Cox TV Ultimate Cable TV Review & Channel Lineup

Cox’s Ultimate TV package includes 240+ channels from their channel packs, premium channels, along with their local and cable TV channels. It costs $138 a month, won’t increase in price, and doesn’t require a contract. This plan works best for homes with 4 or less people who want sports and premium channels.

My goal is to find a home TV plan that’ll offer the best value. And now I’m here. I aggregated information from various sources to determine whether Cox’s Ultimate TV plan is worth getting.

Here are some of the areas I’ll cover:

Let’s go.

Cox TV Ultimate Pros and Cons

Here are the pros and cons of Cox Ultimate TV:


  • Includes all of their sports packages
  • Free Starter DVR service for 12 months
  • Has all of their premium channels for cheaper
  • Free Peacock Premium subscription (temporarily)
  • No price hike after a set duration


  • Contour TV app doesn’t work on many devices (only on smartphones, tablets, and computers)
  • No reason to use a third-party cable box
  • Pricey versus competing plans

None of the prices I’ll mention in this guide account for Cox’s various fees (or sales tax). I will talk about these additional costs in a bit, though.

What Is Cox TV Ultimate?

Ultimate TV gives you most of Cox’s channel packages for a total of over 240 channels. These packages include the following packs:

Local channelsCable televisionVariety PackMovie Pack
Sports & Info PackSports Pack 2Premium Channels
All packages included in Cox Ultimate TV.

I’ll dive into the details of each package later. For now, here are some of Ultimate TV’s features:

  • Includes a Voice Remote
  • Commercial-free music channels
  • Many purchasable channel packages: packs with movies, sports, and more
  • Contour TV app: stream your TV channels
  • Standard DVR for free: only for a year

You’ll also get a free Contour HD TV box (usually $8.50 each). However, you’ll have to pay for the TV boxes if you want more than 1.

Let’s see who this plan works best for.

Who Is Cox TV Ultimate Best For?

Cox Ultimate TV works best for anyone who wants every sports and premium channel. Because this package includes every primary and secondary premium channel along with their Sports & Info Pack and Sports Pack 2.

Ultimate TV also includes Cox’s Variety and Movie packs. The Movie packs work great for date nights or family movie nights. Meanwhile, the Variety pack suits homes with varying interests and languages.

For instance, it includes the Cooking Channel along with Viceland. So a kid could watch the former channel to learn how to cook. Meanwhile, an adult could watch The Pizza Show.

How Much Does Cox Ultimate TV Cost?

Cox Ultimate TV costs $138 a month and won’t increase in price later. But it doesn’t take additional fees, sales tax, and equipment rental fees into consideration.

I’ll cover these later.

Cox Ultimate Cable TV Hidden Fees

Here are some no-so-obvious fees you’ll likely have to pay for Cox Ultimate TV:

Fee TypePrice
Professional installationVaries by package and region
Canceled appointment fee$100
Broadcast surcharge$19/mo.
Regional sports surchargeUp to $5.00–$12.50/mo.
Late payment fee$8.35
Returned check feeUp to $25
Credit card denied feeUp to $25
Collection feeUp to $25
Reconnection fee$20 per service
Wireless 4K Contour Box$5.00/mo. each
Contour HD Box$8.50/mo. each (1st box included)
CableCARD$6.00/mo. each
Cox Ultimate TV hidden fees.

Each Cox plan comes with 1 free Contour HD box. Consecutive boxes will incur a rental fee. To get around this fee, you could get your cable box and Cox’s CableCARD.

Listen, though:

Unless you already have a third-party cable box that supports the CableCARD, it’s not worth the upfront cost. It only saves you a couple of dollars per month.

And if you want to escape the broadcast TV and regional sports fees, think again. There’s no avoiding those costs. Unless you go with a streaming live TV provider like Hulu + Live TV.

I can’t give you an accurate price for the above inescapable fees. Because they vary by ZIP code.

Cox TV Ultimate Channel Lineup

Here are a number of channels you’ll get with Cox TV Ultimate [1]:

