X
Disclosure: Grounded Reason is supported by a small commission for purchases made through some product links on this website. I do not accept compensation from companies attempting to sway my review of products.

Best Live TV Streaming Services

Live Streaming Services

This guide is a comparison of all TV streaming services that work as cable TV alternatives. We looked at channel availability, price, and features like regional sports availability, premium channels, and more when comparing live TV streaming services. This article contains tables comparing the streaming cable alternatives in these categories. Before we get to the comparison tables I wanted to give you our recommendations. We compared DIRECTV Now, fuboTV, Hulu Live TV, Philo, PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, and YouTube TV.  Here are our findings.

Overall Best Streaming Service – Hulu Live TV

We recommend Hulu Live TV due to its channel availability. You can read our full Hulu review, and even try their 1-week free trial. Here are the reasons we think this service is the top choice on the market.

  • Top notch streaming quality
  • Excellent number of channels you typically find on cable
  • Highest availability of live local networks (ABC, Fox, NBC, CBS, etc.)
  • Decent Sports Coverage
  • Robust feature set including DVR and parental controls

Cable Alternative Comparison Summary

The table below shows how each service scored in each category. More detailed tables for each category are later in this article. You can also see the review for each individual service by clicking the link in the table below. Links to the free trials for each service are also linked in the table.

Trial Offer Price Cable TV Channel Availability Local Channel Availability Premium Channels Features Sports
Hulu TV Hulu TV Review Free Trial $40/month EXCELLENT BEST GREAT EXCELLENT GREAT
fuboTV fuboTV Review Free Trial $45/month GOOD GOOD POOR GOOD GREAT
Philo Philo Review Free Trial $16-$20/month GOOD POOR POOR GOOD POOR
DIRECTV NOW DIRECTV NOW Review Free Trial $35-$70/month BEST EXCELLENT EXCELLENT GOOD GREAT
PlayStation VUE PlayStation VUE Review Free Trial $40-$75/month EXCELLENT GREAT GOOD EXCELLENT EXCELLENT
Sling TV Sling TV Review Free Trial $25/month EXCELLENT GOOD BEST GOOD GREAT
YouTube TV YouTube Review Free Trial $35/month GOOD EXCELLENT OK BEST GREAT


Use the links below to navigate to the detailed live TV streaming service comparison of each individual category.

Comparison Categories

Streaming Cable TV Channels

The table below is a comparison of all the major live TV streaming services based on the availability of the top cable TV channels on their service. A checkmark indicates it’s available for the lowest price package that service offers. Otherwise, the checkmark will include a price next to it. If the channel is available through an add-on package then the checkmark will indicate the price with a “+” and the cost of the add-on package.

As shown in the chart below DirecTV Now has the best channel availability when it comes to networks found on traditional cable and satellite television.

DIRECTV NOW fuboTV Hulu Philo PlayStation Vue Sling Orange Sling Blue YouTube
$35 – $70 $40 $40 $16 $40 – $75 $25 $25 $35
A&E
AMC
Animal Planet
BET
+$5
Bravo
Cartoon Network
CNN
Comedy Central
Discovery
Disney Channel
E!
+$5
ESPN
Food Network
Fox News
Fox Sports 1
Freeform
FX
FXX
Hallmark
+$5
+$5
HGTV
History
Investigation Discovery
Lifetime
MSNBC
+$5
MTV
+$5
+$5
Nickelodeon
OWN
– $50
Paramount Network
+$5
+$5
Syfy
TBS
TCM
+$5
+$5
+$5
TLC
TNT
truTV
+$5
USA Network
VH1
+$5
+$5

Navigate to Category List


Broadcast Network Comparison

Since it varies based on location, I recommend you check out my guide to watching local channels for more information on what each service offers in regard to your local NBC, ABC, FOX, CBS, etc.

Ultimately Hulu Live TV is the best option for local networks. DIRECTV NOW, Youtube TV, and PS Vue are the next best options for live local channels. FuboTV is behind those followed by Sling TV. Philo TV currently isn’t offering local channels.

