For several decades, cable television was our go-to option for getting quality TV shows. Designed for specific audiences, there was sure to be content that satisfied all needs. However, with the advent of technology, cable TV grew redundant and most consumers chose streaming services over it due to its ability to “pay for what you want”.
While cable TV still comes with some excellent shows, you no longer needed to pay for “bloated” cable package subscriptions to watch them. Yes, in case you haven’t yet guessed, we are talking about cutting the cable cord to watch your favorite shows in favor of Internet streaming services. But with so many options out there, how do you know what the best streaming service for live TV is? The answer reduces to three choices, Sling TV, Hulu + Live TV, or Fubo TV. Continue reading and we’ll do a deep-dive into these three premium services so you can decide which one is best for you!
Hulu + Live TV – $44.99/month
If you’ve been doing any research on the topic thus far on streaming services, it is only likely that you’re familiar with Hulu. Hulu’s history dates to a decade and it is fondly remembered for rolling out excellent content. Over the last couple of years, Hulu has rolled out some great content thereby evolving as a top streaming service whereby you can watch your favourite shows without paying extra.
The conventional variant of Hulu is similar to Netflix in the way that it gives you access to shows from leading networks like ABC, Fox and CBS. By just paying $5.99 every month, you’d be able to watch the top shows across the globe. The only downside? These shows will be available only after 24 hours from the live streaming of the original show. Hulu + Live TV is an excellent upgrade to our conventional Hulu. It offers plenty of compelling additions beyond the conventional Hulu, and at a price tag of $44.99 a month, it seems quite reasonable.
Ideal for new or existing Hulu subscribers who are looking for an upgrade, Hulu + Live TV comes with 65+ live TV channels along with Hulu’s original library of content. What’s more, you can seamlessly stream to two devices at the same time with this service. The biggest highlight of this service is the Cloud DVR option that’ll allow you to record the live shows and watch them later according to your convenience. In case you’re wondering what channels are included in Hulu + Live TV, here’s a quick sneak peek!
Hulu + Live TV Local Channels (Live)
Hulu lets you access leading local channels including ABC, CBS, Fox, Fox Sports South and Southeast, NBC, Telemundo, and CW.
Entertainment and Lifestyle
For entertainment and lifestyle you can access A&E TV, Animal Planet, Bravo, Discovery Channel, E!, Food Network, Freeform, FX, FXX, HGTV, Investigation Discovery, Lifetime, MotorTrend (the rebranded Velocity network), National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild, Oxygen, Pop, Smithsonian Channel, SyFy, TBS, History channel, Travel and Living, TNT, TruTV, USA, and Viceland.
Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network, ESPN, FS1, FS2, Golf Channel, Olympic channel, SEC Network, and NBCSN are some of the sports channels offered by this service.
News channels include Cheddar, CNBC, CNN (both local and International, Fox News, Fox Business, HLN and MSNBC.
Channels for Kids
Family channels include Boomerang, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, and Universal Kids to name a few.
You can access FXM and Turner Classic Movies with Hulu with live.
Hulu + Live TV comes with a complimentary 7-day trial. Right after that, it is priced at $44.99 for every month. At this price you can access the entire streaming library of Hulu. However, you want to access live TV and the on-demand library of the streaming network- you will have to shell out $5 to $10 more.
|Hulu||Hulu (No Ads)||Hulu + Live TV|
(watch shows from all major networks 24 hours after they air)
(watch shows from all major networks 24 hours after they air)
|Fire TV Support||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Special Offers||FREE HULU TV TRIAL||FREE HULU TV TRIAL||FREE HULU TV TRIAL|
- Available in simple monthly plans.
- Includes the streaming library of Hulu.
- Offers 50 hours of DVD cloud storage.
- Doesn’t include premium channels like AMC, BBC America, Nickelodeon or Comedy Central.
- Add-ons can be costly.
Sling TV – $25+ /month
Sling TV was one of the very first contenders in the cable-replacement industry. When it was launched for the first time, the streaming service came at an attractive price of $20. At this price point, you could watch some basic cable channels without the bloated cable bill. At that time, the entire thing seemed like an unconventional experiment; but right now, Sling TV has evolved as a comprehensive streaming service that includes plenty of good “cable-like” channels. Unlike Hulu + Live TV, I found the interface of Sling TV a little tricky to navigate at first.
In fact, if we compare both, Hulu’s interface seems to be a little be more palatable than Sling. But the wonky interface does not undermine the content offered by this streaming service. Yes, unlike any other service, Sling TV offers you some of the best, top-rated premium channels starting at a monthly cost of $20. Here’s what you can watch with Sling TV.
Local Channels (Live TV)
CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox to name a few.
Some of the premium channels include Starz, Encore, Showtime, Epix, and others.
