- Best live TV streaming service: TV vs. SlingTV vs. Hulu vs. FuboTV and all the rest
- Best TV streaming service
- Best TV streaming service for sports fans: AT&T TV
- Best family-oriented streaming service
- Other options to consider
- Live TV streaming features and channel guide
- Our TV streaming bundle reviews
- Watch Out for These Streaming Service Price Hikes
- Other services
- Time for a streaming TV audit?
- The Cost of Every Streaming Service Per Month
- How Much Is Netflix?
- How Much Is Hulu?
- How Much Is Amazon Prime Video?
- How Much Is Disney+?
- How Much Is Apple TV+?
- How Much Is CBS All Access?
- How Much Is HBO Now?
- How Much Is HBO Max?
- How Much Is TV?
- How Much Is Sling TV?
- How Much Is fuboTV?
- How Much Is PlayStation Vue?
- How Much Is ESPN+?
- How Much Is Showtime?
- How Much Is Starz?
- How Much Is AT&T TV Now?
Best live TV streaming service: TV vs. SlingTV vs. Hulu vs. FuboTV and all the rest
As cord-cutting becomes more popular, TV networks have responded by bringing their popular cable channels to the internet. That means you no longer need expensive satellite or cable TV service to watch local news, sports, and your favorite shows.
But with all this competition comes more confusion. Between Sling TV, TV, Hulu + Live TV, and others, cord-cutters have a lot to think about. Each service has its own quirks and caveats, and their channel lineups (and increasingly, their prices) are constantly in flux.
We created this guide to make your decision easier. It compares the features of all the current live TV streaming bundles, lists which devices each one supports, provides a full side-by-side channel list, and provides our bottom-line recommendations. It also shares the latest live TV streaming news, and links to our in-depth reviews, where you can learn more about how each bundle works.
Updated March 22, 2021 to add our Vidgo TV streaming service review.
While we welcome the emergence of another service that keeps its subscription price low by not trying to deliver every channel possible, and Vidgo TV offers a relatively strong collection of sports coverage, you'll need to make a number of sacrifices to get it. Among those, the absence of DVR service is the most painful.[ Further reading: The best media streaming devices ]
Best TV streaming service
TV may not meet every cord-cutter’s needs, but even at $65 per month, we think it’s the best path to local stations, live news, national sports, and a broad selection of entertainment channels.
It also includes cloud DVR service that can record an unlimited number of programs for up to nine months. If you’re looking to replace cable TV with something cheaper, this is still your safest bet.
What sets Hulu’s $65-per-month live TV bundle apart from others is its inclusion of Hulu’s on-demand service (normally $6 per month), which includes a large catalog of network shows, plus originals such as The Handmaid’s Tale and Castle Rock. Hulu’s interface can be busy, but it ties everything together in a way that encourages discovery, and the service is extendable with more DVR storage and additional simultaneous streams—if you’re willing to pay.
Best TV streaming service for sports fans: AT&T TV
At $85 per month for its “Choice” package, AT&T TV is not a particularly great deal for cord cutters, but as of this writing, it's the only way to get regional Fox Sports (soon to become Bally Sports) channels or the YES Network without cable or satellite TV service. It also includes NBA TV and MLB Network for good measure.
Sports fans served by regional NBC Sports networks are in luck here, as they can instead opt for cheaper services including TV, Hulu + Live TV, and Fubo TV (all starting at $65 per month). Otherwise, AT&T TV wins simply by covering local sports in most markets.
Best family-oriented streaming service
Despite some initial bugs, Disney+ looks a serious contender with its clean, easy interface and an impressive amount of content aimed at families, kids, and anyone with a penchant for nostalgia.
Fans of the Star Wars saga might be interested in checking out Disney’s new service just to watch The Mandalorian, but there’s plenty of other great content to be had here, drawing from Disney’s own deep and broad library of movies and TV shows. We’ve reviewed the first five of the shows originally developed for Disney+ and came away impressed.
Other options to consider
Sling TV is an intriguing option if you’re using an antenna to get local channels, because it doesn’t include much local coverage on its own.
As such, its starting price of $30 per month is a lot lower than other bundles, and you can add channel packs that otherwise might be cost-prohibitive. On the downside, integrating local over-the-air channels with the Sling app requires extra hardware, you only get 10 hours of cloud DVR storage.
(An expansion to 50 hours is a $5 per month upcharge.) Also, some channels—such as regional Fox Sports networks—aren’t available with Sling TV at all.
AT&T TV Apple TV+
Apple TV+ Apple is one of the most cash-rich companies on the planet, and it has sunk a ton of money into developing its first streaming TV service, which launched in November 2019. The service is one of the least expensive at just $4.99 per month, but there’s not a lot of content in these early days, and there isn’t much that impressed our critic.
