Watch CBS News

Best TV and Internet bundles: Save money and get the services you want

Depending on where you live, you might not have a huge selection when it comes to home Internet and TV service providers. But, when it comes to getting the very best deal, the word to remember is bundles. Internet and TV service providers love this word; they tend to offer the best deals when you use the same provider for your home Internet, TV service, cellular service, home phone service and even your home security. 

There are also deals to be had if you sign up for specific premium cable channels (like HBO) in addition to a basic TV channel lineup. 

Related: How we select our products 

 If you're signing up for a new service or changing providers, there are some important things to consider. First, to get the best deal, you may need to commit to a one-, two- or even three-year plan. You also want to consider the speed of the Internet you'll be getting, what equipment you'll need to buy (or rent from the service provider), the TV channel lineup you'll have access to and what technology is used to provide these services (such as cable, fiber optics, 5G LTE cellular or satellite). Of course, you also need to know what your total monthly bill will be, including all taxes and extra charges. 

Keep in mind: It might make financial sense to add an extra home phone line or subscribe to one or more premium cable TV channels–-even if you don't plan to use them-–if there's a special bundle or promotion being offered that will ultimately save you extra on your monthly bill.

Discover the best TV and Internet service bundles

Because not all of these TV and Internet service providers operate nationally, and all offer a variety of plans, we've listed them here in alphabetical order. (If you've seen another shopping guide that recommends a "top" bundle, beware: The top pick is likely based on the commission the publisher is getting from the service.)

Be sure to check the availability and territory supported by each provider.

AT&T & DirecTV


Services Offered: TV, Internet, Home Phone Service, Cellular | Starting Price: $125/month | Max. Internet Speed: 300Mbps (upgradable) | TV Channels/Networks: 75+ (upgradable) | Technology Used: Fiber Optics / Satellite | Added Features: Receive up to $300 in reward cards when you choose a bundle

AT&T owns the DirecTV satellite TV service, so the company can offer discounted bundles on AT&T's fiber optic-based home Internet service in combination with satellite TV. You can get even bigger savings if you add AT&T home phone service and/or AT&T cellular service to your bundle. The lowest priced TV and Internet bundle offers 300Mbps upload and download speed, but this can be upgraded for a fee. If you choose an AT&T and DirecTV bundle, you can get the TV signal from a satellite dish or via the Internet. Both the Internet speed and TV channel lineup can be upgraded.

What we like about AT&T: While AT&T tends to be more expensive than competitors, they're a well-known and reputable entity that offers a wide range of service options.

Cox Communications


Services Offered: TV, Internet, Home Phone Service, Cellular, Home Security | Starting Price: $55/month | Max. Internet Speed: 100Mbps (download) / 5Mbps (upload), but upgradable | TV Channels/Networks: 75+ (upgradable) | Technology Used: Fiber Optics + coax cable | Added Features: Required rental equipment (including a Wi-Fi router) is part of the bundle, plans can be customized, additional discounts offered if you also add COX Home Life and/or home phone service to your bundle.

By taking advantage of fiber optics and coax cable, Cox offers a variety of Internet plans, with speeds ranging from 100Mbps (download) to up to 2 Gbps (download), plus you can get a TV lineup with more than 140 channels. While the lower-priced plans have no long-term commitment, the higher-tier plans with the best offerings have a minimum one year commitment. All plans can be adjusted at any time, and there's a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

The best deals are available if you create a custom bundle that includes Internet, TV and one or more of Cox Communications' other services, such as cellular service, home phone service and/or home security services.

What we like about Cox Communications: This provider offers a wide range of services in the area it caters to. Because basic Internet speeds are slow, we recommend upgrading it (which will cost a bit more per month). That said, especially when you bundle TV and Internet, the services are pretty affordable.

Dish TV


Services Offered: Satellite TV | Starting Price: $85/month | Max. Internet Speed: N/A | TV Channels/Networks: 190+ (upgradable) | Technology Used: Satellite and Streaming | Added Features: Dish partners with internet service providers around the USA to offer TV and internet bundles that can save you money.

Dish is a satellite TV service that offers four channel lineups, ranging in price from $80/month to $110/month. All offer local (live) TV channels, cable TV channels, and access to between 28,000 and 35,000 free (on-demand) movies and shows (depending on the service tier you select). All programming tiers include a three-year price guarantee and a smart DVR that lets you record up to 2,000 hours of programming. You also get free equipment installation.