Sports, News, Comedy, and International
The sports, news, comedy, and international channels can be accessed by paying an add-on fee of $5 every month. International channels include Aaj Tak, MBC, Sony Sports, and other. Comedy channels include GSN, TruTV and MTV. Sports channels include MLB Network, Strikezone, ESPN U and others. Finally, Euro News, BBC World, News 18 and RT America are some of the news channels. Other add-on packages include lifestyle channels, kids’ channels, Hollywood channels, and more.
Unlike Hulu + Live TV, that has a single plan for one month, Sling TV comes with three different packages. Here’s what you need to know about them. Sling Orange – Priced at $25, Sling Orange is a monthly package that includes premium channels like ESPN, BBC America, TNT, CNN, AMC, HGTV, Comedy Central, History Channel, A & E, IFC, and Food Network to name a few. Sling Blue – Priced at $25, Sling Blue comes with more channels than the Orange variant.
However, most of the channels included in the Orange package aren’t included here. Some top channels from Sling Blue are Cartoon Network, FS 1, FS 2, Fox, Discovery, Viceland, Fuse, Newsy and others. Sling Orange + Blue – As you’d already guess from the name, Sling Orange + Blue includes the best channels from Sling Orange and Sling Blue. Priced at $40, this plan lets you access up to 55 channels.
|Sling Orange||Sling Blue||Sling Orange + Blue|
|Fire TV Support||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Special Offers||FREE SLING TV TRIAL||FREE SLING TV TRIAL||FREE SLING TV TRIAL|
|* You get one stream with Sling Orange and up to 3 simultaneous streams with Sling Blue.|
- Each of the packages has a standard first-month discount of 25%. AntennaJunkies.com readers get a 40% discount here.
- Affordable packages.
- Excellent selection of national networks.
- Great device support.
- Local programs are limited.
- Doesn’t have premium channels like CBS sports Network, Telemundo, Southeast NBC, and others as offered by Hulu.
- Dodgy interface.
Fubo TV – $44.99+ /month
Cutting cord doesn’t necessarily mean you have to compromise on entertainment and sports channels. And this is exactly what Fubo TV proves us. Often touted to be the best streaming service for sports and entertainment enthusiasts, Fubo gives immense priority to these sectors. This streaming service includes 100 channels on sports, local and international news, lifestyle, and entertainment content. The DVR capabilities are simple, and the streaming service offers decent performance.
The biggest highlight of Fubo TV is perhaps the fact that it includes almost every leading sport league at your college, local, national, and even international level. What’s more, it is also compatible with multiple platforms. While it can be slightly expensive like your standard cable TV, Fubo TV manages to offer an excellent experience to sports enthusiasts. It’s only downside? The service doesn’t include all ESPN channels.
Sports, Entertainment and News under One Umbrella
Like we already mentioned, the defining aspect of Fubo TV is the fact that it includes premium sports, entertainment and news channels under one umbrella. It’s list of channels includes (but isn’t limited to) O2, Fox, NBC, Yes, SNY, MSG, FSI, BEIN Sports, Pac 12 Networks, A & E, AMC, BBC America, CNN, Food Network, HGTV, History Channels, Univision, Golf, and Viceland.
Like Hulu + Live TV, Fubo comes at a monthly plan of $44.99. That said, you can, however, enjoy a free trial for 7 days before finally opting for the service. Like other best streaming service for live TV, Fubo TV too comes with plenty of add-ons starting from $4.99 a month, ranging up to a whopping $28.99 a month. These add-ons include Cloud DVR Plus, family share, Fubo Cycling, Fubo Extra, International Sports Plus, Sports Plus, Adventure Plus, Showtime, AMC Premiere, FX Plus, NBA League Pass, Latino Plus, RAI Italia, and Portuguese Plus.
|Fubo||Fubo Extra||Fubo Latino||Fubo Portugues|
|Fire TV Support||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Special Offers||FREE FUBO TV TRIAL||FREE FUBO TV TRIAL||FREE FUBO TV TRIAL||FREE FUBO TV TRIAL|
- Wide range of live sports and entertainment channels.
- Excellent streaming.
- Great Interface.
- Offers DVR functionality.
- Top-notch 4k resolution.
- Doesn’t include ESPN.
Bottom Line on Best Streaming Service for Live TV
So, now that you’ve checked the reviews of the best streaming services available, which one do you think is worth a shot? Well, in our opinion, Fubo TV is perfect for all sports and entertainment enthusiasts. It includes a wide range of quality channels like AMC and BBC that Hulu + Live TV and Sling TV fails to offer. That said, it doesn’t include that much news coverage, nor does it include the ESPN channels. The pricing of Fubo TV too is slightly on the higher side.
So, unless you’re a sports maniac, Hulu + Live TV can be a good option for you. Coming with a wide range of news, sports, and entertainment channels, Hulu + Live TV can meet most of your needs. Finally, if you’re more into national networks, Sling TV is your best bet! However, do note that like Hulu + Live TV and Fubo TV, Sling doesn’t offer extensive sports or entertainment coverage unless you get the upgraded packages.
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