FuboTV is a $65-per-month that once marketed itself as sports-centric. In recent years, however, its channel mix has become more that of its competitors, most notably with the addition of ESPN, Disney, and ABC channels. Still, its lack of WarnerMedia-owned channels such as TNT and TBS leaves some sporting events reach.
Philo is the biggest bundle you can get with no sports channels. As such, it only costs $20 per month, with channels from AMC, Viacom, Discovery, and A&E. Philo is a fine supplement if you can get prime-time shows and sports from an antenna.
Frndly TV offers about a dozen channels for $6 per month, most notably the Hallmark Channels and The Weather Channel. If those channels are missing from whatever larger package you’ve chosen, this might be a great supplement.
TVision by T-Mobile provides decent value, with a broad mix of news, sports, and entertainment channels starting at $50 per month. But as of this writing, it's only available to T-Mobile customers, and we have some qualms with its DVR. The service also lacks CBS, so you'd need a separate Paramount+ subscription to watch your local station.
Live TV streaming features and channel guide
Ready to dig deeper? Below you’ll find even more information to help make your decision.
Let’s start with local channels. In certain markets—especially those outside of cities—live feeds may not be available due to ongoing rights negotiations with local broadcast affiliates.
In lieu of those local feeds, most streaming bundles offer prime-time on-demand programming from whatever major broadcast networks they carry.
(The sole exception is TV, which has opted to stay markets where it can’t offer live local coverage.)
To see which local stations are available in your area, visit the websites for Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, AT&T TV Now, Hulu with Live TV, FuboTV, and TV.
Jared Newman / TechHive
To see which specific TV Everywhere apps each service reports, check out the support pages for Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, Hulu with Live TV, and FuboTV (along with this Reddit page for TV).
Here’s a rundown of which bundles work on each major streaming platform (click to enlarge to a readable size):
Jared Newman / IDG
As for features, the following chart shows how each live TV streaming service compares on DVR, simultaneous streams, ad-skipping, out-of-home access, and more:
Jared Newman / IDG
And here’s a chart showing all the channels you can get through TV streaming bundles, along with the minimum price you’ll need to pay to get each one. If you see a “+” sign, that means the price is in addition to the cost of a base package. It’s a large chart that you can click to zoom into so that it’s more readable.
Jared Newman / IDG
Our TV streaming bundle reviews
For deeper dives into each streaming bundle, check out the reviews below.
Because online services are often iterative, gaining new features and performance improvements over time, this roundup is subject to change in order to accurately reflect the current state of the service. Any changes to text or our final review verdict will be noted.
Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.
Watch Out for These Streaming Service Price Hikes
Photo: Said Marroun (Shutterstock)
There are so many competing streaming TV services it’s easy to sign up for a bunch without realizing how much you’re actually paying for them all—especially when they start raising their prices. And with Disney+ hiking its monthly fee today, this is as good a time as any to review recent changes to your streaming plans, confirm how much you’re being charged, and consider canceling the ones you aren’t watching enough.
Disney+ has increased its subscription price by $1, to $7.99 per month, and its yearly subscription by $10, to $79.99, effective today.
The price for the Disney+ bundle, which includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+, is also going up, from $12.99 to $13.99 per month (the ad-free version will run you $18.99).
The changes will apply to new and existing subscribers—although in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, the price change won’t take effect until August 23.
Netflix recently soft-launched a password sharing prevention feature that prods users into buying a subscription if they’re borrowing a password from someone outside their household. While it hasn’t been widely implemented, don’t be surprised if your $8.99 basic plan becomes a truly single stream subscription later this year.
Earlier in 2021, Netflix raised prices on its popular standard plan (1080p and two simultaneous streams) from $12.99 per month to $13.99 per month. Its premium plan (4K video and four simultaneous streams) also increased from $15.99 to $17.99 per month. These changes are now in effect for both new and old subscribers.
The pandemic has turned us all into streaming video-addicted shut-ins, but if you’re being honest,…
Paramount+ is a new streaming TV service, replacing CBS All Access. It costs $9.99 per month for their ad-free service, or $5.
99 per month with advertising, which matches the pricing tiers of CBS All Access. Just to be confusing, the ad-supported rate will drop to $4.
99 starting in June, but subscribers at this level will subsequently lose live streaming access to their local CBS affiliate.
If you were already a CBS All Access subscriber, your membership has already automatically been transferred to Paramount+.
If you haven’t joined up yet, you can take advantage of a deal: Sign up between now and the end of March and you can save 50% on an annual plan with the promo code “YEAR.