On DemandEWTN
NBCImpact Network
INDAfrica Channel
IONWorld Fishing Network
INDSportsman Channel
PBSMLB Network
FOXMLB Network Strike Zone
CNNACC Network
Disney ChannelFlix
Discovery ChannelSEC Network
USA NetworkCBS Sports Network
Azteca AmericaPursuit Network
INDFox Sports 2
TBCCNN International
TCMOutdoor Channel
Public Access (30)ESPNews
Public Access (31)ESPNU
QVC+NHL Network
TelemundoFanDuel TV
HSNTennis Channel
Public Access (39)Disney XD
TBNBBC America
Estrella TVCleo TV
msnbcGreat American Family
CNBCDisney Junior
Fox NewsCooking Channel
BETNick Jr.
The Weather ChannelMTV Classic
Paramount NetworkOxygen
Travel ChannelLogo TV
BravoBaby First
Food NetworkWE tv
LifetimePublic Access (96)
E!Jewelry TV
Comedy CentralG4
SyfySpectrum News 1
HistoryDiscovery Family Channel
Bally SportsScience Channel
Spectrum Sportsnet HDDestination America
AMCAmerican Heroes Channel
NewsNationNick Jr.
TV LandDiscovery Life
NickelodeonNational Geographic
Cartoon NetworkLeased Access
Animal PlanetShopHQ
Fox Sports 1HSN 2
Hallmark ChannelMLB Network
Hallmark movies & mysteriesQVC2
GSNLifetime Real Women
FXXCrime & Investigation
Fox BusinessMilitary History
Golf ChannelHSN
Bally SportsJustice Central
NewsmaxRecipe TV
PAC 12 NetworkJewish Life TV
Investigation DiscoveryOlympic Channel
Bounce TVMotorTrend
Cox Ultimate TV channel lineup.

Cox has at least over 50 music channels I didn’t include on this list. You also won’t see local channels. And where are the channel numbers?

Those will vary by area.

Then there’s the premium and sports channels this plan includes. I’ll cover some of those in the following sections.

Visit and enter your ZIP code to find an accurate channel lineup.

Cox Ultimate TV Premium Channel Lineup

You’ll get the following premium channels for free with the Cox Ultimate plan:

HBOHBO 2HBO SignatureHBO Family
HBO ComedyHBO ZoneHBO Signature (East)HBO (East)
HBO 2 (East)HBO LatinoCinemaxMore MAX
Action MAX (East)Thriller MAXAction MAXCinemax (East)
More MAX (East)Movie MAXCinemáx Outer MAX
Star MAXPlayboyPlayboy en EspañolSHOWTIME
SHOWTIME WomenSHOWTIME NextThe Movie ChannelStarz
SHOWTIME Family ZoneTMC ExtraThe Movie Channel (East)Starz (West)
Starz Edge EastStarz in Black (East)Starz (East)Starz Kids & Family
Starz CinemaStarz ComedyStarz EdgeStarz in Black
EPIX Drive-in
Free premium channels that come with Cox Contour TV Ultimate.

Cox Ultimate TV Sports Packages

Cox Ultimate TV comes with the Sports & Information and Sports Pack 2 for free ($20/mo. value). Sports channels included in this package include:

Olympic ChannelNFL NetworkACC NetworkACC Network
SEC NetworkSEC Network 2CBS Sports NetworkPursuit Network
BTNCNN InternationalOutdoor ChannelViceland
ESPNewsESPNUFYIStadium College Sports Pacific
Stadium College Sports CentralStadium College Sports AtlanticNHL NetworkFanDuel TV
FanDuel RacingTennis ChannelNBA TVNFL Network
Cox Contour TV Sports Pack 2.

While you’ll get those sports channels free, you WILL need to pay for these sports packages:

  • NFL RedZone (Regular Season): a single $44.99 charge
  • MLB Extra Innings (Pennant Race Package): a one-time charge of $26.99
  • MLS Direct Kick (Regular Season): they’ll charge you $89 once
  • NHL Center Ice (Regular Season): $69.99 (one-time)
  • * NBA League Pass: there’s no pricing since the season ended

* The new season will begin October 18th, 2022.

As you can see:

You’ll need to snatch these packages when they’re ‘in-season.’ Visit Cox’s Sports and TV channel packages page to see what packages are available.

Other Cox Contour Ultimate TV Add-ons

Here are options Cox offers to customize your channel package:

Add-on or PackagePrice
Latino Pack$10/mo.
International Channels$8.50/mo.
Channel pack add-ons for Cox Contour TV Ultimate.

The Latino Pack includes many channels in Spanish. Meanwhile, the International Channels come with channels in varying languages (like Mandarin).

I posted the lineup of these channel packages on a separate page.

You may want to record all the shows included in your Ultimate TV plan. But you’ll need to pay for a separate DVR service plan.

Here are your options:

DVR ServicePriceSimultaneous RecordingsHours of HD Video Storage
Essential DVR Service$13.50/mo.2250
Preferred DVR Service$20/mo.6250
Ultimate DVR Service$30/mo.241,000
Cox Essential, Preferred, and Ultimate DVR services compared.

Hours of HD video storage refers to how much content you can store.

“Simultaneous Recordings” shows the number of shows you can record at the same time.

For instance, with Essential DVR, you could record Sunday football and House of the Dragon at the same time. This practical feature lets you have your cake and eat it too.

Want to record Rick and Morty as well? You’d need to upgrade to Preferred DVR.

Cox TV Ultimate Availability

You can get Cox Ultimate TV in the following 19 states:

North CarolinaNebraskaNevadaOhio
OklahomaRhode IslandVirginia
States that support Cox TV services.

