The debate over whether or not to cancel one’s cable subscription rages on, with some viewers fearful that they may have to give up live programming entirely if they do so.
While that may have been the case a decade ago, streaming services have evolved to meet the demands of their users by providing both live and on-demand material in the last five years. It appears to be functioning properly on those systems.
According to research conducted in March 2022, live streaming services, also known as virtual multichannel video programming distributors, have increased their user base by 7.6 percent yearly.
Meanwhile, over 25.5 million American families will have canceled their cable service between 2016 and 2021; by 2023, less than half of American households will have a typical cable subscription.
Exactly why are so many people making this change? Streaming services that offer live TV aren’t as expensive as traditional cable TV, and most MVNOs don’t require you to sign a long-term commitment, so you can cancel whenever you like.
Having a single source for both live and on-demand viewing is also convenient. We’ve compiled this list of the best live TV streaming providers to assist you in navigating these uncharted waters.
Best Live TV Streaming Services 2024
There are currently various well-established streaming services on the market. It’s safe to assume that most of them offer a variety of programs and genres. Because of this, choosing the finest TV streaming service can be challenging. We spent a lot of time looking into the topic so that we could write this article and present the top-rated TV streaming services.
Plus more than seventy-five live channels, Hulu + Live TV provides access to the complete Hulu streaming library, which includes many newer episodes of popular TV shows.
Depending on where you reside, your channel lineup may or may not contain regional news channels, local broadcasts of your favorite shows, or even live coverage of your favorite college, pro, or high school sports teams.
Each subscriber can create up to six unique profiles and watch content simultaneously across two devices at home or on the move. Live TV can be recorded indefinitely on a DVR, but recorded content is deleted after nine months.
Anytime during your subscription, you or we, at your discretion, may modify your plan or terminate your service without incurring any fees.
The live TV options on Hulu are limited to a single package. Disney+ and ESPN+, in addition to streaming and live TV, maybe yours for $69.99 a month.
Disney+ and ESPN+ are part of the Hulu + Live TV package. Premium channels like HBO Max, Cinemax, Showtime, and Starz can be added to your subscription for a separate, full price.
2. YouTube TV
YouTube TV has the backing of YouTube and Google, making it a formidable competitor to other live TV streaming services.
Pricing begins at $65/month and includes more than 85 channels, including fan favorites like Food Network, Comedy Central, ESPN, Fox News, and more. The local affiliates of ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and The CW, as well as PBS, are available on YouTube TV in 98% of U.S. areas, a much higher percentage than is the case with other live TV services.
With YouTube TV’s unlimited DVR storage, you can record as many programs and live broadcasts as possible for later on-demand viewing. This is a hallmark of cable that can be difficult for live TV providers to replicate, and YouTube TV still only stores recordings for nine months.
YouTube TV goes above and beyond the norm for sports fans by incorporating the NFL, NBA, and MLB Networks in its base subscription. Several other sports channels, such as NFL Red Zone, Fox Soccer Plus, and more, are available as add-ons.
3. Sling TV
Sling TV is one of the earliest and most affordable live-streaming choices. It’s similar to cable in that there are various plans. Sling TV has a wide variety of channel bundles available in addition to its base plans: Sling Orange ($25), Sling Blue ($35), and Sling Orange + Blue ($50).
Sling Orange features ESPN, Disney, BBC America, and Comedy Central, while Sling Blue boasts Discovery, FOX News, MSNBC, NBC Sports, and SYFY. The Sling Orange and Blue plan have 50 channels, making it the best option for those who want everything.
Local ABC stations are unavailable with any Sling TV subscription; however, if you prepay for two months of service, Sling TV will send you a free HD antenna. There is no way to get local CBS channels, but if you need Paramount+ (see below), you can add it.
PrimeVideo is widely recognized as one of the best online video-on-demand providers. It’s a great option for obtaining a streaming subscription at your convenience.
Prime Originals are worth the price, and the binge-watching experience is unparalleled. Prime Video works in a web browser as well as nearly every other media player out there.
Every user can get started with a free 90-day trial of this streaming service. Monthly Premium membership costs $12.99. Up to six separate user profiles can be associated with a single account.
How much of a sports fan are you? When I say “serious,” do you want to watch the English Premier League, Formula One Racing, or cricket instead of the American triumvirate of football, basketball, and baseball?
Yes? If so, you should check out FuboTV.
FuboTV’s selection includes strange gaps, but it’s fantastic for sports fans. For instance, it dropped several channels that used to be available, including TNT and TBS, which used to broadcast a lot of sports.
The Fox regional sports networks are also absent. In any case, if European sports are more your thing, you’ll find a lot to enjoy.
FuboTV is a complete streaming service with all the regular channels, not sports. There are three beginner plans in English and one in Spanish.
The first option, Pro, costs $70 monthly and includes over 125 channels, 1,000 hours of video DVR storage, and simultaneous streaming to three devices. You may try it out for free with this offer.
Then there’s Elite, which, for $80 a month, provides access to 178 channels, 1,000 hours of cloud DVR storage, and simultaneous streaming on up to 10 screens.
The final option is the “Ultimate Plan.” Sports Plus with NFL Redzone, Showtime, and the News Plus bundle is included in the 214 channels available for $100 a month.