The 10 Best TV Channels

You're missing out if you're not getting these 10 channels in your lineup. But worry no more—we list TV services for all 10.

Chantel Buchi
Jan 23, 2024
Icon Time To Read6 min read

Are you looking for a television package with all the best TV channels?

Well, we’ve got the list of the top-ten-ranked television channels currently available through streaming, cable, and satellite TV providers. These popular channels receive high viewership with excellent original shows that keep us coming back.

Below are the services that have all 10 TV networks.

Which TV providers offer the top and best channels?
Service
Type
Monthly price
Channel range
Details
DISHSatellite$84.99-$114.99*190-290
DIRECTVSatellite$59.99-$159.9975-150
Verizon Fios TVFiber$85–$12969-425
YouTube TVStreaming$72.99100
DIRECTV streamingStreaming$69.99-$159.99^90-185
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* All offers require credit qualification, 2-year commitment with early termination fee and eAutoPay.
All prices include $5 Autopay & Paperless Bill discount, which may take 1-3 bill cycles to begin (pay $5 more per month until discount begins). New approved residential customers only. 24-mo. agreement required. Offers may be discontinued at any time.
Price with Auto Pay + taxes & equip. charges
^ Plus taxes. Req's purchase of Device. New customers only.

DISH TV is our favorite satellite TV provider, but DIRECTV offers the most premium channels. Verizon Fios TV has an excellent dollar-to-channel ratio, but it’s limited across the U.S.

YouTube TV is one of the best live TV streaming services, and although DIRECTV via Internet is the priciest live streaming service, it gives new cord-cutters a traditional TV feel.

Hulu + Live TV didn’t make the cut because it doesn’t have PBS or AMC, but if you don’t need those channels, this service does come with Disney+ and ESPN+ for $75 per month.

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#1 National Geographic

National Geographic is a TV channel for those interested in learning about everything. It’s for extraterrestrial zealots, adventurers who want to know the depths of wildlife, and documentary fanatics.

This TV network is known for highly-rated documentaries, such as a woman who sheltered Anne Frank’s family, biological longevity, the first Mercury astronauts, and ocean discoveries.

Standout National Geographic programs include the following:

  • A Small Light
  • Genius
  • Limitless
  • Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
  • Free Solo
  • Drain the Oceans
  • The Rescue

How to get this channel

If you're after only the National Geographic channel (because it's obviously the best), you can access it with the cheapest live TV streaming service.

Grab Sling TV’s Orange or Orange + Blue plan for $40 or $55 per month.

#2 Animal Planet

This is the channel we all want for one reason, and one reason only: the Puppy Bowl.

But I guess during the rest of the year, it is pretty entertaining to watch Jeremy Wade hunt for dangerous flesh-eating fish and to see the behind-the-scenes of the San Diego Zoo.

Standout Animal Planet programs include the following:

  • River Monsters
  • The Zoo: San Diego
  • Lone Star Law
  • Pit Bulls and Parolees
  • The Aquarium
  • Jeff: Rocky Mountain Vet

How to get this channel

To get your animal fix, I’d recommend one of the following six services:

I’m going to guess if you’re an animal person, you’re going to really want a service that also includes Nat Geo Wild (like the ones above). And this channel is a rare find, like a cute pangolin.

#3 Discovery Channel

Shark Week fans need this TV network like a shark needs its fins—how else would you survive?

When you’re not watching those sharp-toothed killers, the Discovery Channel features two people naked in the wilderness, trying to outlast their opponent to win big money. Or you can watch fishermen battle Arctic weather and brutal waves. Take your pick.

Standout Discovery Channel programs include the following:

  • Naked and Afraid
  • Deadliest Catch
  • Gold Rush
  • Expedition Unknown
  • MythBusters
  • Alaskan Bush People
  • Homestead Rescue

How to get this channel

The Discovery Channel is available with most TV service providers, so take your pick.

If you're looking for an inexpensive way to stream Discovery Channel TV series, I'd recommend subscribing to Max. For $10 to $20 per month, you can watch Discovery, HBO, DC, and Adult Swim on-demand content.

#4 PBS

PBS is an educational channel without commercials that has been known and loved for 50+ years.

Historically, most are familiar with this channel airing Frontline (an investigative documentary about domestic and international issues), Nova (science), Arthur (animated TV series for children since 1996), Sesame Street (no explanation needed), and This Old House (home improvement).

Standout PBS programs include the following:

  • PBS NewsHour
  • The Great American Recipe
  • Human Footprint
  • Nature
  • Southern Storytellers
  • Modern Gardener

How to get this channel

The good news for PBS fans is that you can watch the PBS channel for free. You don’t need to spend one dollar on a subscription.

But access to more channels to sift through does sound nice on a lazy day.

So I’d recommend ordering Xfinity’s $20 per month plan, which nets you all your local channels and some. This cable TV service advertises this plan to have 10+ channels, but we found that the channel lineup offered six times that in our location.

#5 History Channel

Delve into the history of our country by watching TV series about the development of popular toys and U.S. brands.

Or if you’re like me, you’re interested in the 40+ HIstory’s Greatest Mysteries episodes The Amityville Horror, Titanic’s Lost Evidence, The Chicago Tylenol Murders, and Houdini’s Lost Diaries.

