Cancel DIRECTV NOW? Here are 6 Better Alternatives

DIRECTV NOW has announced that they plan to raise prices and reduce channels in their packages. If you are a looking for an alternative to DIRECTV NOW, we’ve put together six options so you can keep watching live TV on your streaming media player.

If you want to find the best service based on what channels and shows you watch, try our Channel Finder.

Best for Cord Cutters

PlayStation Vue
$45+ / month

  • Locals in most markets
  • 26 Top Cable Channels
  • Includes ESPN, FS1, NBCSN, Pro & College Sports
  • Unlimited DVR

Best for Regional Sports

fuboTV
$55 / month

  • Only service with RSNs like MSG & AT&T SportsNet
  • Includes NFL Network, NBA TV, Big 10 Network, Pac-12 Network, & beIn

Best Skinny Bundle

Philo
$20/ month

  • Includes A&E, AMC, BET, HGTV, MTV, Discovery, Comedy Central, & Nick
  • Unlimited DVR

All Alternatives to DIRECTV NOW

PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue is the closest thing to still having cable, without the high price. They are the best value for cord cutters with wide range of locals, cable channels, live sports, and includes an unlimited DVR. Streams are rock solid and look good in 720p at 60 fps.

  • Best value, especially for sports fans.
  • Rock solid streaming that looks good in 720p at 60 fps.
  • Unlimited cloud DVR storage, for up to 28 days.
  • Does not offer BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, or VH1 channels.
  • Channel guide scrolls horizontally, which feels weird.

The “Core” $50 plan includes local channels, RSNs, national sports networks, 3 of the 4 major pro sports networks, Big Ten Network, SEC Network, and ESPNU. For $10/month, you can add NFL RedZone, MLB Strike Zone, Longhorn Network, national Comcast Sports Networks and NESN.

Despite its name, PlayStation Vue doesn’t require a PlayStation console and works across Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Fire TV, and Android TV. The apps have a personalized home screen and great show listing pages, which display recorded, on demand, and upcoming episodes. PlayStation Vue was only service with a remote control shortcut to quickly jump to your last channel.

We dislike that the channel guide scrolls horizontally through channels because it feels very odd with a long list of channels.

Read more in our full PlayStation Vue 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.
  • Only service with RSNs like MSG and AT&T SportsNet
  • Quality channel selection for soccer fans (Fox Soccer Plus and beIn).
  • Only service with 4K streaming
  • Does not include ABC, Disney, or ESPN channels.
  • Cloud DVR only has 30 hours of storage (but can upgrade to 500 hours for $9.99/mo).

fuboTV includes Regional Sports Networks, NFL Network, NBA TV, and beIn. You can add Fox Soccer Plus as part of the International Sports add-on for $5.99 (a $15 add-on with other services). If you don’t need ABC, Disney, or ESPN—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, Scripps, and Viacom.
  • Unlimited cloud DVR storage, for up to 30 days.
  • 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 $16/month.

Read more in our Philo Review.


Hulu Live TV

Hulu Live TV shows promise, but needs a design 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 Hulu streaming library and original shows.
  • Does not offer AMC, BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, VH1, or pro sports networks.
  • DVR only includes 50 hours, requires $10 add-on to skip ads
  • Confusing user interface and needs improved channel guide.

Hulu Live TV has a good selection of locals channels, RSNs, national sports networks, but is missing channels like AMC, BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, and VH1. Hulu doesn’t offer any of the pro sports networks (like NFL Network).

This service is a great option for college sports fans because it includes Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network, and SEC Network.

Many channels allow you to rewind to the beginning of a show, even if you join late—one of our favorite features. You also get access to Hulu’s entire streaming library, including their original shows like Casual and The Handmaid’s Tale.

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 $25 to have live sports and news, but it adds up quickly if you add additional channels or a 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.
  • $5/month upgrade for a 50-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 $35/month, you can get most national sports channels (except ESPN), RSNs, NBA TV, NFL Network, NFL RedZone, and NHL Network.

