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Live TV Streaming Services: Comparison

Which Live TV Streaming Service is the Best?

We spent more than a thousand hours testing these live TV streaming services. This is what we liked and didn’t like with each live streaming service in 2022.


DIRECTV STREAM

Starting at $69.99+/month, DIRECTV STREAM (previously called AT&T TV and AT&T TV NOW) includes locals, 34 of the top 35 cable channels, and has the widest selection of Regional Sports Networks including Bally Sports.

While you can access 3 simultaneous streams while traveling, you can now watch on unlimited devices at home. They also upgraded their DVR to now include unlimited storage, which keeps recordings for up to 9 months.

  • Widest Top Cable selection on Base Plan
  • Includes widest selection of RSNs, including Bally Sports & YES Network
  • Includes Unlimited At-Home Streams
  • Includes Unlimited DVR
  • Some users have had streaming stability issues
  • On-demand content sometimes have playback issues

They completely overhauled their apps to make it easier to search and browse for live and on-demand shows. It also includes an improved channel guide which makes it simple to find what’s currently on TV.

You can also find shows using their “72-Hour Rewind” feature, which lets you watch many shows that aired in the last 3 days. DIRECTV STREAM is also the only service that offers a “channel surfing” feature, which lets you swipe to switch between channels.

Read more in our full DIRECTV STREAM Review


fuboTV

On most platforms fuboTV has a great user experience across all platforms and are constantly innovating. They are the only service that offers 4K streaming of live sports like MLB, College Football, College Basketball, and Premier League.

The fuboTV app includes a dedicated screen showing live sporting events, on demand TV shows and movies, and a standard channel guide.

  • Great user experience.
  • Includes RSNs like MSG, NESN, & AT&T SportsNet in their Base Plan
  • Quality channel selection for soccer fans (Fox Soccer Plus and beIn).
  • Only service with 4K streaming
  • Does Not Includes TNT, TBS, CNN, A&E, History, & Lifetime
  • Charges RSN Fee in most markets, even if you don’t watch them.

fuboTV includes Regional Sports Networks, NFL Network, NBA TV, MLB Network, NHL Network, Tennis Channel, beIn. If you don’t need TNT or TBS — this is a good option for sports fans.

Read more in our full fuboTV Review.


Philo

Philo is a great entry-level option for those who want entertainment channels and can get their locals via antenna.

  • Cheapest entry level option for entertainment TV.
  • Includes channels from A&E, AMC, Discovery, and ViacomCBS.
  • Unlimited cloud DVR storage, for up to a year.
  • Recently added a grid guide
  • Does not offer any locals or sports channels.
  • Does not have some cable networks like Bravo, TBS, TNT, & FX.

Philo includes a lot of the major entertainment channels, but offers no news, sports, or local channels.

This service is a great option for those who want some live entertainment content, but nothing else. It is the cheapest way to get some live TV at just $25/month.

Read more in our Philo Review.


Hulu Live TV

Hulu Live TV may provide the best value of any of the Live TV Streaming Services. At $69.99/month, it includes locals, 32 of the top 35 cable channels, and many of the channels you need to watch pro sports.

You also get access to The Disney Bundle ($14 value) at no extra charge, so you can watch Disney+ and ESPN+ for free.

They recently added an Unlimited DVR with unskippable ads, which used to be a major knock on the service.

The user experience could still use an overhaul to make it an ideal experience for live TV viewers. Search works incredibly well, but needs a better channel guide.

  • Offers locals in nearly every market.
  • Great channel selection for college sports fans.
  • Includes The Disney Bundle at no extra charge
  • Includes Unlimited DVR with skippable ads
  • Does not include AMC or Hallmark
  • Only carries NBC Sports RSNs (no Bally Sports)
  • Somewhat confusing user interface, that is more geared towards on-demand than live.

Hulu Live TV has a good selection of locals channels and national sports networks, but is missing channels like AMC and Hallmark, as well as Regional Sports Networks in most markets.