Dish offers discounts to people age 55 and up; military personnel; first responders and healthcare workers. 

What about Internet you ask? Well, Dish has partnerships with Internet service providers around the country. So, based on the type of Internet connectivity and connection speed you choose, a bundle may be offered when you go through Dish to acquire Internet service. Depending on where you live, adding internet service will cost as little as $40/month. Right now, if you switch to Dish service, you may be eligible to receive a $100 prepaid gift card.

What we like about Dish: All equipment needed to access the satellite TV signal is included, as is free installation and a smart DVR. Special discounts are also offered when you take advantage of Dish's Internet service provider partnerships to subscribe to Internet service.



Services Offered: Internet, TV, Home Phone Service | Starting Price: $40/month (Internet), YouTubeTV ($58/month with discount) | Max. Internet Speed: 500Mbps (upgradable) | TV Channels/Networks: 100+ (via YouTubeTV) | Technology Used: Fiber Optics | Added Features: New customers can save $15/month on YouTubeTV service for the first year, play a $200 Visa Reward Card is offered to eligible new subscribers who sign up for the 2GB or 5GB Internet plan

Where it's available, for $40/month Frontier offers fiber optic-based Internet service with a starting speed of 500Mpbs (with a router included). For a bit more money per month, you can upgrade your Internet speed to 1GB ($60/month), 2GB ($100/month) or 5GB ($155/month). There's no long-term commitment. For live and streaming TV channels, Frontier offers a discounted subscription to YouTubeTV that allows you to save up to $180 over the first year and be able to stream all of your favorite programming to your TV, computer(s) and mobile device(s). Frontier offers even more savings if you sign up for autopay.

What we like about Frontier: In areas where the service is offered, you can get affordable fiber optic Internet access and the ability to save money each month on a YouTubeTV subscription. Most families with average internet needs will benefit more from the Fiber 1 Gig plan, as opposed to the slower Fiber 500 plan.

Google Fiber / YouTubeTV


Services Offered: Internet, TV | Starting Price: $70/month | Max. Internet Speed: 1GB - 8GB (depending on plan) | TV Channels/Networks: 100+ | Technology Used: Fiber Optics | Added Features: Save $18/month for the first three months of YouTubeTV service

Only available in about 33 U.S. cities (but expanding), Google Fiber is Google's own network that delivers high-speed Internet to homes starting at $70/month for upload and download speeds up to 1GB. Three other plans, ranging from $100 to $150 per month, offer Internet speeds up to 2GB, 5GB and 8GB, respectively. All plans include 1TB of cloud storage and a Nest Wi-Fi Pro modem/router. Some of the higher speed plans also include one or two mesh extenders.

While bundles are sometimes offered, once you subscribe to Google Fiber, you're also able to subscribe to YouTubeTV's Base Plan, which offers the ability to stream more than 100 TV channels for about $73/month. With Google Fiber, there are no data caps and neither Google Fiber or YouTubeTV require signing a long-term contract. Using a Chromecast streaming stick, no separate set-top box is required to stream TV channels and networks on your home TVs. The same TV service is also available (at no extra cost) on all of your computers and mobile devices.

What we like about Google Fiber and YouTubeTV: Unfortunately, Google Fiber is only available in a handful of cities so far, but where it's available, the slowest Internet connection speed offered (up to 1GB) by Google Fiber is considerably faster than the basic Internet service offered by competitors. Also, if you have a smart TV, YouTubeTV does not require a set top box. Plus, you can access all programming via your smartphone, tablet or computer for no additional fees.



Services Offered: Internet, TV, Cellular | Starting Price: $30/month | Max. Internet Speed: 300Mbps | TV Channels/Networks: 200+ | Technology Used: Cable (Fiber Optics in some areas) | Added Features: Equipment rental included, new customers may be eligible for a $200 prepaid gift card

When you choose Optimum as your Internet service provider, for an extra $35 per month, you can add the basic Optimum TV plan that includes more than 200 live channels. The TV plan can be upgraded to include more than 290 channels or more than 340 channels (including HBO). The Internet plan can also be upgraded to offer a connectivity speed up to 1GB. Additional savings, up to $15/month, is offered on all Internet and TV plans if you add Optimum cellular service to your phone as well.