Sling TV is has added a channel guide to its app 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 a weak channel selection. While it offers all local channels in the major markets the service is available in, it only has 18 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.
  • Weakest channel selection of all the services
  • Has had outages during major events

YouTube TV includes support for Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Android TV, and Xbox One. Unfortunately, it is not available on Fire TV or PlayStation.

The smartphone and tablet apps are the best of all the services. We love the live channel previews as you browse the app. As expected, search works incredibly well.

Your subscription also includes YouTube original shows and an unlimited DVR. You can record as much you want and keep it for up to 9 months.

Read more in our full YouTube TV Review.

Compare Channels vs. DIRECTV NOW

Local Channels

Most services offer local ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC channels. The “Sling Orange” $25 plan doesn’t include any local channels.

DIRECTV fuboTV Hulu Philo PS Vue Sling TV YouTube
Free Trial Free Trial Sign Up Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial
$50–$70 $55 $45 $20 $50–$85 $25 $25 $50
ABC - - - -
CBS - - -
Fox - -
NBC - -
Telemundo - - -
The CW - - - -
Univision - - - - - - -

Local Availability

Even if a service offers live local channels, it may not offer the channels in your area. If you live in an area without live local channels, you still can still access the on demand content after it airs.

To see the local channels available in your area, we suggest that you enter your Zip Code in our Local Channel Finder.

Missing Channels

If you subscribe to a plan that doesn’t offer CBS, consider subscribing to CBS All Access $5.99. It’s a monthly subscription directly from CBS, which includes live streaming and on demand access for many of its shows.

You can get free access to CW shows with The CW apps with no subscription needed.

Top Cable Channels

The DIRECTV NOW “Live a Little” $35 plan is by far the most comprehensive base plan of any of the services. It includes 34 of the top 35 cable channels (the one missing channel is OWN) and 45 of the top 50 overall channels.

PlayStation Vue “Access” $45 is the second most comprehensive plan, but is missing channels like BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, or VH1.

YouTube TV $40 has the weakest overall channel lineup, with fewer than 18 of the top 35 cable channels. While Sling TV “Orange” $25 is similarly limited, it’s the cheapest plan available.

DIRECTV fuboTV Hulu Philo PS Vue Sling TV YouTube
Free Trial Free Trial Sign Up Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial
$50–$70 $55 $45 $20 $50–$85 $25 $25 $50
A&E - - -
AMC - -
BET - - ^ $5 -
Bravo - -
Cartoon Network -
CNN -
Comedy Central - - -
Discovery - - -
Disney Channel - - -
Disney Junior - - ^ $5 -
E! - -
ESPN - - -
Food Network -
Fox News - - -
Freeform - - -
FX - -
FXX - -
Hallmark - ≥ $55 ^ $5 ^ $5 -
HGTV -
History - - -
Investigation Discovery - -
Lifetime - - -
MSNBC - - ^ $5
MTV - - ^ $5 ^ $5 -
Nickelodeon - - - - -
Paramount Network $70 - - ^ $5 -
Syfy - -
TBS -
TLC - - -
TNT -
Travel Channel -
truTV - ^ $5
USA Network - -
VH1 - - ^ $5 ^ $5 -
WE tv - - ^ $5 ^ $5

Sports Channels

Sports fans tend to have different needs; some want national sports channels like ESPN and TNT, but others want regional sports networks like YES Network, Fox Sports Detroit, or NBC Sports Bay Area.

We recommend the PlayStation Vue “Core” $50 plan for sports fans. Unless you need NHL Network, it includes all the national sports channels, pro league channels, and college sports networks. You can also add NFL RedZone to PlayStation Vue for $10/month.

Most services have regional sports networks (RSNs) from NBC and Fox in many markets.

National Sports Channels

Most services include ESPN/ESPN2, NBCSN, FS1/FS2, TBS, and TNT in their basic packages.

