CenturyLink TV Review

CenturyLink and DIRECTV partner up for the best in entertainment.

CenturyLink
Price
$59.99–$134.99/mo
Channels
155–330+

  • Get DIRECTV bundled with your internet at a discounted rate

Data current as of 6/21/19. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Top CenturyLink TV packages

Watch sports, movies, news, and all your TV favorites with CenturyLink internet and TV bundles with DIRECTV. Some of these packages include a free year of HBO® and NFL SUNDAY TICKET.

Check out our top picks.

Best price:

DIRECTV SELECT™ All Included + CenturyLink Internet up to 20 Mbps

Bundle your TV and internet for total home entertainment.

155+ channels

From
$10999/mo

Data current as of 6/21/19. Internet speed availability varies by location.

DIRECTV requires a $19.95 Activation fee and a 2-year contract. Early termination fee of $20/mo. for each month remaining on agreement. Equipment non-return and additional fees apply. Price includes DIRECTV package and monthly service and equipment fees for 1 HD DVR, and is after $5/mo. discount when bundled with qualifying CenturyLink service. New approved residential DIRECTV customers only (equipment lease required). Credit card required (except MA & PA). Restrictions apply.

Best for sports fans:

DIRECTV CHOICE™ All Included + CenturyLink Internet up to 100 Mbps

Watch news, networks, and 1 free season of NFL SUNDAY TICKET, and stay connected with fast internet.

185+ channels

From
$13499/mo

Data current as of 6/21/19. Internet speed availability varies by location.

DIRECTV requires a $19.95 Activation fee and a 2-year contract. Early termination fee of $20/mo. for each month remaining on agreement. Equipment non-return and additional fees apply. Price includes DIRECTV package and monthly service and equipment fees for 1 HD DVR, and is after $5/mo. discount when bundled with qualifying CenturyLink service. New approved residential DIRECTV customers only (equipment lease required). Credit card required (except MA & PA). Restrictions apply.

Best variety:

DIRECTV ULTIMATE™ All Included + CenturyLink Internet up to 20 Mbps + CenturyLink home phone

Enjoy movies, sports, and online streaming with this package that includes internet, TV, and home phone with nationwide unlimited long distance. 

250+ channels

From
$16999/mo

Data current as of 6/21/19. Internet speed availability varies by location.

DIRECTV requires a $19.95 Activation fee and a 2-year contract. Early termination fee of $20/mo. for each month remaining on agreement. Equipment non-return and additional fees apply. Price includes DIRECTV package and monthly service and equipment fees for 1 HD DVR, and is after $5/mo. discount when bundled with qualifying CenturyLink service. New approved residential DIRECTV customers only (equipment lease required). Credit card required (except MA & PA). Restrictions apply.

How good is CenturyLink TV service?

CenturyLink used to offer its own TV service called Prism TV, but CenturyLink discontinued this in favor of bundling with DIRECTV instead.

DIRECTV delivers highly rated satellite TV service across the nation, and now you can get a deal on it when you bundle it with your CenturyLink internet. DIRECTV has wide availability, and it’s especially popular for its sports channels (including NFL SUNDAY TICKET).

The advantages of CenturyLink TV and internet bundles are cost savings and convenience. You will save $5 per month when you get your DIRECTV package through CenturyLink, plus you’ll have the convenience of a single bill. Adding a home phone package will give you additional savings.

The disadvantages to DIRECTV are the 2-year contract and, for some folks, the satellite dish itself. A DIRECTV technician will need to install a small satellite dish on the side of your home or apartment to get service. Some landlords and HOA rules don’t allow satellite dishes to be installed, so this can be a roadblock for some people.

Pros

  • Over 200 HD channels
  • Lots of package choices
  • Discounted internet and TV bundles

Cons

  • No “contract free” option
  • Possible limitations for renters and HOA members
  • Midcontract price hike

CenturyLink TV bundles through DIRECTV

CenturyLink TV and internet packages are a convenient way for customers to get broadband internet service and TV bundled together. CenturyLink and DIRECTV bundle reviews show that sports fans in particular are fond of DIRECTV, thanks to exclusive sports programming like NFL SUNDAY TICKET.

Double Play bundles

Got a sports fan, a Netflix streamer, a gaming tween, and a social media lover in the house? We recommend CenturyLink’s Double Play DIRECTV Choice with 80–100 Mbps internet bundle. An average family of four can stream along quite comfortably with 80 Mbps. If you’re living with one roommate or if it’s just you and your partner, we recommend going for 40 Mbps and DIRECTV Select.

There are many CenturyLink internet and TV deals available if you know where to look. Pick your package from these favorites.

