“More than a hundred channels” and “thousands of programs” at a monthly cost. If you love binge watching, these words are sweet. And one of the means for you to access a sheer number of television shows is by cable TV.
However, be aware that the cost of cable TV continues to rise by each passing year. If you’re still willing to pay despite the increase, you must really love that program (or programs).
That said, here’s a guide on cable TV pricing.
Average Cost Of Cable TV
So, how much does a cable TV subscription cost? According to Leichtman Research Group, the average price in 2015 was $99 per month. It rose about 4%, equivalent to $103.10 monthly, in 2016.
The exact cost will depend on the cable company and the type of plan you prefer. In computing the total price, you will also need to include additional expenses such as installation, receivers, and outlets, among others.
Sample Cable TV Pricing
To give you an idea of the varying costs, here are samples of cable TV pricing from several companies:
- Optimum TV
- Optimum Gold: $109.95/month
- Optimum Silver: $89.95/month
- Optimum Preferred: $74.95/month
- Optimum Value: $64.95/month
- Broadcast Basic: $17.95/month
Optimum TV also charges additional fees in case you want to add premium channels, subscription on demand, international programming, and sports packages.
- Cable One
- Standard Cable TV: $80/month
- Economy Cable TV: $40/month
- Digital Value Pack: $14/month
- Click Cable TV
- Standard TV with TiVo: $74.98/month
- Broadcast TV + Showtime + HD: $28.64/month
- Broadcast: $19.69/month
- Standard TV: $59.99/month
Prices can reach up to more than $100 if you opt for Click’s cable + internet packages. Furthermore, the costs may go higher due to taxes and other fees.
- Xfinity Digital Preferred: $59.99/month (for 12 months)
- Preferred XF Double Play: $89.99/month (for first 12 months, $109.99/month on the second year)
- HD Preferred XF Triple Play: $119.99/month (for the first 24 months)
Be aware that prices cable companies list online are only starting costs. The rate will go higher after 6 months or a year of subscription. To avoid an unpleasant surprise in the form of a bill increase, contact your preferred company. Make sure you know everything about the deal you will be paying for.
So, what else will you pay aside from the initial cost of cable TV?
One of the immediate expenses is the installation of your cable. For instance, Time Warner, according to My Rate Plan, charges $29.99 for each cable installed to two TVs (with additional outlets).
Aside from installations, you will have to pay monthly fees, outlets, and cable boxes, depending on your preferences. For an idea, here is a list of additional costs from some companies:
- Optimum TV
- Standard Installation: $60
- Premium Installation: $99
- Cable Box, HD Cable Box or DVR Cable Box: $10
- Additional Outlet Premium Service Fee: $1.50 ($5 om Bronx and Brooklyn)
- Digital CableCARD: $2
- Restore Service Fee: $4.99 per product
- Service Call/Hourly Service Charge: $80
- Additional Outlet (Primary Installation): $25
- Sports TV Surcharge: $4.97
- Broadcast TV Surcharge: $3.99
- Cable One
- Broadcast TV Surcharge: $6.49
- Sports Programming Surcharge: $2.94
- HD DVR: $15/month
- TiVo Mini: $7/month/TV
- TiVo Stream: $8/month
- HD Receiver: $5/month/TV
Installation of Cable One is free if you avail of their Elite Package. The offer includes installing your internet and phone along with your TV subscription.
- Click Cable TV
- TiVo Receiver: $14.99/month
- TiVo Service for additional rooms: $8/room
Note that current prices from Click will revert to regular rates for some time. You should visit their website to keep yourself posted on current prices.
- Standard installation: Up to $500
- Broadcast TV Fee: Up to $7/month
- Regional Sports Fee: Up to $5/month
Companies charge fees that vary based on the plan. So, before availing one, make sure you agree with all the additional expenses that go with that package.
Saving On Cable TV Costs
Most people accept that cable TV is more expensive that its satellite counterpart. Furthermore, streaming channels is a cheaper option that emphasizes just how costly cable is. Still, this fact doesn’t stop viewers from availing plans and packages.
Fortunately, there are ways to keep the costs down if you just can’t cut the cord.
- Trim down the number of channels.
- Admit it. You don’t really watch all one hundred channels on your cable, right? If that’s the case, then maybe you can decrease them. For instance, switch to a standard package from a premium one.
The fewer the channels, the lower your bill.
- Keep yourself updated with promos and discounts.
- Typically, cable companies offer promotions and discounts every 6 months. Check the company’s website and see if they have something for current customers. You can also contact the service provider and directly ask them about such offers.
- Make sure that you’ll be paying only for what you need.
- Full-feature cable packages often include installation of boxes and DVR function in every room. But, as this saving tip on Kiplinger says, you don’t need the said equipment in all corners of your house. Evaluate what is needed and do away with the “full-feature”.
- Turn off your cable if you’re not using them.
- Turn off receivers, DVRs, and other equipment if you’re not using them. You’re not only lowering your bill, but also the overall cost of cable TV.
- Consider combining services.
- Maybe you’re following programs on cable, but you are also a fan of some Netflix series. Rather than give up one, try to customize a plan where you can benefit from both.
For instance, switch to a basic cable plan that offers fewer channels, then subscribe to a streaming service (or services) that have programs that fit your viewing tastes. After all, we can’t watch everything on TV. So, rather than overload yourself, choose what you like and be content with it.
Cable TV prices might continue to rise in the coming years. Doing the above tips, hence, will help you save on costs. A little cut on expenses every month will be considerable if you look back at it twelve months later. Be practical and enjoy watching without spending a fortune!