The most recent report from the FCC at the time of publication set the nationwide average cost of expanded basic cable TV per month at $64.41. Given the many factors that go into how this average is determined, your exact costs can vary quite a bit. The specific package you choose, your location, and the company that supplies your cable TV all influence your monthly bill. The average price listed by the FCC does not include taxes or other fees, which cause the total price per month to go up.
Price Ranges for Cable TV
The limited basic cable service from Comcast costs about $24 a month; its highest level plan starts at $85 per month. At Time Warner, the Starter TV level costs about $20 per month, with additional service levels costing between $30 and $80 a month. Cox Cable TV has an entry-level option of about $22 per per month, with additional service tiers ranging from about $39 to about $100 per month. In most areas, users pay an additional monthly fee of about $10 for a digital receiver or HD receiver. For all cable companies, the high-end options that have hundreds of channels, including premium stations like HBO, Cinemax, Showtime and others, cost well over $100 per month.
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Where You Live
Where you live affects your cable bill as well. Each state has its own tax rate, which affects the bottom line. In regions where there are two or more competing cable companies, the companies often offer special deals to attract customers. If you have multiple cable companies in your area, get quotes from each of them and try to negotiate a lower price.
If you find that the cost for cable TV is too high for your budget, consider one of these options to reduce or eliminate your bill.
• Choose the Right Package: The cable companies offer packages at different costs. Look carefully at what is included in each plan and see if you can get the channels you want in a lower-priced package.
• Cable Alternatives: Look into alternatives to cable, such as satellite services or Internet streaming options. In many cases, these can save you money while offering the television content that you're interested in.
• Canceling Cable: In most areas, you can get dozens of channels free of charge with the use of a HDTV antenna, which you can buy in many retail stores or online.