Cox Now Offering Bargain Cable Service For $35

In an apparent effort to woo new customers who only want the most basic of cable service and retain some current subscribers who are thinking of cutting the cable cord, Cox Communications has become the latest cable provider to jump on the low-price bandwagon, rolling out its $35/month TV Economy offering.

The channel lineup differs from market to market, but all will include local channels and about 20 additional basic cable channels like CNN, E!, Food Network and Discovery.

The biggest absence from the channels being offered in ESPN, which is generally the most expensive basic channel for a provider to carry at around a reported $4.76/month per subscriber.

Cox’s price of $35/month for TV Economy makes it the most expensive of the recently launched not-quite-bargain-basement services. Comcast’s similar MyTVchoice service is only $25/month and Time Warner Cable’s TV Essentials package is $30/month. None of these services carry ESPN.

Of course, since many U.S. consumers have very little control of which cable providers they can select from, comparing the price differences between these services may be pointless.

Cox does also offer a $20/month TV Starter package that is basically a way for subscribers to get local channels without having to worry about over-the-air reception.

Cox launches $35 monthly ‘TV Economy’ programming packages [FierceCable.com via Multichannel.com]

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  1. Phil Keeps It Real [Consumerist] says:

    Well it’s called Cox for reason, right ? They’re stiffin’ ya !

  2. temporaryerror says:

    If they have the same lineup in my market that they mentioned they have in Idaho, I may consider it. Just about all the channels (Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, AMC, USA) are ones that I would watch. I don’t care about sports channels. $30-35 is about as much as I’m willing to pay for cable.

  3. Gardius says:

    That’s still very expensive. In Canada, Rogers offers a “Digital Basic” Package for $36/month that comes with Time-shifting, radio channels, and On-Demand. I believe Rogers “Analog Basic” is $25/month and it comes with 45 channels. It balances out with your cell phone rates being peanuts compared to ours, though!

  4. longfeltwant says:

    $35 is not a bargain for cable.

    Wait, wait, is that $35 per year? No? It’s per month? Well then yeah that’s still twice as much as it’s worth, at least.

  5. conquestofbread says:

    Cable isn’t worth the price anymore. We just have Netflix now.

    There might not be a ton of awesome content we haven’t seen before, but at least I’m not paying $35/month to have no control over what’s on, most of which is probably reruns and shit reality shows.

    • longfeltwant says:

      Why do you have a picture of my cat as your avatar?

      Indeed, my household pays $16/month for Netflix, which is enough to make me wonder each month whether it’s worth the cost. We don’t have cable.

    • Bunnies Attack! says:

      I mentioned below, but if you have cable internet only, and its a BLAST or higher tier, check your bill, you may have limited basic cable for free anyway. If you want to add a box to get limited basic HD, I was quoted $2.50/month.

    • Phil Keeps It Real [Consumerist] says:

      I beg to differ, I just got the GF’s studio apt, hooked up with Fios triple package for $78 including taxes. TV looks crisp, and changes channels super quick, dvr functions are fast, menu is intuitive & the internet is 20up, 5 down. She kept her old landline as well with no probs.

      All & all, a win win. Oh, sorry to mention, but part of the reason the price is low, is because we get a small discount through our employer for going with Verizon Fios. Sorry if this sounds like a plug, as I know that not everyone has access to Fios. Fiber optic is pretty cool !

    • TheRealMcCoy says:

      Actually you do have control. Its called OnDemand.

  6. meltingcube says:

    My apartment complex offers standard cable for $35/mo. I don’t pay for it. I have Netflix and Hulu Plus which is enough for me.

  7. nicless says:

    I have Suddenlink around me and their cheapest is $28. It just isn’t worth it when you get Netflix streaming and Hulu Plus for less than $20. Thank GOD that White Collar is on Hulu Plus though, or I’d probably have to man up and get cable.

  8. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    Our Comcast franchise offers basic cable (over the air channels) for $18.75 a month. I asked if they could kick in the basic networks free if I just paid for internet and phone service, but no go. I’d put up an antenna, but I’m pretty far away from transmitters so that would be pointless.