DIRECTV fuboTV Hulu Philo PS Vue Sling TV YouTube
Free Trial Free Trial Sign Up Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial
$50–$70 $55 $45 $20 $50–$85 $25 $25 $50
ESPN - - -
ESPN2 - - -
Fox Sports 1 - -
Fox Sports 2 $70 - -
NBC Sports Network - -
TBS -
TNT -

Regional Sports Networks (RSNs)

fuboTV, Hulu Live TV, Sling TV “Blue”, and YouTube TV offer regional sports networks (RSNs) in their base plans. DIRECTV NOW and PlayStation Vue require an upgrade plan to access RSNs.

DIRECTV fuboTV Hulu Philo PS Vue Sling TV YouTube
Free Trial Free Trial Sign Up Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial
$50–$70 $55 $45 $20 $50–$85 $25 $25 $50
Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) $70 - ≥ $55 -

For the most part, RSNs are restricted to those from NBC Sports and Fox Sports. Some services like fuboTV, offer MSG/MSG+ (New York) and NESN (Boston).

DIRECTV fuboTV Hulu Philo PS Vue Sling TV YouTube
Free Trial Free Trial Sign Up Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial
$50–$70 $55 $45 $20 $50–$85 $25 $25 $50
Altitude - - - - - - - -
AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh - - - - - - - -
AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain - - - - - - - -
AT&T SportsNet Southwest - - - - - - -
Fox Sports Arizona $70 - ≥ $55 -
Fox Sports Carolinas - - ≥ $55 - -
Fox Sports Detroit $70 - ≥ $55 -
Fox Sports Florida $70 - ≥ $55 -
Fox Sports Indiana - - ≥ $55 - -
Fox Sports Kansas City - - ≥ $55 - -
Fox Sports Midwest $70 - ≥ $55 -
Fox Sports New Orleans - - ≥ $55 - -
Fox Sports North $70 - ≥ $55 -
Fox Sports Ohio $70 - ≥ $55 -
Fox Sports Oklahoma $70 - ≥ $55 - - -
Fox Sports Prime Ticket $70 - ≥ $55 -
Fox Sports San Diego $70 - ≥ $55 -
Fox Sports South $70 - ≥ $55 -
Fox Sports Southeast $70 - ≥ $55 -
Fox Sports Southwest $70 - ≥ $55 -
Fox Sports Sun $70 - ≥ $55 -
Fox Sports Tennessee - - ≥ $55 - -
Fox Sports West $70 - ≥ $55 -
Fox Sports Wisconsin $70 - ≥ $55 - -
LA FC Sports Network - - - - - - -
Longhorn Network $70 - - - ≥ $55 - - -
MASN - - - - - - - -
MASN2 - - - - - - - -
MSG $70 - - - - - -
MSG+ $70 - - - - - -
NBC Sports Bay Area $70 - ≥ $55 -
NBC Sports Boston $70 - ≥ $55 - -
NBC Sports California $70 - ≥ $55 -
NBC Sports Chicago $70 - ≥ $55 -
NBC Sports Northwest - - ≥ $55 - -
NBC Sports Philadelphia - - ≥ $55 - -
NBC Sports Philadelphia+ - - - - -
NBC Sports Washington $70 - ≥ $55 -
NBC Sports Washington+ - - ≥ $55 - - -
NESN - - - - - -
Orlando City SC Sports Network - - - - - - -
Root Sports Northwest - - - - - - - -
Seattle Sounders Sports Network - - - - - - -
Spectrum SportsNet - - - - - - - -
Spectrum SportsNet LA - - - - - - - -
SportsNet NY $70 - ≥ $55 - -
SportsTime Ohio $70 - ≥ $55 -
YES Network $70 - ≥ $55 -

Pro Sports

Most services don’t offer pro sports networks in their base plan.

If you’re purely an NFL fan, Sling TV offers NFL Network as part of their “Sling Blue” $25 plan. You can add the Sling’s “Sports Extra” $10 package, which includes NBA TV, NFL RedZone, and NHL Network.

If you don’t need ESPN, then “Sling Blue” with “Sports Extra” might be the cheapest combo $35 for NFL and NHL fans.