Navigate to Category List

TV Streaming Service Features

For the price, YouTube TV has the best feature set due to it’s DVR capacity. Hulu and PlayStation Vue are feature rich make for good cable alternatives. Hulu has feature set on par with YouTube, but charges for upgrades. The rest of the services are about even when you consider the features you receive for the cost of the service.

DIRECTV NOW fuboTV Hulu Philo PlayStation Vue Sling Orange Sling Blue YouTube
$35 – $70 $45 $40 $16 $40 – $75 $25 $25 $35
Cloud DVR

(in Beta)

$5 $5
Cloud DVR Capacity unknown 30 hrs 50 hrs Unlimited 30 days Unlimited 28 days 50 hrs 50 hrs Unlimited 8 months
Simultaneous Streaming 2 streams 2 streams 2 streams 3 streams 5 streams 1 stream 3 streams 3 streams
On Demand
Parental Controls

Navigate to Category List

Premium Channels

The table below shows which premium channels are available on each TV streaming service along with the cost of each. DIRECTV NOW offers the best pricing while Sling TV offers the most channels.

DIRECTV NOW fuboTV Hulu Philo PlayStation Vue Sling Orange Sling Blue YouTube
$35 – $70 $45 $40 $16 $40 – $75 $25 $25 $35
Cinemax $5
$9
$15 $10 $10
EPIX
$5 $5
HBO $5
$15
$15 $15 $15
Showtime $8
$10
$11 $10 $10 $11
Starz $8
$9 $9


Navigate to Category List

Stream Regional Sports Networks Live

When it comes to the availability of regional sports networks, FuboTV comes out on top. DirecTV and Playstation Vue are good second choices. However, keep in mind that these channels are only available if you live in the market for that channel. For a better idea of which service to get based on the sports your watch, see our guide to watching sports without cable.

DIRECTV NOW fuboTV Hulu Philo PlayStation Vue Sling Orange Sling Blue YouTube
$35 – $70 $45 $40 $16 $40 – $75 $25 $25 $35
Altitude
AT&T SportsNet Northwest
AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh
AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain
AT&T SportsNet Southwest
AT&T SportsNet Utah
Fox Sports Arizona
$50+
$45+
Fox Sports Carolinas
Fox Sports Detroit
$50+
$45+
Fox Sports Florida
$50+
$45+
Fox Sports Indiana
Fox Sports Kansas City
Fox Sports Midwest
$50+
$45+
Fox Sports New Orleans
Fox Sports North
$50+
$45+
Fox Sports Ohio
$50+
$45+
Fox Sports Oklahoma
$50+
Fox Sports Prime Ticket
$50+
$45+
Fox Sports San Diego
$50+
$45+
Fox Sports South
$50+
$45+
Fox Sports Southeast
$50+
$45+
Fox Sports Southwest
$50+
$45+
Fox Sports Sun
$50+
$45+
Fox Sports Tennessee
Fox Sports West
$50+
$45+
Fox Sports Wisconsin
$50+
MASN
MSG
$50+
MSG+
$50+
NBC Sports Bay Area
$50+
$45+
NBC Sports Boston
$50+
$45+
NBC Sports California
$50+
$45+
NBC Sports Chicago
$50+
$45+
NBC Sports Northwest
$45+
NBC Sports Philadelphia
$45+
NBC Sports Philadelphia+
NBC Sports Washington
$50+
$45+
NBC Sports Washington+
NESN
$45+
Spectrum SportsNet LA
SportsNet NY
SportsTime Ohio
$50+
$45+
YES Network
$50+
$45+

Navigate to Category List

This is the Best Deal on Standalone Internet Service

If you enjoyed this article, please subscribe to our weekly newsletter. It goes out every Thursday and keeps you up to date on information relevant to cord cutters. Subscribing will also inform you on the latest deals out there for internet, streaming, and more.

Check Out An Internet Only Deal for Cordcutters (sponsored)

If this article did not answer your specific question, check out the Cord Cutting Guide. It provides links to the most important articles in our over 200 pages of content to help you ditch pay TV.

For tips and tricks on cutting the cord and other tech topics be sure to join our Facebook Page and follow us on Twitter