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What Basic Cable Channels Do You Get with the Most Popular Cable TV Providers?

Curious about which cable TV providers offer which basic cable channels? Learn more about your options with this curated list from SmartMove.

These days, it’s common to come across cable TV packages that advertise hundreds or even thousands of channels. While that may suit some cable customers, others just want basic cable. If you don’t want to pay for extra channels you’ll never watch, what are your options?

There’s no need to pay for more cable channels than you need. Basic cable TV still exists. Here’s a list of the basic channels offered from some of the most popular cable TV providers in the country.


What Channels Are Included in Basic Cable?

The specific channels included within a basic cable TV plan will be unique from one provider to the next and may even depend on the region in which you live.

Some of the most common channels offered in a basic cable TV subscription include: CBS, ABC, PBS, FOX, and Telemundo, along with any other public-access or government TV channels that are available in your region.

Depending on where you live, you’ll find that some basic cable packages include a decent number of Spanish channels.


Does Basic Cable Include ESPN?

Sports lovers might want a guarantee that their basic cable subscription includes ESPN before downsizing from a more expensive plan.

Though basic cable stations don’t typically include ESPN in their lineup, some cable TV providers offer a slightly expanded lineup of basic cable channels that includes favorites such as ESPN, Disney Channel, MTV, and CNN.

Contact your cable provider to find out whether ESPN is included in their most basic TV subscription. If not, you may be able to add it on for a small monthly fee.


How Much is Basic Cable?

Basic cable packages vary greatly depending on the provider you choose. On average, however, the basic plans offered by major cable TV providers can range from around $20 to $55 per month. The number of channels offered at this price range is often between 10 and 75.


Minimum Cable TV Package Options

Looking for a basic cable plan that works for you but not sure where to start? If you’re unsatisfied with your current cable provider’s channel offerings, Smartmove can show you your other options.

Let’s explore some of the best basic TV and expanded basic TV services available today from the industry’s top cable providers.


Xfinity Basic Cable

With multiple basic plans ranging from $20 to $46.95 per month, Xfinity proves that, as a company, it prioritizes the customer’s ability to customize their cable plan.

Though Xfinity’s basic channel lineup includes fewer channels than other cable TV providers, the low pricing makes up for the lack of options. Basic cable channels offered by Xfinity include:
  • CNBC
  • Comedy Central
  • CNN
  • Bravo
  • A&E
  • AMC
  • The Cooking Channel
  • E!
  • Esquire
  • The Food Network
  • FOX Business
  • FUSE
  • MSNBC
  • Nick
  • USA
  • TLC
  • And more


Cox Basic Cable

Cox is known for its generous basic cable package. This plan is a great fit for customers who are avid TV watchers but don’t need thousands of channels to watch their favorite programs.

The Cox basic plan is reasonably priced at $50 per month for over 75+ basic and premium channels. Note: Channel availability is subject to region.

Some of the most popular channels offered through Cox basic cable include:
  • PBS
  • CBS
  • NBC
  • FOX
  • QVC
  • C-Span
  • And more


Optimum Basic Cable

Channels Optimum’s basic cable plan bundles Internet and TV together into one convenient package. Customers get access to over 50+ cable channels, as well as download speeds of up to 300 Mbps for just $55 per month.

Optimum basic cable channels include:
  • CBS
  • ION
  • NBC
  • FOX
  • ABC
  • PBS
  • TV Land
  • C-Span
  • Court TV
  • And more


Spectrum Basic Cable

Channels Spectrum TV is one of the best deals on the market for basic cable, especially considering that their package includes more channels than others for a lower monthly fee.

For just $44.99 per month, you can gain access to more than 200 channels, as well as 60,000+ programs on demand.

Spectrum basic cable channels include:
  • NBC
  • PBS
  • PBS Kids
  • FOX
  • BBC America
  • BET
  • C-Span
  • CMT
  • CNBC
  • CNN
  • Disney
  • ESPN
  • FX
  • The Food Network
  • National Geographic
  • The SEC Network
  • And more


Fidelity Basic Cable Channels

FidelityTV helps customers stay connected to their local programming and national channels. However, this provider currently only serves Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Louisiana, and Arkansas.

Basic cable channels that come with Fidelity include:
  • CBS
  • FOX
  • ABC
  • NBC
  • PBS
  • Nick
  • C-Span
  • USA
  • TLC
  • CNN
  • ESPN
  • Disney
  • And more


Armstrong Basic Cable Channels

Armstrong’s basic cable package, called Economy Pack, includes all local channels as well as national favorites like Lifetime, Disney Channel, and CNN.

Looking for additional discounts? Armstrong is currently participating in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB).

Armstrong basic cable channels include:
  • Animal Planet
  • AMC
  • BBC America
  • FX
  • Game Show Network
  • Hallmark Channel
  • Turner Classic Movies
  • USA
  • TBS
  • ESPN
  • SyFy
  • The History Channel
  • And more


MCTV Basic Cable Channels

MCTV’s Lifeline Cable TV package is budget-friendly while still providing over 120 channels, 50 commercial-free music stations, and On-Demand access. Channels include:
  • TBS
  • TNT
  • Lifetime
  • ESPN
  • VH1
  • Spike
  • Comedy Central
  • Animal Planet
  • Nick
  • The History Channel
  • OWN
  • CNN
  • E!
  • Disney
  • CNBC
  • MSNBC
  • The Weather Channel
  • Bravo
  • And more


Verizon

With the basic Your Fios TV package, you can access more than 125 channels, along with customized channel recommendations for a monthly cost of $65. Basic cable channels with Verizon include:
  • A&E
  • ESPN
  • BET
  • Comedy Central
  • C-Span
  • FX Movie Channel
  • OWN
  • TBN
  • TBS
  • TNT
  • VH1
  • HGTV
  • And more
Ready to stop paying for the channels you aren’t watching and cut your monthly cable bill? The perfect limited basic channels plan is out there for you. Enter your address here to find the best basic cable package available today
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