DIRECTV fuboTV Hulu Philo PS Vue Sling TV YouTube
Free Trial Free Trial Sign Up Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial
$50–$70 $55 $45 $20 $50–$85 $25 $25 $50
MLB Network - - - - ≥ $55 ^ $10 ^ $10
NBA TV - - - ≥ $55 ^ $10 ^ $10
NFL Network - - - ≥ $55 - -
NFL RedZone - ^ $9 - - ^ $10 - ^ $10 -
NHL Network - - - - ≥ $55 ^ $10 ^ $10 -

College Sports

The major college sports networks are Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network, ESPNU, Pac-12 Network, and SEC Network.

YouTube TV $40 and Hulu Live TV $40 are strong options for college sports fans. Both services include Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network, ESPNU, and SEC Network. These four channels are also available on DIRECTV NOW, but only on certain upgraded plans $55/$65. The PlayStation Vue “Core” $50 plan offers Big Ten Network, ESPNU, and SEC Network.

fuboTV and Sling TV are the only providers of Pac-12 Network. It’s included in fuboTV “Premier” $45 or as part of Sling TV‘s “Sports Extra” $5/$10 pack.

DIRECTV fuboTV Hulu Philo PS Vue Sling TV YouTube
Free Trial Free Trial Sign Up Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial
$50–$70 $55 $45 $20 $50–$85 $25 $25 $50
ACC Network - - - ≥ $55 - - -
ACC Network Extra - - - - - -
Big Ten Network $70 - ≥ $55 - -
CBS Sports Network $70 - ≥ $55 - -
ESPNU $70 - - ≥ $55 ^ $10 -
Fox College Sports - ^ $9 - - ≥ $65 - - -
Longhorn Network $70 - - - ≥ $55 - - -
Pac-12 Network - - - - ^ $10 ^ $10 -
SEC Network $70 - - ≥ $55 ^ $10 -

Other Sports Channels

While fuboTV‘s doesn’t have ESPN, it’s the ideal streaming service for soccer fans. It includes beIN in its “Premier” $45 plan. You can add Fox Soccer Plus for only $6, which is usually a $15 upgrade on other services.

DIRECTV fuboTV Hulu Philo PS Vue Sling TV YouTube
Free Trial Free Trial Sign Up Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial
$50–$70 $55 $45 $20 $50–$85 $25 $25 $50
beIN Sports - - - ≥ $55 ^ $10 ^ $10 -
Eleven Sports - - - ≥ $65 - - -
ESPNEWS $70 - - ≥ $55 ^ $10 -
Fox Soccer Plus - ^ $6 - - ^ $15 - - ^ $15
Golf Channel $70 - ≥ $55 - ^ $10
Olympic Channel $70 - - ^ $10
Tennis Channel - ^ $9 - - ≥ $55 ^ $10 ^ $10

Premium Channels

Most of the streaming services offer premium channels like Cinemax, HBO, Showtime, and Starz as add-ons to your subscription.

DIRECTV NOW offers HBO and Cinemax for only $5/month each, which is cheaper than what HBO offers directly with HBO NOW ($16).

DIRECTV NOW is also the cheapest option for Showtime at $8/month.

Although Hulu Live TV, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, and YouTube TV offer Showtime for $10–$11 a month, you could subscribe to Showtime on Amazon for only $9/month.

DIRECTV fuboTV Hulu Philo PS Vue Sling TV YouTube
Free Trial Free Trial Sign Up Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial
$50–$70 $55 $45 $20 $50–$85 $25 $25 $50
Cinemax $70 - ^ $9 - ^ $15 - - -
EPIX - - - - - ^ $5 ^ $5 ^ $6
HBO - ^ $15 - ^ $15 ($85) - - -
Showtime - ^ $11 ^ $11 - ^ $11 ($85) ^ $10 ^ $10 ^ $7
Starz - - ^ $9 - - ^ $9 ^ $9 ^ $9

The Streamable Pages