Best Live TV Streaming Service Providers 2021

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

fuboTV

Monthly price:
$33$79.99
Available channels:
150
Editor's Pick

YouTube TV

Monthly price:
$64.99
Available channels:
85
Best for Families

Hulu + Live TV

Monthly price:
$64.99$70.99
Available channels:
65
Best for Money Savers

Sling TV

Monthly price:
$35$50
Available channels:
50
Best Premium Channels

DIRECTV STREAM

Monthly price:
$69.99$139.99
Available channels:
140

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 streaming services?
ProviderMonthly priceAvailable channelsLearn more
Fubo$33$79.99*150View Plans
YouTube TV$64.99*85View Plan
Hulu + Live TV$64.99$70.99*65View Plans
Sling$35$5050View Plans
DIRECTV STREAM$69.99$139.99140View Plans
Data as of 10/28/20. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Data as of 10/28/20. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

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 ratio in the industry.

How much is fuboTV?
PlanMonthly priceDVR storage hrs.ChannelsDetails
Starter$64.99.mo.250 hrs., saves indefinitely105+View Plan
Elite$79.99/mo.1000 hrs., saves indefinitely155+View Plan

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 entry-level 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 the best-known sports channels in the Starter 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 Fútbol

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:

  • BBC America
  • Disney Channel
  • Food Network
  • FOX News
  • Freeform
  • Hallmark Channel
  • HGTV
  • Lifetime
  • MSNBC
  • National Geographic
  • Nickelodeon
  • Telemundo
  • Univision
  • USA

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 that’s 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 fine with the other news and entertainment channels fuboTV offers, then you’ll be golden.

View Plans | Read Full fuboTV Review

YouTube TV is a phenomenal all-around service

Your $65 per month will be well spent

How much is YouTube TV?
Streaming serviceMonthly priceDVR storage hrs.ChannelsDetails
YouTube TV$64.99/mo.Unlimited hrs., saves for 9 months85+View Plans

What do we like about YouTube TV?

  • YouTube TV has a well-rounded channel lineup
  • This streaming service has the best DVR in the industry

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

YouTube TV has 14 of the ViacomCBS channels, such as Comedy Central, TNT, 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.

View Plans | Read Full YouTube TV Review

Hulu + Live TV is best for families

Hulu Live offers the best entertainment bundle for the fam

How much is Hulu + Live TV?
PlanMonthly priceDVR storage hrs.ChannelsDetails
Hulu + Live TV (limited ads)$64.99/mo.50–200 hrs., saves indefinitely65+View Plan
Hulu + Live TV (no ads)$70.99/mo.50–200 hrs., saves indefinitely65+View Plan

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 the best part? The bundle is only $6 extra on top of your Hulu Live package.

So enjoy The Mandalorian or the Texas Rangers vs. Boston Red Sox 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 more than 65 popular channels you can turn on in the background while you work from home, including the following:

  • Animal Planet
  • Cartoon Network
  • CNN
  • The CW
  • Discovery Channel
  • Disney Channel
  • ESPN, ESPN2
  • Food Network
  • FOX News
  • 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 is sitting in second place.

You’ll have to pay an extra $10 if you want 200 hours of cloud DVR storage, making your service more $10–$15 than YouTube TV 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?
FeeHulu LiveYouTube 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

Data effective 8/23/2021. 

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

View Plans | Read Full Hulu + Live TV Review

Sling TV is best for money savers

Get some of your favorite cable channels for $35 per month

How much is Sling TV?
PlanMonthly priceDVR storage hrs.ChannelsDetails
Sling Orange$35.00/mo.50 hrs., saves indefinitely32View Plan
Sling Blue$35.00/mo.50 hrs., saves indefinitely47View Plan
Sling Orange + Blue$50.00/mo.50 hrs., saves indefinitely53View Plan

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’s DVR has minimal storage

You get what you pay for with Sling TV

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 has a DVR storage of 50 hours

Sling TV now includes 50 hours of DVR storage in your service, and it officially doesn’t have the lowest storage space in the live TV streaming service world.

DIRECTV STREAM only offers a measly 20!

With Sling, 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).

View Plans | Read Full Sling TV Review

DIRECTV STREAM is best for premium channel fans

DIRECTV STREAM includes premium channels in most of its packages

How much is DIRECTV STREAM?
PlanMonthly priceDVR storage hrs.ChannelsDetails
ENTERTAINMENT$69.99/mo.20 hrs., saves for 90 days65+View Plan
CHOICE$84.99/mo.20 hrs., saves for 90 days90+View Plan
ULTIMATE$94.99/mo.20 hrs., saves for 90 days130+View Plan
PREMIER$139.99/mo.20 hrs., saves for 90 days140+View Plan

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.

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.

View Plans | Read Full DIRECTV STREAM Review

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Which are the best internet providers?
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.

BEST INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS

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

BEST TV SERVICE 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 priceDownload speedsLearn more
$34.99$94.99501200 MbpsView Plans
$35$60300940 MbpsView Plans
$50$65^100940 MbpsView Plans
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.

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.

Which cell phone plan should I get?

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