TVInternet
(Available speeds very by location)
Price
DIRECTV SELECT
All Included 155+ channels
Up to 20 Mbps$109.99/mo. (mos. 1–12)*
DIRECTV ENTERTAINMENT All Included
160+ channels
Up to 20 Mbps$114.99/mo.*
DIRECTV CHOICE All Included
185+ channels, including NFL SUNDAY TICKET for one season
Up to 20 Mbps$119.99/mo.*
DIRECTV XTRA All Included
235+ channels, including NFL SUNDAY TICKET for one season
Up to 20 Mbps$124.99/mo.*
DIRECTV ULTIMATE
250+ channels, including NFL SUNDAY TICKET for one season
Up to 20 Mbps$129.99/mo.*
DIRECTV PREMIER
330+ channels, including NFL SUNDAY TICKET for one season
Up to 20 Mbps$179.99/mo.*

View CenturyLink Bundles

Data current as of 8/21/19. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

* For 12 mos. plus taxes, w/ 24-mo. DIRECTV agmt and combined billing. DIRECTV prices go up in second year.

CenturyLink prices stay the same after the introductory period, but be sure to plan for DIRECTV’s price increase in the second year. Starting in month 13, the price for DIRECTV packages increases.

Bundle savings are limited for TV and internet plans because CenturyLink doesn’t set prices for DIRECTV. You’ll save up to $5 off XTRA, Ultimate, or Premier DIRECTV packages when you bundle with internet, but there’s no cost savings if you bundle Select, Entertainment, or Choice packages with CenturyLink.

Triple Play bundles

You can get CenturyLink TV, internet, and home phone all in one bundle for one set price. CenturyLink internet and phone don’t require a contract, but DIRECTV does require a 24-month contract and the price for your TV service will go up in the second year.

TVInternet
(Available speeds very by location)
Home phonePrice
DIRECTV SELECT
All Included 155+ channels
Up to 20 MbpsWith unlimited nationwide long distance$144.99/mo.*
DIRECTV ENTERTAINMENT All Included
160+ channels
Up to 20 MbpsWith unlimited nationwide long distance
$149.99/mo.*
DIRECTV CHOICE All Included
185+ channels, including NFL SUNDAY TICKET for one season
Up to 20 MbpsWith unlimited nationwide long distance$154.99/mo.*
DIRECTV XTRA All Included
235+ channels, including NFL SUNDAY TICKET for one season
Up to 20 MbpsWith unlimited nationwide long distance
$159.99/mo.*
DIRECTV ULTIMATE
250+ channels, including NFL SUNDAY TICKET for one season
Up to 20 MbpsWith unlimited nationwide long distance
$164.99/mo.*
DIRECTV PREMIER
330+ channels, including NFL SUNDAY TICKET for one season
Up to 20 MbpsWith unlimited nationwide long distance
$214.99/mo.*

View CenturyLink Bundles

*Data current as of 8/22/19. Offers subject to change. For 12 mos. plus taxes and Regional Sports Fee of up to $8.49/mo., w/ 24-mo. DIRECTV agreement and combined billing. DIRECTV prices go up in second year.

If you’re wondering whether or not to bundle, here are some things to keep in mind. First, you only get a bundle discount if you select one of the three most expensive DIRECTV packages.

Secondly, triple play bundle prices go up in the second year, due to DIRECTV’s pricing structure. Add to that the price of NFL SUNDAY TICKET in your second year (which can cost nearly $400 per season), and you can see why folks sometimes fall a little out of love with DIRECTV in the second year.

If cost isn’t a factor for you, a triple play bundle with DIRECTV, a landline phone, and internet might be a good idea. But for more budget-conscious households, we recommend going with internet service only from CenturyLink. If you have a good internet plan that supports video streaming (15 Mbps or faster), you can replace TV service with a streaming plan or two, hang out at sports bars for big games, and cut out a home phone line by just using your cellphone.

Whatever you choose, make sure you’re aware of what you’re agreeing to before you sign up. CentryLink customers are sometimes unprepared for the extra fees and policies of DIRECTV service.

Fees and equipment

Since CenturyLink doesn’t have you sign a contract, some people don’t realize that the contract-free perk doesn’t apply to DIRECTV. DIRECTV is a separate company from CenturyLink, so you’ll have to sign a two-year contract with them. This includes agreeing to pay an early termination fee if you end your service before your contract is up. Yikes.

This means that if you have to cancel your DIRECTV service before the full two years are up, you’ll pay an early termination fee, which is $20 per month for each month remaining on the contract.

There’s also an installation fee that’s a minimum of $99 for having DIRECTV equipment installed at your home, which is in addition to the CenturyLink installation fee you’ll also have to pay. If you want more than one TV connected, you’ll also have an extra $7 per month fee for each additional TV.

With DIRECTV, you’ll want to make sure you pay your bill on time every month. Late fees can pile up quickly, and there’s no grace period. Your DIRECTV bill will be combined with your CenturyLink invoice, so you can pay one and be done.

