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:
- Where it succeeds and fails
- An overview
- Who it works best for
- Plans, pricing, and features
- Channels included
- TV plan add-ons
- How to get this plan
- Compared to Cox TV plan counterparts
- Compared to similar plans from other providers
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 channels||Cable television||Variety Pack||Movie Pack|
|Sports & Info Pack||Sports Pack 2||Premium Channels|
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:
|Professional installation||Varies by package and region|
|Canceled appointment fee||$100|
|Regional sports surcharge||Up to $5.00–$12.50/mo.|
|Late payment fee||$8.35|
|Returned check fee||Up to $25|
|Credit card denied fee||Up to $25|
|Collection fee||Up 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)|
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.
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 :
|ION||World Fishing Network|
|FOX||MLB Network Strike Zone|
|FOX HD||NFL Red Zone|
|Discovery Channel||SEC Network|
|USA Network||CBS Sports Network|
|Azteca America||Pursuit Network|
|IND||Fox Sports 2|
|Public Access (30)||ESPNews|
|Public Access (31)||ESPNU|
|HSN HD||NBA TV|
|Public Access (39)||Disney XD|
|Estrella TV||Cleo TV|
|msnbc||Great American Family|
|Fox News||Cooking Channel|
|The Weather Channel||MTV Classic|
|Travel Channel||Logo TV|
|Food Network||WE tv|
|Lifetime||Public Access (96)|
|Syfy||Spectrum News 1|
|History||Discovery Family Channel|
|Bally Sports||Science Channel|
|Spectrum Sportsnet HD||Destination America|
|AMC||American Heroes Channel|
|TV Land||Discovery Life|
|Cartoon Network||Leased Access|
|Fox Sports 1||HSN 2|
|Hallmark Channel||MLB Network|
|Hallmark movies & mysteries||QVC2|
|GSN||Lifetime Real Women|
|FXX||Crime & Investigation|
|Fox Business||Military History|
|Bally Sports||Justice Central|
|PAC 12 Network||Jewish Life TV|
|Investigation Discovery||Olympic Channel|
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 cox.com/residential/tv/channel-lineup.html 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:
|HBO||HBO 2||HBO Signature||HBO Family|
|HBO Comedy||HBO Zone||HBO Signature (East)||HBO (East)|
|HBO 2 (East)||HBO Latino||Cinemax||More MAX|
|Action MAX (East)||Thriller MAX||Action MAX||Cinemax (East)|
|More MAX (East)||Movie MAX||Cinemáx||Outer MAX|
|Star MAX||Playboy||Playboy en Español||SHOWTIME|
|SHOW*BET||SHOWTIME Extreme||SHOWTIME Showcase||SHOWTIME 2|
|SHOWTIME Women||SHOWTIME Next||The Movie Channel||Starz|
|SHOWTIME Family Zone||TMC Extra||The Movie Channel (East)||Starz (West)|
|Starz Edge East||Starz in Black (East)||Starz (East)||Starz Kids & Family|
|Starz Cinema||Starz Comedy||Starz Edge||Starz in Black|
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 Channel||NFL Network||ACC Network||ACC Network|
|SEC Network||SEC Network 2||CBS Sports Network||Pursuit Network|
|BTN||CNN International||Outdoor Channel||Viceland|
|ESPNews||ESPNU||FYI||Stadium College Sports Pacific|
|Stadium College Sports Central||Stadium College Sports Atlantic||NHL Network||FanDuel TV|
|FanDuel Racing||Tennis Channel||NBA TV||NFL Network|
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 Package||Price|
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 Service||Price||Simultaneous Recordings||Hours of HD Video Storage|
|Essential DVR Service||$13.50/mo.||2||250|
|Preferred DVR Service||$20/mo.||6||250|
|Ultimate DVR Service||$30/mo.||24||1,000|
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:
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 cox.com/install. 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:
|Plan||Channels||Price||Price Per Channel|
|Contour TV Starter||75+||$53/mo.||$0.71|
|Contour TV Preferred||140+||$98/mo.||$0.70|
|Contour TV Preferred Plus||170+||$118/mo.||$0.69|
|Contour TV Ultimate||250+||$138/mo.||$0.55|
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 . 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.
|Plan||Channels||Price||Price Per Channel|
|Contour TV Ultimate||250+||$138/mo.||$0.55|
|More Fios TV||300+||$90/mo.||$0.30|
|DirecTV Ultimate (Satellite)||270+||$89.99/mo.||$0.33|
|Dish America’s Top 200||240+||$94.99/mo.||$0.39|
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 .
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.