Spectrum Sports Packages: Are They Worth It?

Spectrum TV offers several sports packages, including a standard $5 per month Sports Pack add-on that includes 13 standard channels like ESPN, NBA, and NFL Redzone. The primary benefit of Spectrum TV is that it includes a full lineup of regional sports and out-of-market games. The only thing missing is NFL Sunday Ticket, which is currently an AT&T exclusive. The primary drawback of Spectrum Sports TV packages is the price tag ($30–80 higher than OTT alternatives) and the complex pricing scheme.

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Spectrum TV Tier Channel Count Sports Package add-on Promotional Price Standard Rate NFL Network
Double Play Select (200 Mbps) 125+ $5 per month $89.98/month $143.98/month Not included
Double Play Silver (200 Mbps) 175+ $5 per month $114.98/month $168.98/month Included
Double Play Gold (200 Mbps) 200+ $5 per month $134.98/month $188.98/month Included

Spectrum Sports Pack Spectrum vs Streaming League and Seasonal Sports

Spectrum Sports Package Value Summary

Spectrum TV is a good premium option for daily-watcher sports fans who need a mix of sports, league passes, and regional network access.

Unfortunately, it comes with premium pricing as well — promotions start in the $70–105 range including the $5 sports package. You have to purchase a full channel bundle to access add-ons like MLB and NBA league games.

Spectrum offer mailers for TV add-ons
If you subscribe to Spectrum internet, expect 2–3 mail offers per month encouraging you to sign up for TV and sports packages.

That’s quite high relative to streaming services or OTT bundles like AT&T TV; you can expect monthly bills in the range of $100–150 per month, compared with $60-90 of most curd-cutting services (before annaul league pass costs, which apply to both cable and streaming services). Regional sports fees and other programming costs further inflate the price $10–20 per month.

All that being said, Spectrum TV provides about four times the sports channel variety of a streaming bundle, including channels that are locked out of most streaming services like ESPN2, MLB Network, NFL Network, and the Tennis Channel. Most importantly, Spectrum includes a full range of regional sports channels, in addition to league games.

Recommendation: Spectrum Sports for daily viewers, streaming for hometown fans

Occasional sports viewers: if you’re a single-member household who mostly watches one sport or team, Spectrum TV is unlikely to be the right fit. In that case, I recommend looking to “skinny bundle” services like FuboTV or YouTube TV. You'll still pay up to $100/month if you absolutely have to have regional sports networks, but the a la carte options are far more flexible than with a cable bundle like Spectrum.

Daily sports viewers: if you’re a serious sports viewer and need a premium service that puts every game imaginable on the big screen, Spectrum sports packages are definetly worth it. Subscribing to a full lineup of regional and national sports can easily cost $250+ per month with streaming services, if you watch more than three sports. In that context, Spectrum makes more sense — especially if bundled with internet service.

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Keep reading, and I’ll explain exactly why Spectrum TV makes sense, and exactly how the pricing works so you can get a good deal on your sports package.

Be sure to read through the explanation of the Spectrum sports package sign-up promotions; it will save you $336+ in the first year, but the fine print can bite you.

Spectrum Sports Pack: $5 for 13 must-have sports channels

Like any provider, Spectrum offers premium packages to leagues like the NFL, NBA, and MLB. There’s one Spectrum sports package that you can add onto your normal programming for $5/month, giving you extra assorted channels.

Spectrum’s Sports Pack channel lineup ($5/month)
  • ESPN College Extra
  • NFL Network
  • NFL Redzone
  • ESPNews
  • NHL Network
  • Golf Channel
  • Olympic Channel
  • MAVTV
  • Outdoor Channel
  • MLB Strike Zone
  • Tennis Channel
  • NBA TV
  • Big Ten Network

Those are the only sports packages from Spectrum that you can add to your normal programming. The provider offers three levels of TV services:

  • TV Select ($44.99/month for 12 months): Features 125+ channels including sports channels like ESPN, Fox Sports 1, NBC Sports Network, SEC Network, and regional sports networks.
  • TV Silver ($79.99/month for 12 months): Features 175+ channels (including HBO Max and Showtime) and adds sports channels like CBS Sports Network, ESPN2 and ESPNEWS, Golf Channel, MLB Network, NBA TV, NFL Network, and Tennis Channel.
  • TV Gold ($94.99/month for 12 months): Features 200+ channels (including Starz and TMC) and adds sports channels like Big Ten Network, NHL Network, and all PAC-12 channels.
Spectrum TV TierStandalone promo priceChannel countSports channels included
Spectrum TV Select $44.99 125+ ESPN, Fox Sports 1, NBC Sports Network, SEC Network, and regional sports networks
Spectrum TV Silver $79.99 175+ All Select channels + CBS Sports Network, ESPN2 and ESPNEWS, Golf Channel, MLB Network, NBA TV, NFL Network, and Tennis Channel
Spectrum TV Gold $94.99 200+ All Silver channels + Big Ten Network, NHL Network, and all PAC-12 channels

Spectrum excels with its selection of sports channels. Even on the least expensive plan, you’ll get major sports stations, regional sports channels, and other channels like Fox Sports 1 and NBC Sports Network. With the Spectrum Sports Pack, you can add another dozen of those specialty channels, but its value diminishes as you move up with your channel lineup (the package adds seven channels to Silver and four channels to Gold).

Pricing can be confusing and frustrating. You can expect to pay a wide range of fees, and, of course, your price will increase significantly after the promotional period. There are no contracts, though.

  • Promo Period Pricing: After 12 months, the discount ends and your TV package will increase $29.00/month.
  • HD Boxes and DVRs: You’ll pay $7.99/month for each HD box. If you want DVR service on top of that, it’ll cost $4.99/month for one box, or $9.99/month for two or more boxes.
  • Other Charges: There’s a broadcast TV service charge of $16.45/month and installation is $49.99, in addition to other fees (like reconnection and late fees) and taxes.

Here are a few sample plans to demonstrate what your monthly payment could look like within and outside that promo period.

Prices only include the TV plan, HD boxes and DVR, plus the broadcast service charge. Your total price after other fees and taxes will be higher, typically in the $10-20+ range per month and at least $49.99 upfront (installation).
PlanMonthly Promo Price (Min.)Monthly Standard Rate (Min.)
Select + Spectrum Sports Pack
1 HD Box and No DVR
$74.43 $103.43
Select + Spectrum Sports Pack
2 HD Boxes and 2 DVRs
$92.41 $121.41
Silver
1 HD Box and No DVR
$109.43 $138.43
Gold
1 HD Box and No DVR
$124.43 $153.43

Spectrum Bundles for TV and Internet

If you’re in the market for an internet provider, you can bundle your cable and internet to save a little bit on these services. Spectrum’s standard 200 Mbps internet is typically $49.99/month, and on the Double Play plan, you can bundle it with your TV for $44.99/month. It comes with a free modem and there are no data caps. Here’s more about Spectrum internet pricing and plans.

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Spectrum TV sports packages vs Streaming services

The table below compares each of the three Spectrum TV sports tiers to their most common alternatives; currently AT&T TV, FuboTV, and a handful of other streaming services.

I’ve summarized what channels you’re “sacrificing” with each bundle or service in the right column.

If you go with the Spectrum Gold TV tier and all sports package add-ons, you basically get all of this except NFL Sunday Ticket — a good deal if you actually use that channel variety. Spectrum Gold is most worth it for large families with more than one sports fan in the house, at which point the $188 price point actually makes sense, compared with buying each channel directly online.