  9. PunditGuy says:

    Comcast “Digital Economy” is $29.95 a month. Supposedly. Anybody know if there’s a box and remote control fee on top of that?

    • Gardius says:

      The Digital Basic package I mentioned above does not include the Cable Box Rental Fee of $4/month, so the actual price is $40. Most places usually make you shell out a rental fee, or buy the box outright, and they very rarely include it in the price, so expect an additional charge on top of that.

    • Don't Bother says:

      As far as I know, you get up to three boxes for free. After that, you have to “rent” them from the company and get smacked with a fee each month.

      We have Comcast, and I hate it. I miss Bright House…

      • scoutermac says:

        I was told I had to pay $15/month per cable box. They required one minimum. I planned to buy a TIVO and use a cable card and they refused to help or sell me a cable card unless I had at least one of their cable boxes.

        • viriiman says:

          I know someone personally who lives in the NYC area and has Crapcast internet plus 1 TiVo with multimedia card. That’s it. They did not force him to also add-on a regular cable box.

          • scoutermac says:

            This was Indianapolis. My most recent attempt to order just cable tv I was told by more than one person that I must also order internet service if I wanted cable tv.

    • TasteyCat says:

      I do not pay a remote fee. I paid a $8/month HD box fee until I returned it for a standard box. I paid the same for a cable modem until I bought one, which has since paid for itself.

  10. Dr.Wang says:

    Before anyone gets suckered into doing business with this company, please be advised that Cox employees have a deep deep hatred of their customers. Their attitude towards the people that pay for them for service is one of contempt and disgust. They will lie and twist words. They will treat you with tremendous disrespect and a palpable amount of hatred, after you sign on the line. Stay away from them at all costs. Cox hates their customers more than you could ever imagine. I mean we’re talking old testament style hatred.

    • scoutermac says:

      Sounds like Comcast

    • scoosdad says:

      But tell us how you really feel about Cox, Dr. Wang.

    • Greg Ohio says:

      I’m a customer of theirs, and have no problem with them besides price. And, even there, any time I’ve called, they’ve been very helpful in finding a lower-cost bundle.

      I’m sure your opinion is based on your experiences, but that hardly means everyone shares it.

    • Brenell says:

      I have to respectfully disagree. I’ve had nothing but good experiences with Cox cable employees. I’ve had a local tech jump through hoops trying to figure out why my internet speeds were slow. The phone support has always been good. I’ve heard that Cox isn’t as good in regions where they purchased an incumbent cable company and rebranded it. Mainly seems to be the corporate culture from the old company carrying over and what not.

    • wellfleet says:

      I’ve been a customer for seven years and I’ve had exceptional service from them. The few times I had to have a tech come out when I moved, they showed up exactly on time and went above and beyond to get cable to my second floor in a crazy 1930s house. I have also called and renegotiated my bill twice and got a temporary rate reduction twice. I have their cable/internet/phone bundle and they’ve never been anything but super nice. So, your anecdotal evidence is anecdotal.

  11. ungeheier says:

    Give me Ala Carte channel picking and im all for it.

    • vorpalette says:

      I would be all over this in a heartbeat.

    • Pinklette says:

      My family watches four channels. It would be six, but I don’t want to shell out another $20 per month for HBO and Showtime. I’m trying to convince my husband that Netflix + Hulu + iTunes would be much less expensive in the long run.

  12. Derigiberble says:

    I see it as a very good sign that Cable operators are stripping out ESPN. I imagine it will only be a matter of time before there will be more non-ESPN “bargain” versions of most tiers. If that happens I’m sure Disney and perhaps Hearst will balk about their golden goose getting excluded and will force those tiers to not include Disney channels and possibly not History, A&E, or Lifetime.. as though that would be a huge loss or something.

  13. KTrenholm says:

    No ESPN?

    No sale.

    • tbax929 says:

      I was going to second this, but then I realized the only time I watch ESPN is when my favorite baseball team is on it and the game is blacked out from the Extra Innings package or when my favorite NFL team is on ESPN (which is rarely).

