Best Live TV Streaming Service Providers 2021

If you’re cutting the cord, might we suggest a live TV streaming service?

Best Value
Fubo
Fubo
Starting from
$33
/mo
Available channels
150
Editor's Pick
YouTube TV
YouTube TV
Starting from
$64.99
/mo
Available channels
85
Best for Families
Hulu + Live TV
Hulu + Live TV
Starting from
$64.99
/mo
Available channels
65
Best for Money Savers
Sling
Sling
Starting from
$35
/mo
Available channels
50
Best Premium Channels
DIRECTV STREAM
DIRECTV STREAM
Starting from
$64.99
/mo
Available channels
140
Chantel Buchi
Staff Writer, TV & Streaming
Read More
Published on August 26, 2021
10 min read

With each day, more and more people are ditching cable or satellite TV and switching over to a live TV streaming service. You’re definitely not alone.

We’ll help you find the best live TV streaming service based on your budget, ensure you have all your favorite channels, and ample DVR storage to meet you and your family’s needs.

Below we outline the details of some of the best services in the industry.



What are the best live TV services?
Provider
Monthly price
Available channels
Learn more
Fubo$33$79.99*150
YouTube TV$64.99*85
Hulu + Live TV$64.99$70.99*65
Sling$35$5050
DIRECTV STREAM$64.99$139.99140
Data effective 11/11/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
Data as of 11/11/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Data as of 11/11/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
DIRECTV STREAM Device avail. for $5/mo. on 24-month installment agmt for well-qualified customers. Others pay $120 upfront for device. Taxes due at sale. See details.

fuboTV is our favorite live TV streaming service hands down

You can expect a great variety with fuboTV, including 50 sports channels, and the best channel-to-price ration in the industry.
How much is fuboTV?
Plan
Monthly price
DVR storage hrs.
Channels
Details
Starter
$64.99
/mo

250 hrs., saves indefinitely

105+
Elite
$79.99
/mo

1000 hrs., saves indefinitely

155+

What do we like about fuboTV?

  • fuboTV has the most sports channels in the industry
  • fuboTV also has a decent number of news, lifestyle, and kids channels

How big of a sports fan are you?

If you get the Family plan, you’ll have close to 35 sports channels in your lineup. If you get the Elite plan, you’ll have about 50 (that's what we like to see).

You’ll find your well-known sports channels in the Family plan, such as ESPN, Big Ten Network, FS1, and NFL Network.

You could say the Elite plan is for the sports megafans, including niche and international sports. Some sports channels in this package include the following:

  • ACCN
  • ESPNU
  • ESPNews
  • GINX Esports TV
  • MLB Network
  • NBA TV
  • NHL Network
  • PAC-12 Networks
  • Pac-12 Mountain (or your regional network
  • SEC Network
  • Stadium
  • Stadium (1-3)
  • Tennis Channel
  • Zona Futbol

The whole family will love the channel variety

While you watch your Chicago Bulls play, your spouse can watch Flip or Flop, and your kids can watch Spongebob Squarepants.

fuboTV’s channel lineup includes the following channels:

  • Animal Planet
  • Big Ten Network
  • Food Network
  • Fox News
  • FS1
  • Hallmark Channel
  • HGTV
  • Lifetime
  • MSNBC
  • NFL Network
  • Nickelodeon
  • Telemundo
  • Universal Kids
  • Univision

What don’t we like about fuboTV?

  • fuboTV no longer has TNT, TBS and CNN

fuboTV is missing some key channels

You'll have to miss out on some basketball games on TNT (but thats ok if you get the Ultra package with NBA TV), you won't be able to watch New Girl on TBS, and you can't get political news through CNN.

If you're find with the other news and entertainment channels fuboTV offers, then you'll be golden. 

YouTube TV is a phenomenal all-around service

Your $65 per month will be well spent
How much is YouTube TV?
Streaming service
Monthly price
DVR storage hrs.
Channels
Details
YouTubeTV
$64.99
/mo

Unlimited hrs., saves for 9 months

85+

What do we like about YouTube TV?

  • YouTube TV has a solid channel lineup
  • This streaming service has the best DVR in the industry

You get 85 great channels, including the new addition of ViacomCBS channels

You get 85 great channels, including the new addition of ViacomCBS channels

YouTube TV somewhat recently raised its pricing because it got 14 new ViacomCBS channels, such as Comedy Central, BET, and Paramount Network.

But our favorite part about YouTube TV’s channel lineup: you get NFL Network, NBA TV, and MLB Network. Sure, you can get these channels with fuboTV, but you’d have to pay $80 per month.

