TV lovers have more budget-friendly options these days than they may realize.
A growing number of streaming services offer TV channels and shows for much less than traditional pay-TV providers generally charge. Some streaming services — including several of the following — even offer live TV.
If you find the many options overwhelming, start by considering the following services, as they all start at $20 per month or less.
Boasting “an unprecedented collection of the world’s most beloved movies and TV series,” Disney+ is home to all things Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic.
As of publication time, the service costs $6.99 per month (or $69.99 per year). On March 26, the price will rise to $7.99 monthly (or $79.99 annually). For a better deal, you can bundle Disney+ with Hulu, as we detail in the next section.
To learn more: Visit DisneyPlus.com.
This longstanding streaming service boasts thousands of TV shows and movies.
Hulu also offers a dirt-cheap plan for folks who don’t need live TV.
Hulu’s under-$20 options include:
- Hulu (ad-supported): This plan gives you access to Hulu’s library of TV episodes and movies, including Hulu Originals. It’s only $5.99 per month (or $59.99 per year) after a free trial.
- Hulu (no ads): This plan gives you the same access to Hulu’s library but without ads. It costs $11.99 per month after a free trial.
- Hulu (ad-supported), Disney+ and ESPN+ bundle: This plan gives you access to three different streaming services for $12.99 per month — but the price is rising to $13.99 on March 26.
- Hulu (no ads), Disney+ and ESPN+ bundle: This plan gives you access to three different streaming services for $18.99 per month — rising to $19.99 on March 26.
Of course, there’s always a way to pay more. Hulu’s live TV plans start at $64.99 per month after a free trial.
To learn more: Visit Hulu.com.
Despite several price hikes in recent years, Netflix remains relatively cheap.
Of course, Netflix doesn’t offer a live-TV option as its competitor Hulu does. But Netflix is the only service of the two that can say all of its plans cost well under $20 per month.
Netflix’s plans all offer unlimited access to the service’s library of movies and TV shows. The main differences besides price are the highest available video quality and resolution, and the number of screens that your household can watch from at the same time. Their costs are:
- Basic: “Good” video quality, 480p resolution, one screen, $8.99 per month
- Standard: “Better” video quality, 1080p resolution, two screens, $13.99 per month
- Premium: “Best” video quality, 4K+HDR resolution, four screens, $17.99 per month
To learn more: Visit Netflix.com.
CBS All Access recently was rebranded and expanded, becoming Paramount+. It now offers more than 30,000 episodes and movies, including originals and live sports and news.
Both of the Paramount+ plans cost well under $20, with the main difference between the two being ads and price:
- Limited Commercials: $5.99 per month (or $59.99 per year) after a free trial
- Commercial Free: $9.99 per month (or $99.99 per year) after a free trial
To learn more: Visit ParamountPlus.com.
Philo is among the cheaper options for cutting the cable cord without giving up live TV. It offers more than 60 channels for $20 per month after a free trial.
Philo allows you to watch live and on-demand content as well as record live TV.
To learn more: Visit Philo.com.
6. Prime Video
Amazon’s streaming service, Prime Video, doesn’t offer live TV or the largest library, with hundreds of TV shows and movies, including Amazon Originals. But it’s included with an Amazon Prime membership and easily costs less than $20 per month regardless of whether you have Amazon Prime:
- If you have Amazon Prime, access to Prime Video is included in the $12.99-per-month (or $119-per-year) cost of your membership.
- If you don’t have Amazon Prime, you can subscribe to Prime Video as a standalone service for $8.99 per month.
To learn more: Visit Amazon’s Prime Video webpage.
While the above options are among the major players in streaming TV, they are by no means the only ones costing less than $20 a month.
In fact, some of the other streaming options out there cost as little as $4.99 per month, so you might be able to sign up for more than one and still limit your total monthly cost to 20 bucks. Examples include:
- Apple TV+: $4.99 per month
- BET+: $9.99 per month
- ESPN+: $5.99 per month
- Discovery+: $4.99 or $6.99 per month
- Frndly TV: $5.99 per month
- HBO Max: $14.99 per month
- Peacock: Up to $9.99 per month
And then there are numerous free options, which we detail in “15 Free Streaming Services to Watch While Stuck at Home.”
Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.
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