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Best Streaming Service for Live TV: Sling vs Hulu vs Fubo

Are you looking to cut the cord and ditch that expensive cable TV subscription? Live TV streaming services offer a flexible and affordable alternative to watch your favorite sports, news, and entertainment channels without being locked into long-term contracts. In this in-depth guide, we’ll compare four of the top live TV streaming platforms – Sling TV, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, and FuboTV – to help you decide which is the best option for your viewing needs and budget.

What to Look for in a Live TV Streaming Service Before we dive into the details of each service, let’s go over some key factors to consider when choosing a live TV streaming provider:

Channel Lineup: Make sure the service offers the must-have channels for you, whether that’s live sports, local network affiliates, news, entertainment, etc. The number of channels can vary greatly.

Cost: Pricing for live TV streaming typically starts around $35-$70 per month for the basic package. Added features like DVR, multiple screens, etc. will increase the monthly fee.

Simultaneous Streams: How many devices can stream at the same time? Most allow 2-3 simultaneous streams on the base plan.

DVR Storage: Having a cloud DVR to record shows is very convenient. Compare DVR storage limits and recording rules.

Supported Devices: The top services support all major streaming devices like Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV as well as smart TVs, phones, tablets and web browsers.

Now let’s take a closer look at four of the most popular live TV streaming services and how they stack up:

Watch Minnesota Vikings Games on Sling TV

Sling TV – Best Budget Option Starting at $40/month


  • Most affordable live TV streaming service
  • Flexible channel packaging with Sling Orange and Sling Blue bundles
  • Add-on channel packs for sports, movies, lifestyle and more
  • Includes ESPN, Disney and Fox/NBC channels (depending on package)
  • 50 hours of cloud DVR storage (200 hours for $5/month extra)
  • Compatible with most streaming devices


  • Limited local channel coverage in some markets
  • No dedicated DVR storage on base plan
  • Can get expensive with multiple add-ons
  • Only 1 stream at a time on Sling Orange

Sling TV pioneered the affordable live TV streaming model when it launched in 2015. It remains one of the cheapest options starting at just $40 per month for either the Sling Orange or Sling Blue base package.

Sling Orange includes around 30 channels like ESPN, Disney Channel, Freeform and popular cable networks. Sling Blue has around 40 channels including Fox and NBC local affiliates in select markets, FS1, FX and more. You can also combine Sling Orange + Blue for $55/month.

While Sling keeps base pricing low, costs can add up quickly if you need extra channel packs, premium channels like HBO, increased DVR storage or more simultaneous streams. But for budget-conscious cord-cutters, Sling provides a great way to get many popular live channels at a reasonable price.

Watch Sports On Hulu With Live TV

Hulu + Live TV – Best Overall Value at $69.99/month


  • Over 75 live channels including local affiliates
  • Unlimited cloud DVR storage with 9 month recordings
  • Includes full Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+ on-demand streaming
  • Up to 2 simultaneous streams (Unlimited for $9.99/month)
  • Compatible with most major streaming devices


  • More expensive than Sling TV and YouTube TV
  • Limited customization – no add-on channel packs
  • Missing some popular channels like A&E, History Channel

For $69.99 per month, Hulu + Live TV packs a ton of value by combining live TV channels with full access to the Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+ on-demand streaming libraries. This makes it an extremely cost-effective option for households that want both live and on-demand content.

The channel lineup includes over 75 live TV channels covering all the major broadcast networks like ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC plus popular cable channels like ESPN, CNN, FX, Freeform and more. You also get unlimited cloud DVR storage to record shows for up to 9 months.

While you can’t customize your channel lineup, Hulu + Live TV offers a well-rounded package of live TV and on-demand streaming for one reasonable price. It’s our top pick for the best overall value in live TV streaming.

youtube tv

YouTube TV – Best for Streaming on Multiple Devices at $64.99/month


  • Over 85 live channels including local affiliates
  • Unlimited cloud DVR storage with 9 month recordings
  • Up to 3 simultaneous streams included
  • Great user experience and app compatibility
  • Add-ons available for sports, Spanish channels, etc.


  • More expensive than Sling TV
  • Limited customization options
  • Missing some popular channels like A&E, History

For $64.99 per month, YouTube TV provides one of the most robust channel lineups with over 85 live TV channels covering all the major broadcast networks, popular cable channels, and a great selection of sports networks like ESPN, FS1, NBA TV and more.

But where YouTube TV really shines is its excellent cloud DVR with unlimited storage and a streamlined user experience that makes it easy to watch live or recorded shows on any device. The base plan even includes three simultaneous streams, so the whole family can watch different shows at once.

While you can add on extras like sports add-ons and 4K viewing, there’s no option to customize your core channel lineup. But for large households that want a comprehensive cable TV replacement with strong DVR features, YouTube TV is tough to beat.

FuboTV – Best for Sports Starting at $74.99/month


  • Focused on sports with tons of national/regional sports networks
  • Over 130 live channels on base “Pro” plan
  • 1000 hours of cloud DVR storage included
  • Up to 10 simultaneous streams at home
  • Add-ons for movies, entertainment, sports plus packages


  • One of the most expensive live TV streaming services
  • Limited local channel coverage in some markets
  • Interface can be clunky compared to other services

If you’re a sports fanatic, FuboTV is hands-down the best live TV streaming service for comprehensive sports coverage. The base “Pro” plan for $74.99 per month comes packed with over 130 live channels.

This includes all the major sports networks like ESPN, FS1, NFL Network, MLB Network, NBA TV, NHL Network and more. FuboTV also offers a ton of additional sports add-ons like the SPORTS PLUS package with channels like NFL RedZone, MLB Strike Zone and more.

Beyond just the sheer number of sports channels, FuboTV provides some cool sports-centric features like multi-view mode to watch multiple games simultaneously. You also get a generous 1000 hours of cloud DVR storage and the ability to stream on up to 10 devices at home.

While FuboTV is one of the pricier live TV services, it’s well worth it for sports fans who want every major sporting event and league covered without a cable subscription.

So which live TV streaming service is best for you? It really depends on your channel needs and budget:

  • Sling TV is ideal for budget viewers who want to keep costs low
  • Hulu + Live TV provides the best overall value with live TV and on-demand streaming
  • YouTube TV is a great all-around cable TV replacement with excellent streaming features
  • FuboTV can’t be beaten for its comprehensive sports coverage, despite the higher price tag

No matter which service you choose, all of these live TV streaming platforms provide a flexible, contract-free way to watch your favorite live channels on nearly any device. They make it easier than ever to cut the cord on expensive cable TV bills.

Ready to stream live TV? Head over to to find all the cables, accessories and streaming devices you need to build the ultimate cord-cutting setup!

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