Back in 2018, CenturyLink spokesperson, Francie Dudrey, told Fierce Wireless, “Due to emerging market trends in video content and delivery, we do not plan to expand our Prism TV service offering.” and a few months later CenturyLink stated that it will no longer offer Prism TV service to new customers, but will instead offer DIRECTV satellite service. 

It is currently believed that CenturyLink will eventually replace its Internet Protocol (IPTV) service with an over-the-top (OTT) service. 

Here’s a bit about the company

CenturyLink Prism TV began in 1930 when William Clarke and Marie Williams purchased the Oak Ridge Telephone company, and it has expanded into a multinational communications and data services company. The company uses a fiber-optic network, providing its users with fast and effective streaming services that separate it from other cable and satellite companies. Users can enjoy both local channels as well as sports programming in HD.

Top Ranked Companies

company logo
#1 Comcast Xfinity TV chevron_right
7.9 Overall Score
2
starstarstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
(1,031)
company logo
#2 DIRECTV chevron_right
7.9 Overall Score
2.6
starstarstar_halfstar_borderstar_border
(897)
company logo
#3 DISH chevron_right
6.8 Overall Score
3
starstarstarstar_borderstar_border
(550)

The Good

  • Prism TV App
  • Transparent Monthly Pricing
  • Additional Premium Channels
  • Bundling Options

Prism TV App

Prism TV subscribers can use the app at no additional cost. With the app, customers can watch and stream live TV, view On-Demand programming, manage and schedule DVR recordings and use the app as a remote. Customers can download the Prism TV app on their smartphone, tablet, Kindles, Roku players, and Roku TVs. 

Transparent Monthly Pricing

Since CenturyLink is offered to current Prism TV customers, there is not a lot of information about what’s offered. However, The 2019 Prism TV package pricing is as follows:

Basic

  • $34.99 per month

Essential

  • $106.99 per month

Complete

  • $111.99 per month

Preferred STARZ and Showtime

  • $129.99 per month

Preferred HBO and EPIX

  • $139.99 per month

Premium

  • $164.99 per month

Of course all rates, channel line-ups, terms, etc. are subject to change.

Additional Premium Channels

Customers with the Basic, Essential, or Complete Package may want to add on premium channels to watch their favorite shows. Here are Prism TV’s premium channels:

HBO®

  • $19.49 per month
  • 14 HBO® channels (HBO On Demand® and HBO GO®)
  • Free with an HBO® subscription from CenturyLink.

Cinemax®

  • $17.99 per month
  • 12 Cinemax® channels (Cinemax On Demand® and MAX GO®)
  • Free with a Cinemax® subscription from CenturyLink.

SHOWTIME®

  • $17.99 per month
  • 21 SHOWTIME® channels (SHOWTIME ANYTIME and SHOWTIME ON DEMAND)

STARZ®

  • $17.99 per month
  • 30 STARZ® channels (STARZ® Play and STARZ® On Demand)

Bundling Options

CenturyLink allows customers to bundle their internet, TV, and phone provider and in return, pay less on their monthly bill. Since Prism TV is no longer offered to new customers, they are directed to bundle their CenturyLink internet with DIRECTV®. 

DIRECTV® offers plenty of premium channels (HBO®, STARZ®, SHOWTIME®, and Cinemax®) but they are more popularly known for their Sports Pack — where fans can purchase NFL SUNDAY TICKET, NFL SUNDAY TICKET MAX, MLB EXTRA INNINGS®, and the MLS Direct Kick™.  

The Bad

  • Fees
  • Could Be Discontinued

Fees

As with all service providers, customers agree to a contract and if they do not follow the agreement are subject to certain fees. Prism TV customers may experience the following fees. 

Internet Installation: For customers bundling and getting internet with their TV services will have to pay for a Standard Tech Install. This is a $99 one-time charge

Early Termination Fee: Up to $20 multiplied by the number of remaining months in the current term commitment (up to $240 max). 

Equipment Fee: CenturyLink equipment (set-top boxes, remote controls, etc.) needs to be received within 30 days after termination or cancellation of service. Charges may be applied for any unreturned/damaged equipment. 