A lot of people sign up with DIRECTV because they like the offer of free NFL SUNDAY TICKET. We like this, too, but read the offer carefully, because it’s only free for the first year. The second year you’ll pay full price (2019 prices are $293.94–$395.94). And to make matters worse, DIRECTV will automatically renew NFL SUNDAY TICKET if you had it the previous season, and you only have two weeks after the start of the season to get a refund. So, if you want to watch games with friends next season and save some cash, cancel early or you’ll be stuck paying for it.

Common DIRECTV fee rates

  • One-time installation fee of $99.00*
  • One-time activation fee of $19.99*
  • Regional sports fee of up to $8.49/mo.*
  • Additional receiver fee (if you have more than 1 TV) of $7/mo. ea.*
  • NFL SUNDAY TICKET is billed at the going rate; 2018 prices are between $293.94–$395.94 for a full-season pass
  • Late fee of $5.00 or more if you pay your bill late
  • Early Termination Fee of $20/mo. for each month remaining on your 24-month contract

*Data current as of 6/21/19. Offers subject to change.

Picture quality

DIRECTV service has over 200 channels in HD (high definition) and 4K (ultra high definition). HD channels deliver excellent picture quality on the entertainment you crave.

DVR

Standard DIRECTV service comes with one DVR (called a Genie). If you want to connect a second TV to DIRECTV, you’ll pay an additional $7 per month for the second Genie. DIRECTV’s Genie is pretty powerful. It has 1 TB of storage, which translates into about 200 hours of HD programming. If DVRs are your thing, the Genie is hard to beat because of the amount of storage you get included with your package.

Remote

When you sign up for DIRECTV service, your price includes the satellite dish, one DVR, and a remote control. You will probably get either a DIRECTV Genie remote or a standard universal remote. Your technician will set it up for you.

DIRECTV installation

DIRECTV will come out to install your service and will need to come at a separate time than your CenturyLink internet installation technician. Here is what you’ll need to do.

  1. Set up a time for your installation. You will need to be at your home for 2 to 5 hours while the DIRECTV installation technician is at your home. Yes, you read that right: that’s really 2 to five hours. Installing satellite TV takes more time than switching on a cable box and programming a remote. Your installation technician will be installing a satellite dish to your home and running wires around.
  2. If you are leasing your home or have an HOA in your community, check rules about satellite dishes before your scheduled appointment. Your technician will be installing a satellite dish outside on your roof, on a balcony on your condo, or on the side of your house. You may need to adjust where the dish is installed to comply with rules. In some cases, you may not be able to install a dish at all. Make sure this is worked out in advance and before you’ve put any money down.
  3. Clean up the area where your technician will be working—outside and inside. Move furniture away from the wall, put away any clutter or personal belongings, and clean up the outside area where your technician will need to work to install the dish.
  4. Be prepared to stay at home during the scheduled installation. Installation windows are large but plan for the full time. If your technician finishes early, you’ll have a chance to try out your DIRECTV service before heading back to work. If it takes the full time, you won’t be stressed because you’ve already cleared your schedule.

DIRECTV installation fees

When you sign up for DIRECTV through CenturyLink, you’ll have several additional installation fees separate from any charged by CenturyLink.

  • One-time installation fee of $99.00*
  • One-time activation fee of $19.99*
  • Regional sports fee of up to $8.49/mo.*
  • Additional receiver fee (if you have more than 1 TV) of $7/mo. ea.*

*Data current as of 6/21/19. Offers subject to change.

Our verdict

The best part about bundling DIRECTV with CenturyLink is saving a bit of money each month.

Customers who gravitate toward CenturyLink’s contract-free and Price for Life deals are often unhappy about DIRECTV’s different policies. DIRECTV requires a two-year contract and people are locked into a higher price the second year. If CenturyLink could work out a contract-free or Price for Life deal with DIRECTV for their customers, that would solve a lot of customer complaints.

As long as people know what they’re getting into with the DIRECTV two-year contract, we think most people will be satisfied with the channel options and internet service available at these rates. DIRECTV is a solid TV provider with nationwide availability, so it’s got enough to keep most folks happy.

Find my internet and TV bundle.

CenturyLink TV FAQ

What is Prism TV?

Prism TV is CenturyLink’s TV service that launched in 2009. Unfortunately, it’s no longer available. In the spring of 2018, CenturyLink shifted to partnering with DIRECTV for TV service. Prism TV was a television service delivered via fiber internet rather than traditional television or satellite receivers.

What happened to Prism TV?

For those wondering what happened to Prism TV, here’s the scoop. Prism TV was a subscription-based television service delivered through the internet (similar to AT&T U-verse). Although it had lower ratings than some of its competitors, it also had a lot of fans.

In 2018, CenturyLink announced that the company would be scaling back on Prism TV. CenturyLink continues to provide support for many current Prism TV customers, who will eventually be offered DIRECTV packages when Prism TV is fully discontinued. But even in areas where it’s still available to existing customers, Prism TV is no longer offered for new customers.

How can I get Netflix on CenturyLink?

You can get Netflix on CenturyLink internet after you set up a Netflix account. Then sign into your new Netflix account on your browser or smart TV.

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