” You’ll also get a one-month free trial; starting April 1, the standard free trial will be shortened to one week.
Hulu also hiked prices late last year, increasing the cost of its live TV product from $54.99 to $64.99 per month. The ad-free option increased from $60.99 to $70.99 per month. Hulu’s VOD-only plans remain $5.99 per month with ads and $11.99 per month for no ads.
Here are the current prices for other services you might also subscribe to:
I know, I know, who needs another new streaming service in 2021, right? But Paramount+, which…
Time for a streaming TV audit?
To be fair, creeping price hikes will ly only affect your overall streaming bill by a few dollars each month, even if you have more than one service (the average person has three paid TV subscriptions).
But these rate increases can add up over time without you noticing, as all of them rely on “evergreen” automatic payments and yearly renewals via your credit card. That means if you want to cancel, you have to go your way to opt renewal.
The danger comes in the fact that it’s easy to overlook these increases over time, which can be substantial—just look at Hulu’s live TV plan, which has gone up by $25 per month over the last few years.
That’s a lot of money if you aren’t paying attention to what you’re being charged.
If you’re unsure how much you spend each month on streaming TV, perform a subscription audit: Scan your credit card bills or email account for various subscription services, tally the cost, and decide which ones to keep and which ones to cancel (for more about subscription audits, read this Lifehacker post).
Since these services typically seem to bump up their prices late in the year, you might want to set up a corresponding annual subscription audit reminder in your calendar—it could be an easy way to save money.
This story was originally published in Dec. 29, 2020 and updated on March 26, 2021 with new information.
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The Cost of Every Streaming Service Per Month
Cord-cutting — canceling your cable subscriptions in favor of streaming services — was supposed to save viewers money. But the explosion of digital content means that there are more streaming services than ever, with more on the way. The recent launch of the long-awaited Disney+ is just the latest.
Many people looking for TV shows new and old are looking for their ideal combination of streaming services to subscribe to for their needs, and a big part of that is knowing how much all of them are going to cost. With that in mind, what are some of the biggest streaming services available and how much are they going to cost you?
How Much Is Netflix?
The service that started it all, Netflix (NFLX) – Get Report began as a competitor to Blockbuster and wound up the biggest streaming service in the world, pioneering the format with its selection of past content and original shows.
The basic package for Netflix costs $8.99 a month with additional packages for a few dollars extra. The standard package costs $12.99 a month and offers HD video and allows for an extra screen to view. The premium package for Netflix, which offers HD and 4K viewing as well as up to four simultaneous screens, costs $15.99 a month.
How Much Is Hulu?
One of Netflix's most direct competitors, Hulu has expanded its offerings rapidly. Currently, Hulu has four existing plans:
- $5.99 a month for a basic Hulu plan (with ads)
- $11.99 a month for a premium Hulu plan (no ads)
- $44.99 a month for basic Hulu (with ads) and live TV
- $50.99 a month for premium Hulu (no ads) and live TV
From there, you can further customize your plan with add-ons that will cost extra. Adding Cinemax, for example, is an additional $9.99 monthly.
How Much Is Amazon Prime Video?
How much you pay for Amazon (AMZN) – Get Report Prime Video will depend on how much of Amazon Prime you plan on buying, as well as whether or not you are a student.
If you plan on only buying a subscription for Amazon Prime Video, you will be paying $8.99 a month. However, Prime Video is also included if you get an overall Amazon Prime subscription. This costs $12.99 a month or if you choose to pay annually, $119 a year.
The student discounted price for Amazon Prime is $6.49 a month or $59 a year. Also, Amazon offers a discounted Amazon Prime to verified cardholders of EBT and Medicaid of $5.99 a month for up to four years.
How Much Is Disney+?
After a long wait, Disney+ has officially launched with TV and movies from Disney (DIS) – Get Report, Pixar, Fox, Marvel, Star Wars, and more. The cost for a Disney+ subscription is $6.
99 a month. If you decide to pay annually it will be $69.99 a year. There is also a package that includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ bundled together for the price of $12.99 a month.
There is also currently a deal where Verizon (VZ) – Get Report customers with one of their unlimited plans can get a free year of Disney+ if they sign up for the offer before June 1, 2020. New Verizon customers who sign up for Fios Home or 5G Home internet accounts are also eligible for this free year.
How Much Is Apple TV+?
Apple TV+, Apple's (AAPL) – Get Report entry into the streaming service competition, officially launched Nov. 1, 2019, with nine new original TV shows and more on the way. The price for Apple TV+ is $4.99 a month.