TV ServiceMonthly Regular PriceChannelsUnique Sports PackagesRegional Sports NetworksMissing Sports Channels
Spectrum Select$73.99125+$5/month Sports PackYesESPN2 and pro sports networks in Silver
Spectrum Silver$108.99175+$5/month Sports PackYesBig Ten, NHL, Pac-12 Networks in Gold (+$15/month)
AT&T TV Choice$84.9990+NoneYesMLB Network and NBA TV in Ultimate
AT&T TV Ultimate$94.99130+NoneYesNo NFL Network/Red Zone with AT&T TV
DIRECTV Choice$102185+NFL Sunday Ticket (~$300/free first year)YesFox Sports 2, NHL Network, and others in Ultimate (+$20-$50/month)
Hulu + Live TV$64.9965+Disney+/ESPN+ bundle (+$7/month)LimitedMLB Network, NBA TV, NHL Network
YouTube TV$64.9985+$10.99/month Sports PlusLimitedNHL Network
Sling TV Combined$5040+$11/month Sports ExtraLimitedNo local channels;no major omissions with the sports package
FuboTV$64.99100+$10.99/month Sports Plus with NFL Red Zone and $6.99/month International Sports PlusLimitedTBS and TNT

AT&T TV is the most compelling alternative to Spectrum currently, in my opinion, if you need a full lineup of sports and don’t want to make too many sacrifices around regional networks. It’s a bit of a “hybrid” between traditional cable and a streaming bundle like FuboTV.

Spectrum TV: is it worth it once the promotion runs out?

As mentioned above, the biggest caveat with Spectrum TV and internet service is the complex pricing. Even without the season passes, add-ons and bundles, Spectrum signs new customers onto first-year promotional rates.

While these rates are a good deal (especially if you’re only using the service for 1–2 years), finding the final rate is confusing.

In fact, if you ask about the rate when you sign up, the agent will likely tell you they don’t know or that “the current standard rate” will apply after 12 months.

Here are the current standard rates after 12 months for Spectrum:

Plan NameSpeedChannelsPromotional Discount (New customers)Standard Rate (Applies after 12 months)
Double Play Select200 Mbps125+$89.98/mo.$143.98/mo.
Double Play Silver200 Mbps175+$114.98/mo.$168.98/mo.
Double Play Gold200 Mbps200+$134.98/mo.$188.98/mo.

That’s a 40–60% jump in price — definetly something want to understand when you sign up.

Another thing to be aware of with Spectrum TV is that it caps your internet at 200 Mbps (or 100 Mbps in legacy speed areas). This means that you can’t upgrade to 400 or 940 Mbps internet plans, assuming you bundle internet and TV service together from Spectrum.

Price increases on Spectrum Sports Packages

You can expect the following price changes for each of Spectrum’s three main bundles (before the add-on $5 Sports Pack fee):

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League and seasonal sports add-ons with Spectrum TV

In addition to the Spectrum Sports Pack, new customers can also sign up for league passes directly during the sing-up process.

The leagues passes are charged on your first month bill, and renew automatically the following year or season. Most are annual, while some like NHL Center Ice come in half seasons.

Two important notes about the league passes:

  1. An HD receiver is required to view them. This adds $7.99 or so to your monthly bill.
  2. You cannot watch league sports on Apple TV, only regular flatscreen TV as part of your standard Spectrum cable setup.

Watching MLB on Spectrum TV

MLB network in-market games are included in Spectrum’s Silver TV tier. Access to regional networks like this is one of the main perks of Spectrum TV.

The MLB.TV premium package add-on is a solid value for out-of-market games, and can be added to Spectrum TV for the same annual $129.99 per year price MLB offers directly.

Like all league passes, MLB makes for a steep first-month bill, but unless you pirate there’s really no way around the MLB pass cost, regardless of if you go with Spectrum TV or a cord-cutter setup.

MLB Network is on Spectrum Silver TV, but can also be accessed via AT&T TV Choice, YouTube TV, Sling TV’s add-on, and FuboTV’s add-on. Spectrum’s sports package adds MLB Strike Zone.

If you don’t go with Spectrum TV, you’re pretty much stuck YouTube TV and AT&T TV Choice. Go with the former for all-around value and the latter for regional sports networks.

How to watch NBA on Spectrum TV

NBA League Pass is $199.99/year for the main plan, and probably worth it for many die-hard fans to watch out-of-market games. In-market games will be with regional sports networks, so you have to get Spectrum Silver TV or higher — regional isn’t default for the basic Select plan.

