If you want the largest selection of cable channels available in San Diego, a subscription to a traditional cable provider may be the best option. Though it’s expensive, cable does provide a wide variety of channels with consistent service. Let’s take a look at the best cable TV providers in San Diego now, along with a few streaming services you may want to consider as an alternative.
Before we continue, we want to highlight a particularly relevant stream for news, sports, and entertainment. Sling TV is one of the best options for streaming with a rich catalogue of 50+ live channels and 50k+ on-demand movies and episodes.
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Do You Really Need Cable In San Diego?
Cable is expensive, and after you get past your period of introductory rates and your bill comes in the mail, you may be shocked at the monthly cost of cable TV – not to mention equipment rentals, service fees, setup fees, and other hidden costs.
You probably know this, though. So why do we mention it? Because there are a few other options. Internet TV services like Philo and Sling TV have cable channels like AMC, Fox News, ESPN, and other top channels without a long-term contract or subscription. Let’s take a look at these services now, then discuss your top options for traditional cable afterward.
Philo offers a good lineup of entertainment and lifestyle channels at a low cost, though it does not include news channels or sports channels like ESPN. Still, if you don’t need news or sports channels, it’s a great option if you want to save some money.
7-day free trial
Starz and Epix add-ons
3 simultaneous streams
As mentioned, Philo doesn’t have local channels, news, or sports. But it does have a ton of great educational, lifestyle, and entertainment channels like A&E, AMC, Comedy Central, Paramount Network, Food Network, HGTV, and History to name just a few. Learn more here.
With Philo, you’ll enjoy up to 3 simultaneous streams. This makes it easy to share your subscription with your family members or household. Learn more here.
Philo lets you save unlimited content for up to 30 days. After 30 days, your oldest recordings will be automatically deleted, so you’ll need to make sure that you clear out your DVR regularly. Learn more here.
The Philo on-demand library consists of episodes, past seasons, and TV shows provided by each cable channel that’s part of your subscription. The lineup rotates quite a bit, but there’s always something good to watch. Learn more here.
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Sling TV is another cost-effective alternative to cable TV in San Diego. Not only is it cheaper than cable in San Diego, but it also has a few different packages and lots of add-ons, so you can customize your TV subscription however you want.
With Sling TV, you can choose from the Orange and Blue subscriptions, both of which cost $30/month. Each one has slightly different channels. Orange, for example, has Disney Channel and ESPN, while Blue has Fox Sports and local networks. You can also subscribe to both and get all included channels with the $45/month Orange + Blue package. Learn more here.
New subscriber special
1 simultaneous stream
Great Value$40.00/ month
Fox, NBC, CNN, MSNBC
New subscriber special
3 simultaneous streams
|Sling Orange + Blue|
New subscriber special
4* simultaneous streams
Sling Orange comes with about 30 channels including ESPN, IFC, CNN, HGTV, and History, to name just a few. Sling Blue lacks ESPN and Disney Channel and has many of the same channels as Sling Orange, but also has Fox News, FS1, Discovery, TBS, and TNT, which are not present in Sling Orange. Learn more here.
With Sling Blue, you can stream on up to 3 devices at once. However, Sling Orange lets you stream on only 1 device at once. This limit remains in place for Sling Orange channels, even if you get Sling Orange + Blue. Orange-exclusive channels like ESPN can only ever be streamed on one device at once, while shared channels can be streamed on up to 4 devices. Learn more here.
The Sling TV on-demand library is full of recently-aired episodes, select past seasons, and top movies provided by the cable channels that are part of your subscription. Similarly to Philo, the lineup of content varies quite a bit, but you’ll always be able to find top-notch on-demand content. Learn more here.
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Top Cable TV Providers in San Diego
If Sling TV and Philo don’t have what you need, it may still be a good idea to look for a cable TV provider in San Diego. So we’ve put together a list of some of the top cable TV providers in the area, along with some basic information about their contract terms and available TV packages. Read on to get more information.
MediaCom is the fifth largest cable TV provider in the United States, and is the preferred service of tens of thousands of San Diego residents. Let’s take a look at its service offerings now.