In addition to this, customers who buy a new iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, or iPod touch after Sept. 10, 2019, are eligible for a free year of the new streaming service. The service is also free for students who have an Apple Music subscription.
How Much Is CBS All Access?
One of the first examples of a major network branching out into the streaming-exclusive world, CBS All Access has tried to lure in new viewers with programming a new “The Twilight Zone” series and “Star Trek Discovery.”
To get CBS CBS All Access, the cost is $5.99 a month for a package with limited commercials and $9.99 a month for a package with no commercials (both have a 7-day free trial). The commercial-free package also allows you to download videos for offline viewing.
How Much Is HBO Now?
HBO Now is HBO's streaming service for those who don't have HBO as part of a cable package or as an add-on to various other services. Just HBO streaming.
For HBO Now, you will pay $14.99 a month, though the first seven days act as a free trial.
How Much Is HBO Max?
HBO Max doesn't come out until 2020, but it has made headlines for its announcements that it will have streaming rights to long-running shows “Friends” and “South Park” as well as various WarnerMedia properties.
Recently, AT&T T and WarnerMedia announced that, in addition to launching in May of 2020, HBO Max will cost customers $14.99 a month. HBO Now subscribers will get it with their existing subscription.
How Much Is TV?
TV offers live TV with over 70 channels to cord-cutters, working on televisions (Smart TVs and streaming boxes Roku) and mobile devices a. They also advertise their services as having unlimited DVR space.
The cost for a TV account is $49.99 a month and allows up to six accounts at once. Certain premium networks and sports networks can be added on for an additional fee.
How Much Is Sling TV?
Sling TV is another popular service for those who have cut the cord but are still looking to stream live television. Sling TV has three packages that bundle various television channels together and offer additional packages within them for added fees to help customize your experience. It can be watched on smart TVs and mobile devices.
Two of Sling's packages, Sling Orange and Sling Blue, are available for $25 a month ($15 in your first month). Sling Orange offers over 30 channels and can only be viewed on one stream at a time.
Sling Blue offers over 45 channels and can be viewed on up to three streams at once.
Sling Orange + Blue, the third package, includes all the channels combined for $40 a month ($25 in the first month) and can be viewed on up to four streams at once (only one in the case of a Sling Orange channel).
How Much Is fuboTV?
Offering more channels than Sling or TV, fuboTV has several packages that offer customers as many as 164 channels of live television to stream on mobile devices, smart TVs, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV. Their prices are as follows:
- $54.99 a month for the fubo Standard package (95 channels, 30 hours of DVR space, up to two screens at once)
- $59.99 a month for the Family package (95 channels, 500 hours of DVR space, up to 3 screens at once)
- $79.99 a month for the Ultra package (164 channels including extra entertainment, sports and Showtime packages, 500 hours of DVR space, up to three screens at once)
- $19.99 a month for the Latino Quarterly package (31 channels, 30 hours of DVR space, up to three screens at once)
How Much Is PlayStation Vue?
PlayStation Vue is Sony's SNE live TV streaming service for those who no longer have cable. In addition to watching on your PS4, Vue can also be viewed on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and more.
There are four price plans for PlayStation Vue, with progressively more channels the pricier they are. Access is $49.99 a month, Core is $54.99 a month, Elite is $64.99 a month and Ultra is $84.99 a month.
How Much Is ESPN+?
ESPN+ boasts the streaming rights for myriad live sports events, original programming, and the entire archive of “30 for 30” documentaries, among others.
To get a subscription to ESPN+ is $4.99 a month though, as mentioned earlier, you can also get it bundled with Hulu and Disney+ for $12.99 a month.
How Much Is Showtime?
Showtime, so many other premium movie channels, can be added to other streaming services for varying additional fees. If you're looking to subscribe just to Showtime, however, that is an option.
In addition to including a free trial period, Showtime's streaming service also gives you the option of monthly payments or annual payments. If you wish to go month-to-month, you will be paying $10.99 a month, and if you wish to go year-to-year you will be paying $109.90 a year.
How Much Is Starz?
Starz is another premium channel that now lets you stream directly from them in addition to the usual offers of adding it to cable packages. That includes up-to-date Apple and Android mobile devices.
If you don't want it added to any package and only want to subscribe to Starz, getting a subscription directly through them is a cost of $8.99 a month.
How Much Is AT&T TV Now?
Formerly known as DirecTV Now, this streaming service's big selling point is that HBO is included with it in addition to various other live TV channels you can stream.
A recent report claimed that the price of AT&T TV Now is going to go up. The Plus package, which has over 45 channels including HBO, will increase from $50 to $65 a month. The Max package, which has over 60 channels including HBO and Cinemax, is increasing from $70 to $80 a month.