Spectrum season passes screenshot.
Spectrum lets you sign up for league passes as part of the standard subscription process when you set up your cable package.

If you want to go elsewhere for NBA, FuboTV is the best option with ESPN (as of 2020, finally!). but you can also check for NBA TV, which hosts a decent number of games throughout the week and offers other programming. It’s on Spectrum TV Silver, AT&T TV Choice, YouTube TV, Sling TV’s add on, fuboTV’s add-on — but fuboTV lacks TNT, which is a deal-breaker for NBA fans.

How to watch NHL on Spectrum TV

Spectrum offers NHL by the half-season for $69.99, which is honestly a good deal compared to the $144.99/year cost of subscribing from NHL.TV directly.

If you’re looking to cut down your Spectrum TV and get NHL elsewhere, you’ll want to pay attention to what services carry NBC Sports Network and NHL Network. Those are both on Spectrum Silver, AT&T TV Ultimate, Sling TV (Blue or combined) with the add-on, and fuboTV with the add-on.

If you don’t need regional sports, NHL is cheaper elsewhere — but if you want regional as well as out-of-market games, Spectrum Silver TV is the cheapest way to get it for most people.

Summary: Spectrum is worth it, but only for daily sports fans with wide-ranging viewing needs

Overall, Spectrum is a pricey option but offers the best selection of channels for any provider other than DIRECTV — and they do it without locking you into a contract, even for TV or bundle plans.

If you want a broad cable package that comes with regional sports, Spectrum TV makes more sense than cobbling together several streaming services. However, you have to make sure you understand the pricing and fees, which increase over time.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is included in TWC Sports Pass?

As of 2021, TWC Sports Pass includes 13 standard sports channels: ESPN College Extra, NFL Network, NFL Redzone, ESPNews, NHL Network, Golf Channel, Olympic Channel, MAVTV, Outdoor Channel, MLB Strike Zone, Tennis Channel, NBA TV, and Big Ten Network. Time Warner Cable (TWC) Sportspass is now sold as Spectrum Sports Pack, under the spectrum brand name. The channel lineup and pricing is equivalent.

What happened to TWC Sports pass?

Time Warner Cable (TWC) Sportspass is no longer offered after Spectrum’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable, which happened in 2016. Spectrum now offers its Sports Pack ($5/month) alongside regular TV channel lineups, providing equivalent programming at similar bundled cost of $89.98–188.98 per year.

What happened to legacy Time Warner Cable and Bright House sports packages?

Both Time Warner Cable and Bright House were bought out by Spectrum in 2016. Spectrum now offers its Sports Pack ($5/month) alongside regular TV channel lineups; legacy customers have been moved over to the Spectrum sports package product and pricing system.

What happened to the Time Warner Cable football package?

The TMC football package is no longer offered after Spectrum’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable in 2016. Spectrum now offers its Sports Pack ($5/month) alongside regular TV channel lineups, which provides NFL access at an equivalent price point.

What happened to Bright House Sports Pass?

The Bright House Networks Sports Pass product is no longer offered after Spectrum’s acquisition of Bright House in 2016. Spectrum now offers its Sports Pack ($5/month) alongside regular TV channel bundles, and provides access to every sports channel on the market including regional networks, outside of NFL Sunday Ticket.

Page Summary
  • Spectrum standalone cable bundles start at $44.99, but you need to enter at the Silver tier for $79.99 plus a $5 Sports Pack fee to access NFL.
  • NHL Center Ice, MLB Extra Innings, Fox Soccor Pass and NBA League Pass are all available as add-on season passes during Spectrum sign-up.
  • Spectrum sports packages are the best fit for daily sports viewers. Single households that watch sports 2–3 times per week or fewer can usually save by subscribing to channels directly online, or through streaming bundles like FuboTV.

Author
Jameson Zimmer
Broadband Market Analyst
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Last Update: June 08, 2021
Published: March 20, 2021
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