MediaCom Contract Terms
All MediaCom cable and internet packages offer a one-year promotional period. After this time, your bill will increase by $30 in the second year, and then by $10 in the third year. When you reach the fourth year, you’ll be billed at the standard market rate for the service you’ve chosen, which may vary.
You’ll also have to pay an activation fee, a modem fee, taxes, and some other fees based on the package you choose. All monthly fees may increase at any time. In addition, some packages include overage charges if you exceed your monthly internet usage allowance.
MediaCom Plans And Pricing
MediaCom offers three Xtream television packages in San Diego, all of which come bundled with internet service. You can choose from the following:
- Internet 60 + Local TV – This package costs $49.99/month for 1 year, then will begin to increase in price until you pay standard market rates. You get up to 60 Mbps download speeds, as well as 50+ channels, mostly including local channels. This comes with a TiVo Intelligent Guide device and Voice Remote.
- Internet 60 + Essential TV – With this package, you’ll pay $79.99/month for 1 year, with regular price increases until you’re paying the market rate. You get up to 60 Mbps download speeds and 125+ channels. This comes with a TiVo Intelligent Guide device and Voice Remote.
- Internet 100 + Variety TV + Phone – This package costs $99.99/month for 1 year, with price increases every year afterward until you’re paying the market rate. You get up to 100 Mbps download speeds, as well as phone service, and the TiVo Intelligent Guide and Voice Remote.
Cox Communications serves more than 2.9 million subscribers throughout America, and it’s a reasonably good choice if you’re looking for a cable TV provider in San Diego. Let’s discuss its contract terms and available plans and pricing now.
Cox Contract Terms
Cox offers both 1 and 2-year service agreements. You can cancel within 30 days to avoid an early termination fee, but the fee is $120 after 30 days. After your promotional deal expires, you’ll begin to pay higher fees for your cable TV service.
In addition, you may need to pay fees for modem rentals, cable box, installation and setup, and other such fees depending on the package you choose.
Cox Plans And Pricing
Cox offers a huge variety of different plans in San Diego, bundled with various extra like internet, streaming devices, and cable.
The price for each TV package can vary based on the offer you choose. However, there are four primary cable packages:
- Contour Flex – This package primarily contains local channels like CBS, Fox, NBC, and CBS, as well as a few basic cable channels. It has a total of 75+ channels.
- TV Starter – This TV package includes the same channels as the Contour Flex package, but also includes on-demand programming.
- Contour TV – This TV package includes 140+ channels, including top cable channels like ESPN, FX and FXX, SyFy, A&E, Fox News, and quite a few more.
- Contour TV Ultimate – This TV package has 250+ channels, including everything offered in the Contour TV package, as well as additional channels like Science Channel, Destination America, HBO, Epix, and much more.
To see a full list of the various bundles available with these TV packages, click here to visit the Cox website for San Diego.
Formerly Time Warner Cable, Spectrum is one of the most widely-used cable TV providers in San Diego, CA, and it also offers phone and internet service. Let’s learn a bit more about what this company has to offer now.
Spectrum Contract Terms
One of the best things about Spectrum is that it does not require any long-term contracts and does not have any cancellation fees. However, depending on your service, you may need to pay fees for installation and equipment like modems, routers, phone equipment, and cable boxes.
Spectrum Plans And Pricing
For customers in San Diego, Spectrum has three primary cable, TV and voice bundles, as follows:
- Triple Play Select – This package costs $99.97/month for 12 months. After this, you’ll pay the current market rate. It includes internet speeds of up to 200 Mbps, as well as unlimited nationwide calling and 125+ cable channels including ESPN, HGTV, CNN, Fox News, and Hallmark Channel.
- Triple Play Silver – This package costs $124.97/month for 12 months. After this, you’ll pay the current market rate. It includes internet speeds of up to 200 Mbps, as well as unlimited nationwide calling and 175+ cable channels. You get all of the channels in the Triple Play Select package plus premium networks like HBO and Showtime.
- Triple Play Gold – This package costs $144.97/month for 12 months. After this, you’ll pay the current market rate. It includes the same features of the Triple Play Silver package, but has 200+ total channels including networks like Starz and The Movie Channel.