There’s no question why we named YouTube TV the second-best streaming service for sports.

Other great channels in YouTube TV’s channel lineup include the following:

  • ABC
  • BBC America
  • Cartoon Network
  • CNN
  • The CW
  • Disney Channel
  • ESPN, ESPN 2
  • Food Network
  • Fox
  • HGTV
  • Golf Channel
  • MSNBC
  • Nat Geo
  • Nickelodeon
  • PBS Kids
  • Pop
  • TBS
  • Telemundo
  • Tennis Channel
  • Universal Kids

YouTube TV’s DVR has the biggest storage space with unlimited hours. So you can literally record everything.

Record all of The Office episodes, NFL games, and The Price Is Right every day, and still have space to record more.

What don’t we like about YouTube TV?

  • Record everything you want, but you can’t save your recordings indefinitely
 

YouTube TV deletes your recordings after nine months

We stand by our statement that YouTube TV’s DVR is the best.

We just have to warn you that your recordings will be deleted after nine months. So you won’t be able to record The Hobbit and save it in your library indefinitely to watch today and in a year from now.

But if you plan on deleting your recorded TV episode after watching it, you don’t have to worry about YouTube TV’s ninth-month-deleting spree

Hulu + Live TV is best for families

Hulu Live offers the best entertainment bundle for the fam
How much is Hulu + Live TV?
Plan
Monthly price
DVR storage hrs.
Channels
Details
$65
/mo

50–200 hrs., saves indefinitely

65+
$70.99
/mo

50–200 hrs., saves indefinitely

65+

What do we like about Hulu + Live TV?

  • You can bundle Hulu Live with ESPN+ and Disney+
  • Hulu Live gives you live channels and lots of on-demand content.

Everyone in the family will love the ultimate entertainment bundle

  • Who wouldn’t love the live TV channels and on-demand library from Hulu, live sporting events from ESPN+, and all the Disney+ movies you’ve ever dreamed of?

    And guess what’s the best part? The bundle is only $6 extra on top of your Hulu Live package. That’s the cost of that overpriced coffee you love!

    So enjoy The Mandalorian or the Houston Rockets and New Orleans Pelicans game with the family, then watch one of the great Hulu originals afterward

Hulu + Live TV gives you a huge on-demand library and live channels in one service

Hulu Live has the biggest on-demand library out of all of the live TV streaming service. So this service is perfect for those who want to watch The Bachelor in real-time of bing last season. 

Other TV shows you can stream on Hulu Live include the following:

  • Animal Planet
  • Cartoon Network
  • CNN
  • The CW
  • Discovery Channel
  • Disney Channel
  • ESPN, ESPN2
  • Food Network
  • FOX New
  • HGTV
  • Golf Channel
  • Lifetime
  • MSNBC
  • National Geographic
  • TBS
  • Telemundo
  • TNT
  • USA

Hulu Live has the biggest on-demand library out of all of the live TV streaming services. So this service is perfect for those who want to watch The Bachelor in real-time or binge last season.

Other TV shows you can stream on Hulu Live include the following:

  • 9-1-1: Lone Star
  • All American
  • The Handmaid's Tale
  • Fargo
  • Homeland
  • Little Fires Everywhere
  • Modern Family
  • A Teacher
  • Below Deck
  • General Hospital
  • Saturday Night Live
  • Snowpiercer

What don’t we like about Hulu + Live TV?

  • Hulu Live has some extra fees for perks you’ll likely want
  • You can’t watch NBA TV, MLB Network, or Nickelodeon with Hulu Live

Expect to add fees to your monthly bill

Hulu Live comes in at No. 2 to YouTube TV, and the fees are one reason Hulu Live got a big setback.

You’ll have to pay an extra $10 if you want 200 hours of cloud DVR storage, making your service more than YouTube TV ($75–$80 per month) which has an unlimited DVR storage space.

And if you want the enhanced DVR and more than two simultaneous streams for the family, you’ll have to pay an extra $15 per month.

How much are Hulu Live’s fees vs. YoutubeTV?
Fee
Hulu Live
YouTube TV

Enhanced DVR (200 hrs.)

$9.99/mo.

N/A

Unlimited screens

$9.99/mo.

N/A

Enhanced DVR + Unlimited screens

$14.98/mo.

N/A

Watching NBA TV, MLB Network, and Nickelodeon won’t be happening

Hulu Live has about 20 channels less than YouTube TV and it's the same price as YouTube TV. Another comparison to YouTube TV … Now we feel like we’re comparing the middle child to the oldest.