This service is a great option for college sports fans because it includes ACC Network, Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network, and SEC Network. If you watch nationally televised sports, you can watch all games on ESPN, TNT, TBS, and FS1.

Many channels allow you to rewind to the beginning of a show, even if you join late—one of our favorite features.
Read more in our full Hulu Live TV Review.


Sling TV

Sling TV was the first company to offer a cord cutting service. It is the cheapest option ($35+) to have live sports and news, but it adds up quickly if you add additional channels or expanded DVR (+$5).

  • Cheapest way to have some live TV.
  • Great budget option for pro sports fans.
  • New channel guide greatly improves user experience.
  • Inconsistent stream stability.
  • Includes 50 Hour DVR, but $5 to upgrade to 200 hour DVR
  • Outside of top 7 regional markets, local channel availability is sparse.

Sling TV “Blue” with “Sports Extra” is a great budget option for pro sports fans. For $46/month, you can get most national sports channels (except ESPN), NBA TV, NFL Network, NFL RedZone, and NHL Network. They have a $27 Total TV Deal which will add ~100 channels from their 7 Extra Packs and 200 Hour DVR.

Sling TV has recently overhauled the user experience on all devices, which greatly improves the user experience.

Read more in our full Sling TV Review.


YouTube TV

YouTube TV has an amazing user experience that is hurt by the lack of local sports. It has 32 of the top 35 cable channels.

  • Offers locals in most markets.
  • Amazing interface with live channel previews.
  • Unlimited cloud DVR storage, for up to 9 months.
  • Doesn’t carry A&E, Lifetime, and History Channel
  • Doesn’t offer RSNs in most markets
  • Unlimited Stream & 4K cost extra (+$19.99)

YouTube TV includes support on most devices and the interface may be the best of all the services, with easy search and a nice grid guide.

Your subscription also includes an unlimited DVR. You can record as much you want and keep it for up to 9 months. While pricey at $19.99/month, they now offer their 4K Plus Add-on, which has some 4K content, unlimited at-home streams, and offline downloads.

Read more in our full YouTube TV Review.


Other Services

PlayStation Vue

While we previously recommended, the PlayStation Vue “Core” ($50) plan, since it was the best option for sports fans — they are shut down the service in January 2020. We have put together a list of the best alternatives to PS Vue.

Paramount+

Paramount Plus is a streaming service that offers original shows like Star Trek: Discovery, The Twilight Zone, The Good Fight, and live streaming of your local CBS affiliate for news, college football, and NFL.

Hulu

Hulu is a video streaming service that gives access to thousands of full seasons of exclusive series, hit movies, kids shows, and Hulu Originals like The Handmaid’s Tale.

ESPN+

ESPN+ is a live sports streaming service which offers a daily out-of-market game from MLB and NHL, live MLS games, college sports, as well as exclusive ESPN original series.

DAZN

DAZN is a live sports streaming service which offers weekly boxing and MMA content from Matchroom USA, Bellator, Golden Boy Promotions, and more.

AT&T WatchTV

AT&T WatchTV is a live streaming service that lets you live stream 37 channels for $15. It is no longer available to new users.

XFINITY Stream

XFINITY Instant TV is a live TV streaming service for Xfinity Internet Subscribers. It allows you to add channel packages that can be watched from the Xfinity App, even if you don’t have cable.

DIRECTV STREAM Cash Back

Let us know your e-mail address to send your $50 Amazon Gift Card when you sign up for DIRECTV STREAM.

You will receive it ~2 weeks after you complete your first month of service.

Sling TV Cash Back

Let us know your e-mail address to send your $10 Amazon Gift Card when you sign up for Sling TV.

You will receive it ~2 weeks after you complete your first month of service.

Hulu Live TV Cash Back

Let us know your e-mail address to send your $35 Amazon Gift Card when you sign up for Hulu Live TV.

You will receive it ~2 weeks after you complete your first month of service.