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Best Cable TV For Seniors

Best overall cable TV provider
Most customizable packages
Best streaming app
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How We Chose the Best Cable TV Providers for Seniors

Many companies provide cable TV service in the U.S., but we’ve narrowed it down to the top five we believe are the best choice for seniors. After many hours of research, reading fine print, and comparing prices, we’ve created a comprehensive list based on three metrics. To debut on our “Best” list, providers had to have a stellar reputation and offer seniors the following benefits.

  • Bundling Options: Since an internet connection is a basic necessity nowadays, many cable TV providers offer great discounts when you bundle your cable and internet service together. We made sure to include those bundling options in our overview below.
  • Deals and Discounts: Some cable providers offer discounts for seniors and AARP members, or they have special deals at certain times of the year. Since getting you the best price is important, to make our list, providers needed to offer industry-leading deals and discounts.
  • Channels: Local and national TV channels are essential for getting the latest news. Plus, we made sure these providers offered popular entertainment channels like HGTV, Hallmark, and CBS. Many also provide add-on channels if you want to boost your cable package.

Do Seniors Need Cable TV?

Since 58 percent of those over 65 get their news from cable TV,1 most seniors need to have a quality cable TV provider to stay aware of all the latest happenings, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. To stay safe, older adults are at home now more than ever, and TV provides critical local and national news updates, entertainment, and education. For seniors who are at home most of the day and aren’t interested in getting their news online, we highly recommend cable TV for staying in the loop.

How Much Does Cable TV Cost for Seniors?

During our research, we found that older adults can expect to pay just under $50 per month for a basic TV package. So, even if you don’t need 100+ channels, getting access to your local and national news stations is possible without all the bells and whistles. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more robust TV package with extra perks and hundreds of channels to surf, you can expect to pay anywhere from $60 to $90, depending on the package and provider.

No matter what package you select, you’ll want to pay attention to your monthly bill after one year. Most cable TV providers give new customers a special rate for the first few months and then charge their “regular,” higher rate after the first 12 months. Make sure you know what that “regular” rate is and if it still fits into your budget so that there aren’t any unpleasant surprises down the road.

Keep reading to view the breakdown of our top five best senior-friendly cable TV providers!

  • 1. Spectrum TV - Best Overall Cable TV Provider

    Though Spectrum TV is a relatively new name, the cable TV provider is a result of the merging of three big-name providers: Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, and Charter Communications. Spectrum TV made our list as the best overall cable TV provider for seniors thanks to their package options, low prices, and commitment-free service. We were also impressed with their large selection of HD channels and bundling options that can save customers money every month. If cancellation fees are holding you back from switching cable providers, Spectrum TV has a great solution by offering up to $500 to new customers who switch. It can compensate for any termination fees you may incur when canceling with your current cable TV provider.

    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • Lowest monthly price for most basic cable channels
    • Three package options available
    • Contract buyout program
    • No long-term contract
    • Widespread availability in 41 states
    Cons
    • Limited DVR equipment and features
    Package Spectrum TV Select* Spectrum TV Silver** Spectrum TV Gold***
    Price $44.99 per month $69.99 per month $89.99 per month
    Channels 125+ 175+ 200+
    Contracts None None None
    Monthly bundle rates starting at $89.98 with Spectrum Internet $114.98 with Spectrum Internet $134.98 with Spectrum Internet
  • 2. Cox - Most Customizable Packages

    Whether you want a basic starter package or a large selection of over 250 channels, Cox offers older adults variety and customization with their Starter TV and Contour packages. Music-loving seniors will enjoy listening to tunes on Cox’s 50 commercial-free music channels, available on all of their TV packages. Customers can customize Cox’s Contour packages with sports and movie packs so you can get any premium channels in an al-la-carte style; they cost $10-$12 extra per month. You’ll want to keep in mind that Cox requires a two-year service agreement with most of their plans, meaning you may have to pay cancellation fees if you bow out of service before the contract is over.

    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • Customizable packages
    • 50 commercial-free music channels
    • Cox internet bundles
    Cons
    • Two-year service agreement
    • Only available in 18 states
    Package Cox TV Starter Cox Contour TV Cox Contour TV Ultimate
    Price $25 per month* $69.99 per month* $89.99 per month*
    Channels 75+ 140+ 250+
    Contracts 2 years 2 years 2 years
    Monthly bundle rates starting at $44.99-$74.99 with internet** $109.99-$149.99 with internet** $149.99-$179.99 with internet**

    *Price is for the first year. Monthly rate will increase after 12 months.
    **Price is based on the first year and will vary depending on your location and the internet speed you select.

  • 3. Xfinity - Best Streaming App

    Xfinity made our list for their large selection of channels and the Xfinity Stream app that allows subscribers to download and watch TV on the go using their smart devices. If you’re like most seniors, you probably use a phone or tablet daily. In fact, 41 percent of adults ages 65- to 69 own a tablet,2 and 77 percent of older adults use a smartphone.3 Thanks to the Xfinity Stream app, seniors can watch TV on any of their favorite devices, whether by smartphone, tablet, or laptop. With a pair of headphones, you’ll be able to watch your favorite shows in the waiting room of the doctor’s office or on a road trip. We also like that Xfinity has contract-free packages. You’ll pay a little extra per month if you opt for a package without a contract, so if you’re pretty sure you’ll be keeping Xfinity service for at least a year, we recommend opting for the one-year commitment for better rates.