Modem: A CenturyLink modem will cost $10 per month if leased or customers can select a one-time purchase for $150.

Set-Top Box (STB): Customer must have a CenturyLink provided STB to watch TV. For the Prism TV Basic, Essential and Complete packages, a $9.99 monthly recurring charge will apply for the first STB; for Prism Preferred and Premium Packages, the first wired STB is included in the Package offer. 

Prism TV’s site states, “Depending on services you select, these CenturyLink surcharges may apply: Internet/Broadband Cost Recovery Fee; Prism Local Broadcast Surcharge; Prism Sports Network Surcharge; Non-Telecom Services Surcharge; Subscriber Line Charge; Long Distance Line Charge; Access Recovery Charge; Property Tax Recovery Fee; Federal Regulatory Recovery Fee; and Facilities Relocation Cost Recovery Fee.”

Although, new customers who sign up with CenturyLink and go through DIRECTV for their service provider are subject to DIRECTV's fees. 

Could Be Discontinued

The fact that CenturyLink is directing all new customers to sign up with DIRECTV and not Prism TV is a sign that the service is likely going to be discontinued. While previous Prism TV customers were allowed to stay on their plan, it could be sooner rather than later for Prism TV. 

The Bottom Line

Because so many of its customers have been choosing to cut the cord — referring to the process of cutting cable connections and switching over to over-the-top (OTT) service provider or an over-the-air (OT) broadcast. Those looking into Prism TV for their entertainment needs should probably look elsewhere. The company has stopped expanding its TV service and isn’t taking any new customers. Instead, the company is directing new customers to DIRECTV for their television service provider.

View Best Satellite TV Companies

Why Can I Trust Bestcompany.com arrow_drop_down

User Reviews

Star Rating

1.6
starstar_halfstar_borderstar_borderstar_border

75 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 star
8%
4 star
15%
3 star
5%
2 star
8%
1 star
64%

Sentiment Criteria

Value for your money
starstarstar_halfstar_borderstar_border
Quality of product or service
starstarstar_halfstar_borderstar_border
Customer service
starstarstar_halfstar_borderstar_border
Company trustworthiness
starstarstar_halfstar_borderstar_border
search cancel
starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Jerome
October 14th, 2016 San Diego, CA

I haven't had any bad experiences with Customer Service, but I now realize that the picture quality is not as good as DirecTV. My brother was an Engineer with CBS television. He was out last winter and saw my Prism. He thought it would be a great picture since it's fiber optic. He voiced his displeasure with the quality of the picture. And now I see what he means. If you're watching anything with live action (such as a football game), the subject in the center of the screen is fine, but the crowd, the field and everything NOT in the middle of the screen are very pixelated while the camera is moving. Once it stops moving, everything comes into focus. Several times, when I boot up my computer, the router reboots, causing the TV to shut down until the router is done rebooting. I think I'll go back to DirecTV, even though I DO prefer the channel line-up on Prism. But what they don't have, I can get over the air. Stay away....the technology needs tweaking.

starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Tracy
October 6th, 2016 Altamonte Springs, FL

Rip off company even....I control....20 plus days still has not updated new shows. You have a set bill and out of the blue suprised your bill has almost doubled.once I upgraded to having hbo you think it's an extra 20 dollars then you get your bill and they added about 150 to your bill I have no idea how and where they get their prorated sums.they should be shut down.

starstarstarstarstar
Dewey
October 6th, 2016 Jersey City, NJ

These guys are AWESOME! Best Cable TV Around The Best!!!! Can't wait to get home and watch me some Prism TV!

starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Nichole Haswell
October 4th, 2016 Omaha, NE

I think this is the absolute worst company out there with horrible customer service and the only reason I am actually paying them money is because they are telling me I can not cancel and I am trying to buy a house and do not want bad credit on my record. As soon as I am done paying them the money I DONT OWE them I am done with this company FOREVER. I have never had such horrible customer service for such crappy internet and TV. None of the workers know what was done the previous month to help the customers out. They are absolutely horrible!

starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Danny Kage Jr.
September 26th, 2016 Bellevue, NE

Only had prism tv for 6 months had to call the billing dept every month to correct my bill. after the 6th month of calling in, I asked to have me services canceled had to buy out of my contract even though they claimed when you signed your contract you actually signed 2 contracts. Got tired arguing with Maurice he just couldn't get what i was having issues with.

starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Kate Gallagher
September 19th, 2016 Seattle, WA

They LIE!! They raised my rate twice during my Lock Your Rate in for a year. Beyond sleazy!! Beware! They don't live up to their promises but threaten you when you try to cancel them. Rude do nothing customer service. Worst experience I have had with a company. Sal, a supervisor was extremely rude when I said that I had been LIED to repeatedly by them. He told me that no one had lied to me. One customer service winner told me that i was mistaken. I did not lock in my rate for a year, only the discount, so they could raise the rate as many times as they wanted and they did! When I tried to cancel I was told that I had entered into a new contract when I dropped HBO because they would not live up to their contract. So they tried to hit me with an early termination fee. I laughed and said since I NEVER agreed to a new contract since by then I HATED these people, I would have my attorney have a chat with them about the illegal things they were attempting to do. DO NOT TRUST THESE SLIMY LOSERS!!

starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
[email protected]
September 2nd, 2016 Secaucus, NJ

I have been trying to cancel for 2 weeks. They make it the most complicated process ever. Probably have 5 hours invested. You can't cancel in the retail location either.

starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Theresa clark
September 1st, 2016 Seattle, WA

I have tried on at least 4 occasions by telephone, email, live chat to get Prism TV working which has been down now for over 3 weeks. All I have received back are messages that they know the service is not working but that that technicians are working on the problem. I have lodged a complaint with the Washington State Attorney General's consumer unit. If people continue to have these problems if would be helpful to contact state on summer agencies.

starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Beth
August 10th, 2016

I agree with all the reviews here. Customer service is non-existent. Shows freeze constantly, whether live or recorded. DECEPTIVE BILLING!!!!!! The bill is always higher than promised. And when you call to ask about, expect to be on phone one hour or more, getting passed from agent to agent. Ridiculous. I'm surprised that they haven't been investigated by any state attorney generals yet.

starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Ruth Spilhaus
August 1st, 2016 Saint Paul, MN

Got the bundle from prism ( tv, phone and Internet) on the 19th of July. On the 20th it stopped working and then it would work occasionally. I have been on the phone with them every day and finally one lady said it must of been installed incorrectly and someone will have to come out 2 days from now. I would recommend that people where it has just rolled out wait awhile until they get the kinks out.

starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Cathy Peterson
July 27th, 2016 Minneapolis, MN

The selling pluses for the Prism TV was the low cost. However it was misquoted to me and ended up being the same as Comcast and 60$ more than quoted per month. I had written it down on the agreement. The internet speed or wifi speed initially when first installed was at 4 mb on my desktop and was supposed to 40 mb. Their wifi equipment is sadly lacking. The installer showed me that the speed to the house was 40 mb and wrote off the wifi speed or my actual internet speed of 4mb as interference within the house. The installer tried to convince me that 4mb was all I needed. I am 65 and he probably thought I wouldn't be tech savvy enough to know what I was getting. I previously had 40mb from Comcast and got 40 mb of internet speed on all my devices with my own 5mb router. So I made the poor lad work a little harder. He found a newer modem/router (tv/internet) for the connection and it got better. Now we were at 20 mb on the desk top but 10 on the other devices. He finally after arguing profusely gave me a direct connection to my desktop but by pulling the wiring from the modem/router next to the TV and to the outside and across the exterior and in again near my desktop. He couldn't be bothered with doing it inside of the house. There is something seriously wrong with their modem/routers. I fixed my friends modem too by setting up a direct connection to their tv and replacing their Prism modem/router to a newer model. Next issue is the lousy DVR programming. I can't follow many of the stations I watch. It can't record just the first run, it has to record the repeats also. I called Prism and they told me it was a glitch. They don't have any PBS channels in the on demand line up. It takes a long time for a show first broadcast today to show up if at all on the on demand menu. They don't have TCM on the on demand roster and that was supposed to be coming as of last year along with PBS..They are charging way too much money for the product in the current state that it is in. I am so tired of the high cost of cable and satellite TV, that I am going to try cutting the cable. I will buy a Tivo, get an antenna and buy for $7-9 / month for one or two subscriptions of Acorn,and Hulu. Most of the channels provided by cable and satellite are empty channels. Some of the celebrity newscast shows were broadcast 5 years ago. The movies are the same thing over and over again and I figured I was only watching 8 channels or so of many channels I was getting. Don't get Prism. It's too bad since their fiber optic is fast but their services and equipment are woefully inadequate. I have just a couple of problems with it going out so it is more stable than Direct TV has been for me. I have read that Prism/CenturyLink have had serious money problems so maybe when they crash the next reincarnation will offer a better product.

starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
toni and dan
July 8th, 2016 Gilbert, AZ

Techs have been to our home twice and we've reset and been on the phone several times with customer service (we all know the fun in dealing with customer service)this service is by far the worst.we are so frustrated shows keep freezing up.doesnt matter if they're on dvr,live or on demand.we pay 160 a month for TV we cannot enjoy.we are hoping to cancel and then I'm getting an antenna and hulu!!

starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Roberta Spilman
June 29th, 2016 Salt Lake City, UT

Signed up for CenturyLink internet and Prism TV 6/1/2016 pk after dealing with Comcast for 10 years. The salesman out of Idaho told me what he could give me after I looked at the internet deals. I wrote exactly everything down and what it was going to cost, when the 1st bill was coming and exactly how much he was giving me off my 1st bill and a later visa card in the mail 30 days after. I received a bill a few days later for all kinds of charges and a minus on my bill. No sign of Prism tv on the bill. 6/6/16 Called CenturyLink customer to ask a question. Transferred several times, put on hold for 26 min. 6/7/16 Called CenturyLink billing , transferred me to tech dept , put on hold another 15 min, total time on phone counting holds and transfers 1 hour. Last transfer hung up on me. 6/28/16 Called billing reaching st. Paul IL, very rude to me, transferred me to Customer Care in AZ. He had an accent. Not able to understand the accent, asked him to transfer me to someone without an accent. He hung up on me. 6/28/16 called again, got salesman who sold me initial pk, he was impatient with me. I guess I was taking up his precious time when he could have made a sale. SOME OF THE WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE I HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED. AND I THOUGHT COMCAST WAS BAD.

starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Chris Haffner
June 28th, 2016 Minneapolis, MN

Recently switched to Century Link for Prism TV and Internet ... MISTAKE!!! In under 4 months both TV and Internet have down 3 times for a total of just over 50 hours. Customer support is at best useless if you can even get through to a human. STAY WITH YOUR CURRENT PROVIDER!

starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Kimberly Richards Russell
May 28th, 2016 Littleton, CO

We have had nothing but problems from day 1. It started off with a 10 hour install. They told us that we'd get a $10/mo credit to make up for it and we never received the credit. In fact, our first bill was double the price we were told when we signed up. We've spent hours on the phone with the worst customer service dept. of any company I've ever worked with and they tell us something different every time and say they can't get our rate to the rate we were promised and can't credit us the additional charges they owe us since we've already paid the bill. I'm beyond frustrated with this company and will be cancelling the day my contract ends and taking my internet service somewhere else too. I should also mention that the equipment is terrible and I have to reboot my receiver 4-5 times a week.

starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Jennie Hawkins
May 18th, 2016 Plymouth, MN

Never believe things PRISM employees say when they come to your door. I was quoted $89 a month for both cable and internet. I had many problems with this service going down for days on end. So when they sent me a bill for $65 a month, I promptly paid my bill and then three months later they sent me a bill for $650 . I AM So MAD! Oh, believe me I called got my bill lowered and canceled their service today. My advice is don't switch to prism , keep what you have and be happy with it because promises are never kept. I called Comcast and sad, I want my Comcast back! What a nightmare.

starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Debra Gobble
May 12th, 2016 Chandler, AZ

