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YouTube TV vs. DIRECTV STREAM - Which Should You Choose?

Ben Bowman

If you’re looking for a new live TV streaming service, is YouTube TV or DIRECTV STREAM a better choice? The decision may depend on what you value most. Both are excellent streaming options with lots of pros and cons. If you’d like a quick comparison, check out The Streamable’s Service Matchmaker. Let’s dig in to compare your options.

Winner on Price: YouTube TV (Barely)

This is close, but YouTube TV is $72.99 / month, while DIRECTV STREAM starts at $74.99 / month and goes up from there. But, as you know, price is just an indicator of value. Keep reading to see what your subscription actually gets you each month.

Winner on Overall Channels: DIRECTV STREAM

DIRECTV STREAM’s most basic package includes 34 of the top 35 cable channels, which tops YouTube TV’s 32.

Overall, YouTube TV has access to 113 channels while DIRECTV STREAM offers 213.

DIRECTV STREAM offers every channel YouTube TV does, but also gives you access to A&E, History, and Lifetime.

Channel Upgrade Bundles

DIRECTV STREAM offers a whopping four different tiers of services.

  • Entertainment: 85 channels for $74.99 / month
  • Choice: 179 channels for $99.99 / month
  • Ultimate: 209 channels for $109.99 / month
  • Premier: 208 channels for $154.99 / month

YouTube TV offers an Entertainment Plus package with HBO Max, Showtime, and STARZ for $29.99 / month.

Both services allow for some individual channel add-ons at lower price points.

“YouTube TV” “Entertain.” “Choice” “Ultimate” “Premier”
Sign Up Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial
$72.99 $74.99 $99.99 $109.99 $154.99
A&E -
Cartoon Network
Comedy Central
Disney Channel
Disney Junior
Food Network
Fox News
Hallmark Channel
History -
Investigation Discovery
Lifetime -
Paramount Network
Travel Channel -
USA Network
WE tv

Winner on Local Channels: Draw

Both services offer ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, Telemundo, The CW, and Univision.

Winner on Sports Channels: DIRECTV STREAM

Pro Sports Networks

The big differentiator here is whether you prefer the NFL or regional sports networks (RSNs).

YouTube TV offers access to NBA TV and NFL Network in its base package. You can add Sports Plus for $11/month to add beIN Sports, Billiard TV, Fox Soccer Plus, GOLTV, MAVTV, NFL RedZone, Outside Television, PlayersTV, PokerGO, SportsGrid, Stadium, TVG, and VSiN.

DIRECTV STREAM offers MLB Network and NBA TV starting at the “Choice” package for $99.99 / month. DIRECTV STREAM does not offer NFL Network or NFL RedZone.

Free Trial Sign Up
$74.99 $72.99
MLB Network ≥ $99.99 -
NBA TV ≥ $99.99
NFL Network -
NFL RedZone - ^ $11
NHL Network ≥ $109.99 -

Regional Sports Networks

This is the biggest benefit if you choose DIRECTV STREAM. It offers the widest access to RSNs of any live streaming service, though your price can escalate quickly to get them.

Only DIRECTV STREAM offers Altitude, AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh, AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain, AT&T SportsNet Southwest, Bally Sports Arizona, Bally Sports Carolinas, Bally Sports Detroit, Bally Sports Florida, Bally Sports Great Lakes, Bally Sports Indiana, Bally Sports Kansas City, Bally Sports Midwest, Bally Sports New Orleans, Bally Sports North, Bally Sports Ohio, Bally Sports Oklahoma, Bally Sports San Diego, Bally Sports SoCal, Bally Sports South, Bally Sports Southeast, Bally Sports Southwest, Bally Sports Sun, Bally Sports Tennessee, Bally Sports West, Bally Sports Wisconsin, Fox Sports Arizona, Fox Sports Carolinas, Fox Sports Detroit, Fox Sports Florida, Fox Sports Indiana, Fox Sports Kansas City, Fox Sports Midwest, Fox Sports New Orleans, Fox Sports North, Fox Sports Ohio, Fox Sports Oklahoma, Fox Sports Prime Ticket, Fox Sports San Diego, Fox Sports South, Fox Sports Southeast, Fox Sports Southwest, Fox Sports Sun, Fox Sports Tennessee, Fox Sports West, Fox Sports Wisconsin, Marquee Sports Network, MASN, MASN2, MSG, MSG Sportsnet, NESN, Root Sports Northwest, Spectrum SportsNet, Spectrum SportsNet LA, SportsTime Ohio, and YES Network.

Both services offer these regional sports networks: NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports Boston, NBC Sports California, NBC Sports Chicago, NBC Sports Washington, and SportsNet NY.

College Sports Networks

When it comes to college sports, both services are comparable. Both provide ACC Network, Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network, ESPNU, and SEC Network.

Only YouTube TV offers ACC Network Extra in its base package.

Winner on Included Features: YouTube TV


Both services now include unlimited DVR capacity. DIRECTV STREAM recordings expire after 90 days, while YouTube TV will keep them for nine months.


YouTube TV offers a 4K Plus plan for $19.99/month ($9.99/month for the first 12 months).

DIRECTV STREAM does not currently offer 4K.


If you’re a sports fan who loves to follow a specific franchise, DIRECTV STREAM may be your only streaming option. And That access does come at a premium price. This would also be your choice if you have to have A&E, History, and Lifetime.

For people who don’t need the regional sports networks, YouTube TV offers a powerful package at a lower price point. For NFL fans, the inclusion of NFL Network and NFL RedZone make this a more attractive package. The included unlimited DVR is also a great feature.


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 $25 Uber Eats 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.