      But I get what you’re saying. I just was surprised to realize that since I have the football and baseball packages, I rarely watch ESPN anymore.

    • Rachacha says:

      I opted for a cheaper package that did not include ESPN when I signed up for FiOS. No one in our family watches sports and there was only one channel in the higher package that I occasionally watched that was not worth $10/month to me. This low priced package might appeal to a lot of people and at worst it is a headline grabber designed to lure potential customers to call.

  14. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    I imagine that $35/month pushes $40/month when you add in taxes and fees.

  15. tbax929 says:

    I remember a time when you could get bargain cable service for a lot less than that and it included about 60 channels. I’m not that old, so it wasn’t that long ago.

    I know because I had it when I first got out of the service and wasn’t making a lot of money. I think it was about $20 a month.

    Anyway, I am a Cox customer for internet and what I do like about them is that they don’t throttle their internet service. It’s truly unlimited. That’s the reason why, despite Qwest’s never-ending offers to get me to switch to their DSL service, I continue to stay with Cox. It’s $50 a month for their top speed, and I abuse the hell out of it.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      In my area, it wasn’t all that long ago that you could get “expanded basic” for about $25. We dumped cable about three years ago when the price eventually reached $40/month before taxes.

    • teqjack says:

      Cox does not actually charge for added throughput, but I am worried that it mght.

      Some time back, they offered me increased Internet speed for an increase in payment. While I wanted the increase, I decided it was too much ,omey. Later, I noticed the speed for my connection had more than doubled, without costing more. Probably some technical thing they could not “throttle” my line cost-effectively.

      More recently, they gave me a link that shows monthly usage. What scares me is that my usage is more than five times what that site defines as “allowed” usage for my internet-only connection,,,

  16. scoutermac says:

    Comcast advertises $29.95/month cable in my area. So I call them. I get all the way through the process and they decide that I also need a digital cable box. $15/month. then they start taking on other fees. I start doing the math and I’m up to $99/month. Or my option is to get the triple play with tv/internet/phone for $99/month. Hm…

  17. PencilSharp says:

    And, sadly, these “cheaper” rates are actually teasers. TWC’s TV Essentials jumps from $30/mo to $50/mo after a year. THAT’S a deal?! Source: http://www.fiercecable.com/story/time-warner-cable-expand-rollout-low-cost-programming-packages/2011-09-21

  18. Bunnies Attack! says:

    I’ve been getting cable internet without TV for a while now, without bundling its $65/month for the 30mpbs speed. After reading this I went to check my bill and noticed I have free limited basic cable bundled in already. It even has HD channels but I would need a box @ $2.50/month to get it.

    Just an FYI for those that are internet only from Comcast, you may already have basic cable included for “free”.

    • scoutermac says:

      That is because in order to prevent you from being able to get any cable tv the cable company would have to add a filter. Rather that doing that they just tack on a small fee.

      • Bunnies Attack! says:

        No, you’re misreading me. I can already get basic cable by plugging the coax into my tv. I just don’t get their HD programming since its on a different channel (rather than 3.01 etc like with OTA). So, basic cable is still free with my internet only package, but to be able to view the HD channels you need a box.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          I have Comcast internet without TV and it’s nothing but static on our TVs.

        • scoutermac says:

          Again they are charging your the fee for analog cable becuase a filter is required to cut you off. In addition if you have an ATSC tuner and if their HD programming is not encrypted you can get HD for free also.

  19. He says:

    Or do like I do and pay for Cox internet service. Then you a decent analog basic cable line up. No local DTV subchannels (PBS has like 5 here) is a bummer, but the reception is tops.

  20. Cat says:

    I get 35 with an antenna and tons more with Roku. More coming when I add a FTA Free-To-Air satellite dish.

    Hundreds of channels. All for free.

    Cable TV is so 1986.

    • Battlehork says:

      I’m curious about FTA. The ability to pick up wild feeds might be cool while it lasts, but most of the permanent channels look like they’re about the Bible, not in English, or both.

  21. thomwithanh says:

    Binghamton is the first place I’ve lived where I can get over the air TV reception. If it wasn’t included with my rent there’s no way in hell I’d pay for cable of ANY kind.

