Until then, after doing some research, consider calling the customer service line of your cable provider (or the one you’re scoping out). Ask questions about anything you don’t understand. You may even negotiate a better deal.

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