AT&T recently launched its AT&T TV service in San Diego. This is a bit different from a traditional cable service, since your TV signal is delivered over the internet instead of through cable. However, it’s similar to traditional cable TV in most respects.
AT&T Contract Terms
Most AT&T and AT&T TV agreements require you to sign a 24-month contract, but your promotional pricing will expire after 12 months, and you’ll pay the current market rate for your service without any other benefits or promotions.
AT&T Plans And Pricing
Currently, you can bundle internet and TV service with the AT&T TV Entertainment package in San Diego for $79.98/month for 12 months. This includes a $10/month discount and $20/month bill credit, which will expire after 12 months. Then, you’ll pay the current market rate.
If you’d prefer to get AT&T TV without switching your internet provider, you can do that, too. AT&T TV offers five packages, as follows:
- AT&T TV Entertainment costs $59.99/month for 12 months, then $93/month afterward. It comes with 65+ top channels including ESPN, TNT, Nickelodeon, and HGTV, as well as 500 hours of DVR storage and 3 simultaneous streams.
- AT&T TV Choice costs $64.99/month for 12 months, then $110/month afterward, plus taxes and fees. It comes with everything included in Entertainment, as well as 25+ more channels like Travel Channel, Sundance TV, MLB TV, and Tennis Channel, as well as a free year of HBO Max.
- AT&T TV Xtra costs $74.99/month for 12 months, then $124/month afterward, plus taxes and fees. It comes with everything above, as well as 30 additional channels including FX Movies, Nat Geo Wild, Golf Channel, and CBS Sports.
- AT&T TV Ultimate costs $79.99/month for 12 months, then $135/month afterward, plus taxes and fees. It comes with a total of 130+ channels, including all of the channels in the above packages as well as DIY Network, Univision, and Starz Encore.
- AT&T TV Premier costs $129.99/month for 12 months, then $183/month afterward, plus taxes and fees. It has 140+ channels, and comes with premium channels like Cinemax, HBO, Showtime, and Starz.
Note that you will need an AT&T TV device for all of these packages, which may require you to pay an additional fee.
It’s not a cable TV provider in San Diego – DISH Network is a satellite TV company – but it still may be a good choice for some people who want to get pay TV without switching their internet providers.
DISH Network Contract Terms
Most DISH Network plans require a credit qualification and a 24-month commitment to get promotional pricing. Early termination fees apply, and you must set up AutoPay to qualify. Additional fees and surcharges apply to different plans. Each plan comes with no-cost satellite installation for up to 6 rooms.
DISH Network Plans And Pricing
DISH Network offers the following plans in San Diego, CA.
- America’s Top 120 – This plan costs $59.99/month for 24 months, then costs $94.99/month after your promotional period expires. It includes 120+ channels, including local channels and 60+ HD Channels. These channels include ESPN, A&E, Fox News, CNN, HGTV, and much more.
- America’s Top 120+ – This plan costs $74.99/month for 24 months, and then costs $99.99/month after your promotional period expires. It contains the same channels as the America’s Top 120 package, but has regional sports channels as well as 110+ HD channels.
- America’s Top 200 – This plan costs $84.99/month for 24 months, and $109.99/month after your promotional period expires. It has 240+ channels including channels like Velocity, TV Games Network, TeenNick, and Tennis Channel.
- America’s Top 250 – This plan costs $94.99/month for 24 months, then $119.99/month after your promotional period expires. It includes the widest selection of any DISH Network plan at 290+ channels, so it may be the best choice if you watch a lot of TV.
Eric Liston is a content writer based in Columbus, Ohio. Since 2015, he’s been writing about technology, cord-cutting, and helping everyday people save money. He also has expertise writing about medicine, dentistry, insurance, and a variety of other industries. No matter what he’s writing, his focus is always on simplifying complex concepts and making them approachable for everyone. When he’s not slamming away on his keyboard at his home office, you’ll find Eric reading sci-fi novels, improving his disc golf game (he just hit his first 400-foot drive) and playing video games on his gaming PC.