The cities that Cox offers Ultimate TV in will vary. For the most part, I couldn’t find support in rural areas.

But their coverage can change at any time. Check their availability page to find the cities they provide television services.

Cox TV Ultimate Installation

To install Cox Ultimate TV, you’ll order your services online, receive your self-installation kit, and set up your Contour HD box.

Setting up the HD TV box just requires you to connect your device to a coaxial and power outlet.

Once you set up your television box, you’ll need to turn on your TV and program your remote. I listed codes for every TV manufacturer in a separate guide.

Is the installation process different for the Contour 4K Streaming Player?


You plug in the box, turn on your TV, and follow several on-screen prompts.

If you’re using a third-party DVR, you’ll need to put in a bit more effort.

Connect your device and type Then follow the prompts that appear in your browser.

If you can’t install your DVR through that route, call Cox’s TV customer service at 800-234-3993. Tell them you want to install a third-party box and need their help.

Based on my experience, Cox’s customer service has successfully helped me with issues.

Cox TV Ultimate vs. Other Cox TV Plans

Compare Cox Ultimate TV to its counterparts to determine what plan is best for your household:

PlanChannelsPricePrice Per Channel
Contour TV Starter75+$53/mo.$0.71
Contour TV Preferred140+$98/mo.$0.70
Contour TV Preferred Plus170+$118/mo.$0.69
Contour TV Ultimate250+$138/mo.$0.55
Contour StreamingNA$5.00/mo.NA
Cox Ultimate TV compared to other TV plans.

Ultimate TV will do best for anyone who wants all of Cox’s sports and premium channels. Plus, it has the added bonus of their Variety and Movie packages.

For anyone who doesn’t care for sports packages, but wants discounted premium channels, TV Preferred Plus works better. For the first year.

Then the price skyrockets.

Ultimate includes more channels and costs less than Preferred TV Plus overall [2]. So I don’t know why you’d choose TV Preferred Plus.


Preferred TV offers decent pricing for every cable and local channel. But you’ll want to compare its channel lineup to competing plans to determine its value.

Contour TV Starter works better as an affordable plan for anyone who just wants local channels.

To avoid cable entirely, you could go for the Streaming Only plan. Cox will give you a 4K streaming box that makes it so you can watch your streaming services on a family TV.

So if you have an existing Netflix account, you could watch all your content in 4K without buying a 4K TV box. Though, purchasing a box would save you money in the long run.

Cox Ultimate TV vs. Competing Plans

Here’s how Ultimate TV compares to other top-tier television plans.

PlanChannelsPricePrice Per Channel
Contour TV Ultimate250+$138/mo.$0.55
More Fios TV300+$90/mo.$0.30
DirecTV Ultimate (Satellite)270+$89.99/mo.$0.33
Dish America’s Top 200240+$94.99/mo.$0.39
High-tier internet plans compared.

Ultimate TV targets a niche, and it does a good job. It includes all of their premium and sports channels. It also doesn’t have a contract.

DirecTV Ultimate DOES have regional sports networks and the 2022 NFL Sunday Ticket at a decent rate. For the first couple of years. Once that time passes, you’ll pay $154 a month.

And Dish America’s Top 200 doesn’t offer as many sports networks (or premium channels), and they charge a lot after 2 years. $119.99 per month for nothing special.

Before moving on to Verizon’s TV plan, choose Dish and DirecTV if you’re in a rural area and want more channels. That aren’t premium or specific sports networks.

I’d usually shout from the rooftops and tell people to get Fios TV. But again, lack of premium channels. And the variety of sports channels.

If you’re in an area that supports Fios TV and don’t care for the channel above packages, go with Verizon’s television service. It’s a contract-free fiber optic television service and comes with a $50 gift card.

Fiber TV gives you more reliability than cable and satellite TV [3].

Where do these plans have overlapping coverage? I covered that information in a separate guide.

FAQs: Cox TV Ultimate

Frequently asked questions about Cox TV Ultimate include the following.

Does Cox Contour TV Ultimate Have Any Discounts?

Contour Ultimate TV doesn’t have any discounts at the moment.

How To Turn Off SAP on Cox TV

To turn off Secondary Audio Programming (SAP) on Cox TV, press the ‘Down’ arrow on your remote. Highlight the SAP option and press ‘SELECT’ to toggle off the setting.

Does Cox TV Ultimate Require a Contract?

Cox Contour TV Ultimate does not require a contract.

Do You Get a Discount When Bundling Cox Ultimate TV With Other Services?

You will not get a discount when bundling Cox TV Ultimate with their internet, landline, or home security services.


Cox Ultimate TV offers a unique value among television service providers. They provide all of Cox’s channel packages at a decent rate. And it doesn’t tie you to a contract.

If you’re not impressed, check out other TV service providers I’ve reviewed.

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