The $30/month core Internet plan requires you to use Optimum for your cellular service and requires a two-year commitment. Without bundling cellular service the monthly Internet fee is $40 (also with a two-year commitment).

What we like about Optimum: This provider offers either fiber optics or traditional coax cable connectivity, based on where you're located. The available bundle packages offer decent savings, especially if you're willing to switch your cellular service to Optimum as well.



Services Offered: Internet, TV, home phone service, cellular | Starting Price: $65/month | Max. Internet Speed: 30Mbps (download), 10Mbps (upload) for basic plan (upgradable) | TV Channels/Networks: 150+ | Technology Used: Cable | Added Features: Peacock network is included with most TV packages.

Starting at $65/month, Spectrum offers TV and Internet bundles that include more than 150 live TV channels and Internet speed up to 30Mbps (download) and 10Mpbs (upload). Both services rely on coax cable and include the rental of a modem and set top box. For an additional fee, you can expand your TV channel lineup and/or boost Internet speed. As with all of the services in this roundup, Spectrum is only offered in specific areas throughout the country.

Depending on where you live, you may be eligible to subscribe to the new SpectrumOne Stream service. This includes Internet, mobile service and Spectrum TV for a discounted bundle price. The exact price you'll pay depends on where you live and the service options you choose for each component of the plan. However, when you switch to SpectrumOne Stream, you could be eligible for a $100 Visa Rewards card. 

What we like about Spectrum: This provider's pricing is in line with competitors around the country, but the basic Internet plan's speed is on the slow side. We recommend you upgrade for a better streaming and web surfing experience. Be sure to ask about custom service bundles to get the best deal on TV and Internet.

Verizon FIOS


Services Offered: TV, Internet, Home Phone Service | Starting Price: $100/month (Your Fios TV Bundle) | Max. Internet Speed: 300Mbps (with faster options available) | TV Channels/Networks: 125+ | Technology Used: Fiber Optics | Added Features: Includes one set top box rental, eligible new subscribers receive up to a $500 Verizon gift card

If available in your area, Verizon has gone all in using fiber optic technology to deliver high speed Internet and TV service, as well as optional home phone service, to its customers. A variety of bundle packages are offered, ranging from $100/month to $184/month, with the higher priced plans offering more TV channels and faster Internet speed. 

For TV viewing, Verizon FIOS offers two main options. You can choose the company's channel line that's delivered to your home via fiber optic cable and a set top box, or you can sign up for Fios Internet and subscribe to Verizon's YouTubeTV plan, which includes 85+ channels, also starting around $73/month.

What we like about Verizon Fios: In addition to offering affordable, lower-end TV and Internet bundles that rely on fiber optics, you have access to a nice selection of Internet speed and TV channel lineup options. 

Xfinity (Comcast)

Xfinity Comcast

Services Offered: TV, Internet, Home Phone Service, Cellular, Home Security | Starting Price: $70/month | Max. Internet Speed: 200Mbps (upgradable) | TV Channels/Networks: 10+ | Technology Used: Cable | Added Features: Peacock subscription included with most bundles

As one of the largest media conglomerates in the country, Comcast/Universal owns Xfinity, NBC, Universal Pictures and a wide range of other networks. Thus, the company is able to offer cable TV packages bundled with Internet service, starting at around $70 per month. This includes access to 10 TV channels and networks, plus an internet connection speed up to 200Mbps. Of course, a wide range of upgrade options are available (including TV packages offering 185+ channels and Internet speeds up to 1,200Mbps). Additional savings is offered if you add home phone service, cellular service and/or home security to your bundle.

What we like about Xfinity: In cities and regions where Xfinity is offered, it tends to be a bit more expensive than competitors, but if you're willing to accept a bundle that includes Internet, TV and a home phone line, there are some great deals to be had. And if you upgrade to a higher Internet speed, you'll enjoy fast and reliable performance. On the TV side, Xfinity offers a variety of TV channel lineups. We suggest skipping the entry-level plan and upgrading to one that offers 125+ channels. 

Additional discounts might be available…if you ask

For qualifying lower-income households, the Affordable Connectivity Program (under the FCC) guarantees a discount up to $30 per month on home Internet service that's needed for work, school, healthcare or other essential purposes. Also, be sure to ask the service provider about discounts for students, seniors or military personnel.