Here are a few popular channels you’ll be missing out on:

  • BBC America
  • Comedy Central
  • Hallmark Channel
  • PBS
  • PBS Kids
  • Paramount Network

Sling TV is best for money savers

Get some of your favorite cable channels for $35 per month
How much is Sling TV?
Plan
Monthly price
DVR storage hrs.
Channels
Details
Sling Orange
$35
/mo

50 hrs., saves indefinitely

30+
Sling Blue
$35
/mo

50 hrs., saves indefinitely

45+
Sling Orange + Sling Blue Services
$50
/mo

50 hrs., saves indefinitely

50+

What do we like about Sling TV?

  • You get live TV at a reasonable price
  • Sling TV has three inexpensive packages to choose from

Sling TV has a great price tag for 30+ popular channels

There aren’t many decent live TV streaming services out there that offer a good chunk of popular channels for $35, making it perfect for those who want to cut the cord because of that expensive cable bill.

You won’t have to give up on TV altogether. Thanks to Sling, you won’t have to break the bank.

Just try not to spend that extra money you’ll be saving on online shopping (or maybe that’s why you’re making cuts elsewhere in your life).

Which Sling TV package is best for you and the fam?

Both Sling Orange and Sling Blue are the same price, but both plans have almost a completely different channel lineup. And the Sling Orange + Blue package is basically a combination of both.

If you have kids, you’ll want Sling Orange. You’ll get Cartoon Network and Disney Channel for the little ones, and ESPN and Food Network for you.

If you love news channels, get Sling Blue. You can watch Fox News, MSNBC, and NBC. But if you want them all, Sling Orange + Blue is for you.

If you want to know more about the difference between Sling Orange and Sling Blue, check out our comparison piece where we break down which package has which channels.

What don’t we like about Sling TV?

  • Don’t expect all of your favorite channels
  • Sling TV has the worst DVR in the industry

You get what you pay for

Yes, Sling TV is on the cheaper side, but that also means you might not get all of your favorite channels.

You’ll absolutely find a lot of popular channels in their packages (the reason it makes the low price so great), but you won’t get your ABC, The CW, Nickelodeon, or Telemundo.

As for the sports channels … Let's just say Sling tends to the average sports fan. Sling offers the following sports channels:

  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • ESPN3
  • NFL Network
  • NBCSN
  • NBC Sports
  • FS1
  • Stadium

Sling TV recently upgraded its DVR storage to 50 hours

Sling TV now includes 50 hours of DVR storage in your service … finally, Sling.

This live TV streaming service used to give you a measly 10 hours of storage, and then they upgraded their DVR and raised their prices by $5.

Now you have the choice to upgrade to a 200-hour DVR storage for an extra $5 per month to make your monthly bill $40–$55.

Oh, and just a heads up: when your DVR storage is full, and you happen to record another show, your old or already watched recordings will erase in your library (without warning).

DIRECTV STREAM is best for premium channel fans

DIRECTV STREAM includes premium channels in most of its packages
How much is DIRECTV STREAM?
Plan
Monthly price
DVR storage hrs.
Channels
Details
$69.99

500 hrs., saves for 90 days

65+
$84.99

500 hrs., saves for 90 days

90+
$94.99

500 hrs., saves for 90 days

130+
$139.99

500 hrs., saves for 90 days

140+

What do we like about DIRECTV STREAM?

  • Premium channels are included in three of DIRECTV STREAM’s packages.
  • DIRECTV STREAM has four packages to choose from for the family.

If you like premium channels, you’ll want the CHOICE plan or above

If you get any package from CHOICE and above, you’ll get HBO Max free for three months.

When you get the ULTIMATE package, you’ll get STARZ channels in your channel lineup. Or upgrade to PREMIER to get HBO, STARZ, SHOWTIME, and CINEMAX.

In short, DIRECTV STREAM isn’t messing around.

Yeah, DIRECTV STREAM isn’t messing around.

Which DIRECTV STREAM package is best for you?

The ENTERTAINMENT package is going to have more of your lifestyle and news channels, like HGTV and MSNBC.

If you upgrade to CHOICE, you’re going to get MLB Network, Nick Jr., and the Tennis Channel.

The ULTIMATE will give you all of the sports channels DIRECTV STREAM offers, including the Golf Channel and NHL Network, and all of the STARZ channels.

And lastly, the PREMIER package will give you the most channels you can possibly get with DIRECTV STREAM, including four premium channels.

What don’t we like about DIRECTV STREAM?

  • It’s the most expensive live TV streaming service in the industry.