Prism TV SUCKS !!!! Had to start resetting the receiver the 1st day as it would not come on at all or just go off while watching, Then the deceptive billing ! OMG ! I had it for less than 6 weeks and had already been billed for $311.42 of which I paid $107 before I caught on, Never any clue to what channels were available under my plan as I never received a written channel guide and when I called I was supposed to be mailed one all I got was a letter telling me to tune in to channel 411 for info. Am I supposed to take notes ?!! Make my own little channel guide ?!! The only good news is they waived my early cancellation fee when I listed the facts of my horrible experience with the service and deceptive billing promises. Can't have Direct TV because of my trees so gonna have to go with the lesser of 2 evils, COX.

starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Dennis
April 28th, 2016 Parker, CO

Canceled Century Link Prism 4 months ago in January. Hand delivered all equipment. Still getting bigger and bigger bills for Prism. Spent 20+ hours on the phone trying to clear up Century Link / Prism errors. Prism is apparently a separate company. Still getting billed in April. May require an attorney to get protection.

starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Ellen
April 26th, 2016 Minneapolis, MN

We had service with Century Link for intranet and phone and bundled Direct TV with them. Century Link called us stating they could offer us savings if we switched to Prism TV. We talked for almost an hour to determine the exact savings and exact max our bill would be monthly. They LIED! First bill came and it was much higher than stated, they said it was due to "discounts" not taking place yet. Even after I spent hours on the phone after a series of days, the bill with the discounts was still going to be higher so we told them to cancel. Now we are being charge early termination fees even though the swore we could cancel and would not be charged. And again, they called us!! They had our total bill with Direct TV since it was bundled and said they would save us a specific amount each month. What a head ache and just plain waste of time. We are back with Direct TV.

starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Robbins
April 14th, 2016 Littleton, CO

Have had skipping problems since Oct. of 2015 and continues even after switching out recorder. We want to discontinue service, but are still on contract and can't afford to discontinue. Try to get last tech to come back out and he won't return my call. His boss won't return our call either.

starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Cathy
April 6th, 2016 Gilbert, AZ

Worst customer service I have experienced in a long time. Called twice to reduce my monthly bill twice and each consecutive bill came back higher. Sat on phone for 1 her and 45 mins to schedule disconnect. good ridens! I would rather go without tv and Internet before using them.

starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Diana
March 31st, 2016 Littleton, CO

Have had nothing but trouble with with Prism TV since 3 months after we got it. That trouble continues after having Prism give us excuses and having 5 techs out to figure out what is happening. We have had it and will be getting rid of it as soon as we find a program that will work with our on line service. DON'T GET PRISM TV.

starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Barbara White
February 25th, 2016 Wake Forest, NC

Multiple outages. Price increased 143% in 18 months. Few choices unless you go for the $300.+ package. Rude customer service. System freezes constantly.

starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Chelsea
February 25th, 2016 Phoenix, AZ

Worst tv service I've ever had. Don't have many of the channels you would on other services lowest packages. The on demand is horrible. 2-3 episodes if any on random shows. None of the newer episodes, and they don't even go in order. The on demand is not user friendly, takes forever to browse shows. And every time we watch a movie on demand, it keeps taking us to the main menu during the movie every 10 mins or so, and you have to resume movie if it even loads. Worst tv service I've ever had. Do not recommend it one bit.

starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Tom
February 4th, 2016 Rocky Mount, NC

Prism TV and CenturyLink the worst TV service I have ever have. Can't record and watch HD TV at the same time. Sound doesn't match video and the screen freezes five six time during an hour show. DVR only records when it has enough bandwidth, which is never if you are watching HD. Technicians have been to my house six times in the last six weeks. They seem as pissed off with Prism and CenturyLink as I am. Lots of neighbors have dropped serve and I WILL as soon as contract is up. Stay away from Prism and CenturyLink in the Rocky Mount, NC area. Don't be a fool and sign up with these guys. The ripped out my CAT5 to install their cables. Going to have to pay to reinstall. Do not let these guys screw up your wiring. BEWARE!!!!