Standout History Channel programs include the following:

  • The Toys That Built America
  • Alone
  • Mountain Men
  • The Mega-Brands That Built America
  • History’s Greatest Mysteries
  • The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch
  • Forged In Fire

How to get this channel

Let’s say you have a history of saving money and aren’t interested in spending $65+ for a live TV streaming service or $80+ for satellite TV.

You can stream the History Channel and 30+ more channels with Sling TV for $40 monthly. Or if you’re more interested in traditional TV, Xfinity TV’s Choice TV plan has this beloved channel and 60 more in its channel lineup for $20 per month.

#6 HBO

HBO—the most popular premium channel—is now mostly known as Max.

This channel is home to critically-acclaimed series, like Game of Thrones and The Sopranos, that makes it really hard to live without watching. Why? Because HBO's shows tend to be "the talk of the town" constantly, and HBO doesn't have content that wastes a minute of your time.

Standout HBO programs include the following:

  • Game of Thrones
  • The Sopranos
  • Succession
  • The Last of Us
  • Barry
  • The Wire
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • The White Lotus

How to get this channel

The HBO channel or Max is available as an add-on with most TV services or is included when you order a higher-tier TV package (like with DIRECTV).

So there is no need to go searching too far for it.

If you’re interested in streaming only HBO content, you can stream all of its excellent movies and series (and more) with Max for $10–$20 per month.

#7 AMC

AMC has had some breakthrough series in the last 15 years to give itself a name among the premium channels.

This TV channel has pulled us away from the real world to see the life of a chemistry teacher who converts his RV into a meth lab. It opened our eyes to business and home culture in the 1960s. And some of us got obsessed with zombies.

Standout AMC programs include the following:

  • Breaking Bad
  • Mad Men
  • Walking Dead
  • Better Call Saul
  • Dark Winds
  • Halt and Catch Fire

How to get this channel

AMC is available with cable TV providers, like Verizon Fios TV, and live TV streaming services, like YouTube TV.

But let’s just assume here that you are a movie lover, as the name of this channel suggests (American Movie Classics). So why not get a service that feeds your cinema needs with more movie channels?

Xfinity TV, YouTube TV, and DIRECTV are the only TV services with AMC and FXM, and offer premium channels as add-ons or include them in your package (i.e., STARZ, Paramount+ with SHOWTIME®, and MGM+).

#8 Cartoon Network

I remember the good ol’ days of The Power Puff Girls, Scooby-Doo, Dexter’s Laboratory, Courage the Cowardly Dog, and Johnny Bravo. And it looks like kids are still hooked on this TV network to this day.

(You might be wondering now why Disney Channel isn’t on this list, and it might have something to do with Disney+ being available.)

Below are some current TV shows your kids can watch on CN to keep them entertained.

Standout Cartoon Network programs include the following:

  • The Amazing World of Gumball
  • Craig of the Creek
  • Teen Titans Go!
  • Cocomelon
  • The Looney Tunes Show
  • Summer Camp Island
  • Batwheels

How to get this channel

Those who watch Cartoon Network likely watch other channels with animated shows and movies, right? (And I’m not just talking about the kids.)

So grab CN in a package with Disney Channel and Nickelodeon for $75 or less with these providers:

#9 Nat Geo Wild

Nat Geo Wild is for National Geographic fans who only watch animal programming.

This channel is filled with vets, animals, zoos, animals, safaris, and animals. You get the gist.

What does a vet do when a dog regularly has seizures? How does one get two bear cubs to a new home? How does one fix a fox’s leg or a horse’s mysterious bloody nose? Become an honorary veterinarian with Nat Geo Wild.

Standout Nat Geo Wild programs include the following:

  • The Incredible Dr. Pol
  • Primal Survivor: Extreme African Safari
  • Secrets of the Zoo
  • Never Say Never with Jeff Jenkins
  • Critter Fixers: Country Vets
  • Oakley, Yukon Vet

How to get this channel

The Nat Geo Wild channel is as rare as a vaquita sighting.

You can only get the Nat Geo Channel with six TV providers:

#10 The Weather Channel

Now, I hope the name gives away what this TV channel is all about.

If you want to know more about the stories and science behind the weather forecast, tune in any time between 6 a.m. and noon MT. If you'd like a further breakdown of science from guest meteorologists, turn on this channel at 1–5 p.m. MT. And if you're into the powerful storms and breaking weather news for planet Earth, you'll want to switch to TWC at 5–7 p.m. MT.

Standout programs on The Weather Channel include the following:

  • America’s Morning Headquarters
  • Weather Underground
  • Storm Center
  • High Arctic Haulers
  • Pattrn
  • Weekend Recharge
  • Heavy Rescue: 401

How to get this channel

You’re a simple person. You just want to know details on the daily weather.

You can keep up with our forecast without breaking the bank with an entry-level TV plan with Spectrum TV, Hulu + Live TV, and fuboTV.

Sources

Chantel Buchi
Written by
Chantel Buchi
Chantel is all about finding the best tv or streaming service to watch as many football games as possible to keep her Fantasy Football team in check. Prior to being a TV and Streaming Tech Reporter for Reviews.org, she worked for NFL Network and The Alliance of American Football. Before that, she received a B.A. of Communication at the University of Utah and an M.S. in Sports Journalism at USC. Go Utes and Fight On. Contact her at chantel@reviews.org

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