Best Cable TV For Seniors

Whether you want to watch movies with the family, catch all the big games, or stay up to date on the news, there’s a cable TV provider to fit your needs. We’ve researched the best cable TV packages to help you find the right one for your lifestyle — and snag the best deal.

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Best overall cable TV provider
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Most customizable packages
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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 choices 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 was 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 provided add-on channels if you wanted 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 peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. To stay safe, many older adults remained at home, while TV provided 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.

Quick Tip: Visit our guide to cable TV to learn more and find ways to save on your package.

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

    Spectrum TV 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 low prices, widespread availability, selection of HD channels, commitment-free service, and internet bundles to help customers save. 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. We also appreciate that Spectrum TV offers Mi Latino, a TV package full of Spanish-language channels.

    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    • Lowest monthly price for most basic cable channels
    • Spanish-language package available
    • Contract buyout program
    • No long-term contract
    • Widespread availability in 42 states
    • Limited DVR equipment and features
    • Small selection of packages
    Package Spectrum TV Select Mi Plan Latino Spectrum TV Select + Latino View
    Price $59.99 per month* $39.99 per month* $71.99
    Channels 125+ 140+ 200+
    Contracts None None None
    Monthly bundle rates starting at $109.98 with Spectrum Internet $89.98 with Spectrum Internet N/A
    Equipment rental fees $9.99+ per month $9.99+ per month $9.99+ per month

    *Prices will increase after 12 months. Broadcast fee in addition to base price and varies in amount based on location.

  • 2. Cox - Most Customizable Packages

    Whether you want a basic starter package or a large selection of over 250 channels, Cox TV packages offer great variety and customization. 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 à la carte; they cost $10-$15 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.

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    • Customizable packages
    • 50 commercial-free music channels
    • Cox internet bundles
    • Provides internet, TV, phone, and smart home security solutions
    • 24/7 technical support
    • Robust channel offerings and add-ons
    • Two-year service agreement
    • Only available in 20 states
    Package Contour TV Starter Contour TV Preferred Contour TV Preferred Plus Contour TV Ultimate
    Price $56 per month* $99 per month* $119 per month* $139 per month
    Channels 75+ 140+ 170+ 250+
    Contracts 2 years 2 years 2 years 2 years
    Monthly bundle rates starting at $108.99 per month with internet** $150.98 per month with internet** N/A $189.99 per month with internet**

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

  • 3. Xfinity - Best Streaming App

    Xfinity’s cable TV packages made our list for their large selection of channels and the Xfinity Stream app that allows subscribers to download and watch TV anywhere, using their smart devices. If you’re like most seniors, you probably use a phone or tablet daily. In fact, 44 percent of adults ages 65 and older own a tablet and 61 percent own a smartphone.1 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.

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    • Xfinity Stream app lets you download shows and movies for watching on the go
    • Service agreement options
    • Largest cable provider in the U.S.
    • Hidden fees on some packages
    • Monthly Regional Sports Network fees on some cable TV packages
    Package Choice TV Popular Tv Ultimate TV
    Price $30 per month $70 per month $90 per month
    Channels 10+ 125+ 185+
    Contracts No No No
    Monthly bundle rates starting at $40 with Xfinity internet* $80 with internet* $100 with internet*

    *Price represents monthly price for the first year with multi-product discount. Rates will increase after 12 months. Xfinity will add Regional TV fee and sports package fee where applicable.

  • 4. DIRECTV Stream - Best Overall Packages

    DIRECTV STREAM 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. DIRECTV STREAM’s packages start at $69.99 per month and offer unlimited Cloud 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, DIRECTV STREAM requires a strong internet connection for optimal viewing.

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    • Unlimited Cloud DVR storage
    • Can bundle with AT&T internet in some areas
    • Free premium movie channels for first three months with select DIRECTV STREAM packages
    • No annual contracts
    • Need high-speed internet to use
    • Prices can be expensive
    Price $74.99 per month* $99.99 per month* $109.99 per month* $154.99 per month*
    Channels 75+ 105+ 140+ 150+
    Contracts No No No No

    *Pricing will increase after 12 months. Available $20 dollar discount for first two months

    Money-Saving Tip: For a limited time, when you sign up for select DIRECTV STREAM packages, you can get HBO Max, SHOWTIME, STARZ, EPIX, and Cinemax for free for your first three months. You can also save $120 in your first year when you buy any package and a DIRECTV Stream Device.

  • 5. XTREAM: Powered by Mediacom - Best cable and internet bundle

    For older adults who prefer bundling their internet and cable TV service, Xtream from Mediacom delivers the most channels at the lowest price per month. Their least expensive bundle is $29.99 per month, and you’ll get over 50 channels, internet with speeds up to 100 Mbps, and TiVo. The 100 Mbps speeds are fast enough for you to enjoy browsing the internet, video chatting with grandkids, and watching Netflix in HD. You’ll also receive a voice remote with your Xtream package, which allows you to change channels and search for your favorite shows just by using your voice! The premium package also includes home phone service, perfect for anyone who wants to keep a landline. Just keep in mind: Prices for Mediacom bundles increase after the first year.

    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    • Great internet and cable TV bundles
    • Affordable starting prices
    • TiVo DVR included
    • Limited nationwide availability
    • Cannot purchase stand-alone cable TV; must buy internet too
    • Prices increase after the first year
    Bundle Internet 100 + Local TV Internet 100 + Essential TV Internet 100 + Variety TV + Home Phone
    Price $29.99 per month* $69.99 per month* $89.99 per month*
    Channels 50+ 125+ 170+
    Contracts 1 year 1 year 1 year
    Internet Speeds Up to 100 Mbps Up to 100 Mbps Up to 100 Mbps

    *Price is for the first 12 months and includes a $10 paperless billing discount. Prices will increase each year until the fourth year, when you will be billed the standard rate at that time. Does not include local broadcast or sports package fees.

Five Tips for Saving on Your Cable TV Bill

  1. Inquire about a senior discount: There are so many great things about growing older, like redeeming senior discounts! 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 switching to cable TV, wait until a holiday to get the best rate or take advantage of a limited time offer. Many providers will offer great discounts and perks on Black Friday, the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, and Labor Day 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 the 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