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Spectrum TV Essentials Package

The Basics
This plan is no longer available and has been replaced by the TV Stream package ($39.99/mo for 80 chs).

The smallest and least-expensive TV plan from Spectrum, TV Essentials has a surprisingly attractive mix of channels. It features 65 high-value channels for $29.99/mo. Part of the reason for the relatively low price is that Essentials is only available as part of an internet bundle (no contract required). So, if you don't watch a ton of TV and already have Spectrum internet, this plan could be a great fit.

TV Essentials
65+ channels
$29.99 /mo
internet bundle required
Regular: $29.99
  • Over 65 live channels
  • Free HD channels
  • Watch anywhere with Spectrum TV App
  • No contracts
  • Free On Demand Access
  • No receiver needed
  • Spectrum paying you to switch
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Even though TV Essentials has 85 less channels than Spectrum's most popular TV plan (Select), you'll actually get a fair number of quality channels not found in Select. Just a few on that list: AXS TV, Cooking Channel, Discovery Family, GSN, LMN, OWN, Science Channel, Crime & Investigation, Discovery Life and Hallmark Drama. Surprisingly strong list of channels only found in an "inferior" plan.

Of note, this plan DOES NOT include local channels so if that's a must-have, look elsewhere. Movie buffs will dig these included networks: AMC, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, HDNet Movies, IFC, LMN, Paramount Network and Spectrum Originals. When it comes to sports, there's really not much here. You'll get Motortrend and that's it.

PERFECT FOR: folks that want to bundle and aren't into sports.


Check out all the channels available below:

TV Essentials Channel Lineup

View Deals
Questions? Call 1-844-895-6321Compare to other plans
Channel Base Channels
Movie Channels
Sports Channels
Local Channels
Spanish Channels
Music Channels
American Heroes Channel
Animal Planet
BBC America
BBC World News
Comedy Central
Cooking Channel
Country Music TV (CMT)
Crime & Investigation
Destination America
Discovery Family
Discovery Life
Disney Channel
DIY Network
Food Network
GAC Family
Hallmark Channel
Hallmark Drama
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
HDNet Movies
Home and Garden TV (HGTV)
Inspiration Channel (INSP)
Investigation Discovery
Military History
MotorTrend Network
MTV Classic
MTV Live
New York 1 News
Newsmax TV
Nick Jr
Nick Music
Outdoor Channel
Paramount Network
Science Channel
Spectrum News
Spectrum Originals
Travel Channel
TV Land
TV One
WE tv
Weather Channel (TWC)
Last updated: 2/2/24

Where to find this package:

As of today, get TV Essentials at the lowest price available below, with the most savings over the phone...

TV Essentials Deal
Expires: soon
  • TV Essentials package for as low as $29.99/mo
  • Over 65 live TV channels
  • Free HD programming
  • Spectrum will buy out your current contract
  • Note: This is Spectrum's best offer since Oct 2021
Learn More
Talk with a Spectrum TV specialist:
38% Off

Actual Cost of the TV Essentials Plan

Hidden monthly fees

Here, we'll review ALL the obscure line items that can show up on your Spectrum bill. Overall, Spectrum does a good job of being price transparent with this plan. The only extra fee everyone has on their bill is a regular tax (average of $1.50/mo). The exact tax depends on your local and state government regulations.

Since there are no local channels in TV Essentials, you won't have to deal with the "Broadcast TV" fee for local programming. That saves you a tidy $25.75/mo.

Spectrum TV Essentials fees


Apple TV 4K device option

Since this bundle requires internet and you can stream TV via the Spectrum TV app, there's no HD Box requirement (so, no extra receiver fee). If you want more options, during sign-up, there's a way to add an Apple TV 4k device...

With the Apple TV box, you can add ALL your streaming accounts (Netflix, max, etc) and combine that with your TV Essentials programming. So, everything in one place with a sleek, modern look. Choosing Apple TV goes for $5.00/mo and with an extra $4.99/mo for DVR access.

Installation: service activation fee

Setting up cable TV service is pretty easy these days. In most cases, you can set it up yourself. You can also choose to have a technician come down and get everything connected just right. Either route, your final step includes an activation fee of $30. It's obviously a one-time charge and can sometimes be waived (especially if you self-install).

Save with an internet bundle

As mentioned, you can only get TV Essentials with an internet bundle. There's no contract involved. Bundling saves you, on average, at least 30%. That discount isn't front and center on Spectrum's site. It's our rough estimate on how much you'll save by choosing a Spectrum bundle over TV and internet from two different providers.

Special: for a limited time, Spectrum is offering a $50 bonus on all TV and internet bundles.

Spectrum TV Essentials discounts

TV + Int Bundle Bundle bonus

Compiling all the numbers above, here's a sample cost breakdown with 1 TV (no receiver)

One Time
TV Essentials
Internet (300 Mbps)
activation fee
  • TV + Int bundle
  • $50 bonus
  • ($50)
  • (30%)
Residential Taxes
government fees (varies)

Premium movie packs

With TV Essentials (and about all TV providers), you can add a variety of premium movie channels to your plan (HBO, Showtime, etc). Spectrum's more popular TV plan, TV Select, also lets you add a bunch of non-movie channels packs (sports, family, international channels, etc). It's interesting Spectrum doesn't appear to allow you to add those with TV Essentials. The likely reason is that it's more cost effective to just switch your bundle to include TV Select. Could also be that the lack of a Spectrum receiver doesn't easily allow for programming changes. Either way, it'd be nice to have more customization options other than just premium movies.

  • max ($15/mo) - previously known as HBO Max, you'll get access to all the content on the max app as well as ALL the HBO channels.
  • Showtime - 6 Showtime channels for $10/mo.
  • Starz pack - 2 Starz channels for $9/mo.
  • Movie Channel - 3 Movie Channels for $5/mo.
  • Cinemax - 9 Cinemax channels for $10/mo.
  • MGM+ - full app access for $6/mo.

Spectrum will pay you to switch

In most areas and with most bundles, if you're under contract with another TV/internet provider, Spectrum will pay whatever it costs to break that contract. We've all been there... mid-contract you're desperately looking to switch but have no choice but to wait it out. So, this is a nice card to play to leave early. Be sure you bring this up before you order though - send over your bill and contract details and confirm they'll cover the entire cancellation penalty.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I switch to TV Select mid-contract?

Yes. Call up support and they'll walk you through the steps and cost differences. If you're using the Apple TV device, no changes there are needed. If you don't have a receiver, you'll have to choose one (and incur that additional monthly charge).

Is this basically a streaming TV bundle?

In a way, yes. There's no receiver involved and you'll get all your programming via the internet (watching on the Spectrum TV app). That's the main reason bundling with TV Essentials is so cost-effective.

Can I add local channels to TV Essentials?

No. Spectrum may offer a local channel pack in the future but, for now, if you need locals, consider getting it via an HD antenna (which is much cheaper long-term anyhow).

View all the Spectrum services in your area
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