You’ll have to budget with DIRECTV STREAM

It’s obvious DIRECTV STREAM is the most expensive of the bunch, so this service might only be for those who love premium channels or want a traditional TV experience.

To put it in perspective, DIRECTV STREAM averages a little over $1 per channel. YouTube TV is 75 cents per channel, and fuboTV is about 50 cents per channel.

We hope DIRECTV STREAM will decide to lower its prices one day.

What are the pros and cons of DIRECTV STREAM?

  • Good: DIRECTV STREAM has five plans to fit your family’s wants and needs, and most of those include premium channels.
  • Bad: The price is a bit high in comparison to the other live TV streaming services.
  • Full review: If you want to find out more about the Spanish-language package and channel lineups, check out our DIRECTV STREAM review.

View Plans | Read Full DIRECTV STREAM Review

Which are the best internet providers?
Megaphone

If you need a new, faster internet provider, check out our top internet providers for seamless streaming, recommended by our internet expert, Catherine McNally.


Recap: Which is the best live TV streaming service?

  • fuboTV: Perfect for families full of many of personalities, you can get about 50 sports channels and 100 channels for news, lifestyle, movies, and kids with fuboTV. It’s the best-valued live TV streaming service because you get over 100 channels for $65 per month, a big DVR storage space, and an easy-to-use interface.
  • YouTube TV: YouTube TV comes in at a close second because you get a solid channel lineup of more than 85 channels with the best DVR in the industry. YouTube TV is not for those who absolutely need their Hallmark and HISTORY channels, but you will get your ViacomCBS channels, like Nickelodeon and Comedy Central.
  • Hulu + Live TV: Hulu Live offers a three-streaming-service bundle for one decent price. The bundle of Hulu Live, Disney+, and ESPN+ will make all members of the family happy. But if you want more than 50 hours of DVR storage and unlimited simultaneous streaming, you’ll have to tack on $15 to your monthly bill.
  • Sling TV: If you’re trying to save money but want live TV without the expensive cable or satellite TV bill, Sling is for you. Just keep in mind with that low price, you may not get everything YouTube TV or Hulu + Live TV can offer you.
  • DIRECTV STREAM: Although DIRECTV STREAM is the most expensive live TV streaming service in the industry at the moment, you do get premium channels included in most of the plans. And you get four plans to choose from to best fit your family.

Now that you know, here are your next steps.

Need reliable internet for streaming? Check out our top-ranked providers.

Not sold on live TV streaming? Check out the top-ranked TV providers. 

Is your house ready for a live TV streaming service?

Most streaming services require a minimum download speed of 18 Mbps to stream in HD. And if you and three other members of your family want to stream at the same time, that means you’ll be using 72 Mbps total.

So do you have the bandwidth to support your family’s streaming needs?

Which internet plan should I get?

Here are the internet plans our internet expert, Catherine McNally, recommends to get the most out of your live TV streaming services without clogging up your family’s whole network.

What are the best internet providers for streaming?
Monthly price
Download speeds
Learn more
$19.99$94.99501200 Mbps
$35$60^300940 Mbps
$50$65°100940 Mbps
$29.99$74.99**501000 Mbps
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
For the first 12 months. Some packages require a 1- or 2-year contract.
^ For the first 12 months plus taxes and equip. fee.
° New customers only. Rate requires paperless billing and excludes taxes. Additional fees apply.
** for 24 months with 2-year agreement. Actual speeds may vary. Installation, equipment fees, Internet Infrastructure Surcharge, early term, taxes & other fees apply. Services subject to availability and all applicable terms and conditions.

What are the best unlimited cell phone plans?

Not only do you need a good internet connection, but you’ll also need enough data to support your streaming needs if you’re a cell phone streamer.

And who isn’t a mobile streamer when it comes to passing the time during your lunch break, sitting in the doctor’s waiting room, or distracting your little ones while you’re grocery shopping?

We recommend an unlimited data plan for the family, so you never have to worry about limiting your live TV streaming time. And we all know it could lead to a family crisis if someone uses more data than they were allowed.

What are the best unlimited cell phone plans?

Which cell phone plan should I get?

Chantel Buchi
Written by
Chantel Buchi
Chantel is all about finding the best tv or streaming service to watch as many football games as possible to keep her Fantasy Football team in check. Prior to being a TV and Streaming Tech Reporter for Reviews.org, she worked for NFL Network and The Alliance of American Football. Before that, she received a B.A. of Communication at the University of Utah and an M.S. in Sports Journalism at USC. Go Utes and Fight On. Contact her at chantel@reviews.org

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