    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • Xfinity Stream app lets you download shows and movies for watching on the go
    • Service agreement options
    • Largest cable provider in the U.S.
    Cons
    • Hidden fees on some packages
    Package Extra Preferred+ Digital Starter Digital Preferred
    Price $49.99 per month* $59.99 per month* $70.99 per month $89.49 per month
    Channels 140+ 220+ 140+ 220+
    Contracts 1 year 1 year None None
    Monthly bundle rates starting at $79.99 with 200 Mbps speed Xfinity internet* $104.99 with 600 Mbps speed internet* $100 with 200 Mbps speed internet $125 with 600 Mbps speed internet

    *Includes $10/mo automatic payments and paperless billing discount for 12 months

  • 4. AT&T TV - Best Overall Packages

    AT&T TV isn’t your traditional cable TV service, but it still made our list for seniors who are interested in forgoing conventional cable television and want to stream their favorite shows over an internet connection. Their packages start at $59.99 per month and are jam-packed with features. The majority of AT&T TV’s packages offer 500 hours of DVR storage to record your favorite programs, premium channels like HBO Max, Cinemax, SHOWTIME, and STARZ, for movie-loving seniors, and regional sports. Keep in mind that, unlike traditional cable, AT&T TV requires a strong internet connection for optimal viewing.

    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • 500 hours of Cloud DVR storage
    • Can bundle with AT&T internet in some areas
    • A year of HBO Max included with most packages
    Cons
    • Need high-speed internet to use
    • $19.95 activation fee
    • Requires 24-month agreement
    Package Entertainment Optimo Mas Choice Xtra Ultimate Premier
    Price $59.99 per month* $64.99 per month* $64.99 per month* $74.99 per month* $79.99 per month* $129.99 per month*
    Channels 65+ 90+(Spanish and English) 90+ 120+ 130+ 140+
    Contracts 2 years 2 years 2 years 2 years 2 years 2 years

    *Price is for the first year with a 24-month agreement, plus taxes. Prices will increase after 12 months.

    Money-Saving Tip: You can save $120 on your TV bill over 12 months when you bundle AT&T TV with AT&T wireless service.

  • 5. Mediacom - Best Cable and Internet Bundle

    For older adults who know they want to bundle their internet and cable TV service, Mediacom delivers the most channels at the lowest price per month. Their lowest priced package is $49.99 per month, and you’ll get over 60 channels, internet with speeds up to 60 Mbps, and TiVo. The 60 Mbps speeds are fast enough for you to enjoy browsing the internet, video chatting with grandkids, and watching videos. You’ll also receive a voice remote with your Mediacom package, which allows you to change channels and search for your favorite shows just by using your voice! If you have family or friends overseas, their premium package includes a home phone connection and 30 minutes of international calling per month.

    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • Great internet and cable TV bundles
    • International calling minutes
    • TiVo DVR included
    Cons
    • Only available in 22 states
    • Cannot purchase standalone cable TV, must buy internet too
    Bundle Internet 60 + Local TV Internet 60 + Essential TV Internet 100 + Variety TV + Phone
    Price $49.99 per month* $79.99 per month* $109.99 per month*
    Channels 50+ 125+ 170+
    Contracts 1 year 1 year 1 year
    Internet Speeds Up to 60 Mbps Up to 60 Mbps Up to 100 Mbps

    *Price is for the first year, plus taxes.

Five Tips for Saving on Your Cable TV Bill

  1. Inquire about a senior discount: There are so many great things about growing older – senior discounts are high on the list! Many cable TV and internet providers offer a discount for low-income seniors or AARP members. Talk to a customer service representative and specifically ask if these perks are available.
  2. Ask about military discounts: To give back to service members and their families, many cable TV providers have special offers for active-duty military and veterans. If you’re a veteran, give customer service a call and ask if they have a special rate for you and your family.
  3. Watch for seasonal deals: If you’re thinking about making the switch to cable TV, wait until a holiday to get the best rate or take advantage of a limited time offer. Black Friday, July 4th, Memorial Day, and Labor Day offer great cable TV discounts and perks that could save you up to a few hundred dollars.
  4. Sign a contract: Even though signing a one- or two-year contract can seem intimidating, it will usually get you a better monthly rate. If you don’t have any plans to switch providers or cancel service in the near future, we think the commitment is worth it.
  5. Bundle your service with internet: The majority of cable TV companies also provide internet service. If you want to get the best deal on your internet and cable TV, bundling them and getting both services from the same provider can save you money every month.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cable TV

Written By

Morgan Redding

Writer and Editor

Morgan has been writing about the senior living industry for the past five years. In addition to over 400 hours of research on topics like medical alert systems, health insurance, and technology for older adults, she also brings her previous experience working… Learn More About Morgan Redding

Citations
  1. Pew Research Center. (2018). Television news consumption varies most by age.

  2. Pew Research Center. (2017). Technology use among seniors.

  3. AARP. (2020). Older Adults Keep Pace on Tech Usage.