  22. Lyn Torden says:

    All I want from the cable company is high speed internet, and the education/information channels. DIfferent people have different wants. So how about À la carte? Of course the cable companies are giving a BS excuse for that:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_la_carte_cable_television

    I’d be fine with them just arranging the channels by genre, and offering each genre as a choice. My choice would be the educational channels, and maybe the news channels. I sure as hell don’t want Disney.

  23. Mark702 says:

    $35 a month isn’t a bargain, it’s a blatant ripoff. And that doesn’t include any HD channels I bet. I use an OTA device to get 15 channels, half of which are HD, and its $0 per month. That is why I haven’t paid for tv in 5 years. Netflix streaming at $8 a month is a good deal though.

  24. chiieddy says:

    I’m lucky that for $70 one time, the antenna on my roof manages to get all local stations.

  25. Will says:

    Wait, whats this Comcast MyTVchoice? Googleing it came up with nothing, and there’s no mention of it on their web site. I currently have Comcast’s totally basic which is around $16 a month (but gives me a $10/mo discount on internet), but thats basically just local OTA channels. Seems like this post is missing some details… I’d be willing to pay $9 more a month for CNN and discovery etc, but not willing to shell out $50+ for ESPN and the other stuff I don’t watch.

  26. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    OTA FTW.

    We’re far enough out in the boonies where there is no cable at all…we have Dish, but I did notice that when using OTA we actually pull in something like 30 channels. Crazy. Including a couple of MTV-ish channels that actually, gasp, play music videos instead of “reality” TV.

    I don’t see any reason not to go OTA if the budget is in a pinch. There’s not much at all that we’d miss if we totally just went OTA.

  27. pika2000 says:

    Bargain? OTA, HD, free. Nuff said. Get the rest of your entertainment from the internet.

  28. vastrightwing says:

    I mentioned years ago that consumers were already changing their media consuming habits. Guess what? The new lower price is too late and not low enough. $30 to watch ad ridden TV? Give me a break. Everyone has already mentioned the alternatives. Besides, now that I basically don’t watch TV I don’t care if they give it away. I’m done.

  29. Apeweek says:

    I loved cable TV in the 80s, but the vast wasteland has just gotten vaster and more waste-filled the last two decades.

    The wife and I are now hooked on endless documentaries and Star Trek reruns from a Netflix sub thru our Roku box. There are free channels on Roku, too, with even more classic movies and TV shows. We watch news for free from Free Speech TV, CNN International or BBC.

    Sometimes we splurge and get a pay-per-view movie from Amazon thru the Roku as well.

    The wife was skeptical at first about dropping cable, but now we haven’t watched a cable show in over a month.

  30. HogwartsProfessor says:

    The problem with these low-end services is that the price will STILL go up. I’m on DirecTV’s lowest thing and have lost a lot of the channels I watch, and they said that it will go up in July. I’m trying to wean myself off it before then, but it’s hard because all I really want is all my channels back!!!!!!!

    I’m not quite ready to cancel it yet, even though I did get a roku this weekend and mostly watch Netflix anymore. If I end up stuck here for longer than I want to, I may cut something else and go back to my TotalChoice lineup. I get so damn bored because there is NOTHING to do here. And you can only look at the Cheezburger Network for so long. :P

  31. james says:

    There seems to be good cause to phone around EVERY year if one has multiple service options.
    I got a very good >$70 / month rate on a Time-Warner “DTV and 5Mbps internet” bundle with a 2-year, no commitment price lock-in, Time Warner’s “switch from RCN” rate. Many more channels I’d watch than the RCN line-up, and much cheaper.

    Given that we have RCN, TWC, and FiOS in our building, I will be certain to switch providers whenever the promotion I have expires.

  32. Rick Sphinx says:

    I wish Verizon would have options to not get certain channels. I would give up ESPN to save the $4. Even if it only saved me $2.00 on my end and Verizon made and extra $2.00. If I could get a bundle, then eliminate some specific channels to save some money, I would do it.