You can also "cut the cord" and save

One popular, money-saving option is to acquire home Internet service from a local provider (at the connection speed you choose) and then, instead of subscribing to TV through that service provider, seeking out a separate streaming service instead. Services like YouTubeTV, Hulu and SlingTV offer multiple, flat-rate streaming TV plans that include live channels and on-demand programming from popular networks. You also have the option of subscribing to individual streaming channels and networks (like Netflix, Hulu, Paramount+ and Disney+) on an a la carte basis to access a wide range of programming. 

While these streaming services are available via smart TVs or a proprietary mobile app for each service on a mobile device, for older TVs that are not "smart," you'll need to purchase a streaming device, such as Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, or Amazon Fire TV. Any of these devices plugs into the HDMI port of your TV and links with your home's Internet to provide streaming TV from the services you subscribe to.

Answers to questions about Internet and cable TV bundles

Here are some answers to common questions people have when shopping for a home Internet and TV service.

Can I save money bundling TV and Internet services?

Almost always, the answer is yes. But you can typically save even more if you add home phone, cellular or another service offered by a provider. Bundling your services is almost always the best way to go, but be sure to ask about other discounts you may be entitled to.

What is fiber optic tech?

In short, it can offer much faster connectivity compared to traditional coax cable. It also tends to offer upwards of 99.9% network reliability. Most Internet service providers that use fiber optics have no limits on how much data a household can use each month.

What equipment will I need to buy or rent?

For home Internet, you'll typically need a modem. If you want home Wi-Fi, you'll also need a router. In some cases, these two technologies can combined into the same device. While you can purchase your own modem and/or router, if you're not tech savvy, it's best to rent the equipment endorsed and supplied by your service provider. This ensures you'll have no setup and compatibility issues. Your service provider will also upgrade your equipment, as needed. 

For traditional cable TV, you'll also need a set-top box for each TV that will need cable access. Or, if you have a smart TV, you can subscribe to a cable service and then stream programming using that provider's app, or use the app for each network included in your TV plan. Again, we recommend renting the set top boxes you need from your service provider to ensure compatibility.

Is there a way to lower my TV and Internet bill?

Often, you can lower your monthly bill, but you'll wind up sacrificing Internet connectivity speed, or some TV channels. Keep in mind, you can also typically lower your bill by cutting premium channels you pay extra for, like HBO. You can also reduce the number of set-top boxes you need with your cable TV plan and focus more on streaming using smart TVs. 

These days, there's no need to pay extra for a DVR, since almost all programming is also available on-demand, so you can watch it whenever you want. Over the long-term, you can also save money if you buy your own modem or router. But when it comes time to upgrade, you'll need new equipment. If you rent your equipment from the service provider, you'll pay a monthly fee, but the equipment will be upgraded for no additional cost. You're also ensured full compatibility with your service provider. 

Finally, if you hope to lower your monthly TV and Internet bill, contact your provider and ask about new bundles and promotions that might not have been available when you first signed up. Also, don't be afraid to negotiate a bit.

Is it better to subscribe to a cable, fiber optic, satellite TV or a streaming service?

It all depends on what you want to watch, where those shows are available and whether you want to watch those shows on your TV, versus other devices. These days, the line between traditional broadcast networks, cable networks, premium cable channels and streaming services has blurred. For example, when you subscribe to Paramount+ with Showtime, you also now get access to Showtime, plus all of the CBS shows and original Paramount+ shows and movies offered. 

Meanwhile, in addition to original programming, Hulu offers on-demand access to network TV shows and movies from NBC and Fox (and other networks owned by Disney). Peacock offers programming from NBC and NBC/Universal-owned cable networks, while Disney+ offers original programming, plus programming from ABC and multiple Disney-owned networks. Of course, each of these services has a separate monthly fee, so when you add them all together and throw Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and other popular streaming services into the mix, you could wind up paying more per month than traditional cable TV.

We recommend you figure out what you want to watch, where you want to watch it and what you're already paying for. Next, figure out what TV programming or streaming options make the most sense for you. And getting back to the concept that bundles can always save you money, several streaming services offer money-saving bundles. For example, The Disney Bundle includes Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99 per month (with ads) or $19.99 per month (ad-free).

Related content from CBS Essentials

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.