Live TV streaming is all about choice, so it’s a good thing there are so many services available. Sling TV, YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, and others all offer similar packages as an alternative to cable, but each has its own specialties, too.
FuboTV is yet another way to ditch cable, but it adds its own twist with more sports offerings in the base package than any competing streaming service — and even more available via add-ons. It’s also the first live TV streaming service to offer content in 4K Ultra HD and HDR. But is it right for you?
What is FuboTV?
FuboTV initially launched as a streaming service for soccer, before pivoting to a more traditional live TV streaming service. Today, the platform has the most comprehensive sports coverage — including the recent addition of the ESPN family of channels — but its channel line-up also does an excellent job at catering to everyone, regardless of age or interest.
Since its launch, the service has been rapidly adding more non-sports channels to its available packages. It currently has 30 of the top 35 channels, as well as NBA TV, NFL Network, a wide selection of Viacom’s entertainment channels, and Discovery Channel properties too. The same deal that added ESPN also added may other Disney-owned properties including ABC, ABC News Live, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, ACC Network, FX, FXX, and National Geographic.
In addition to its primary channel package, the service also grants access to hundreds of local channels and regional sports networks with availability varying depending on where you live.
In the past, FuboTV has been significantly more expensive than some of its live TV competitors. Price hikes at YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV, however, have mostly leveled the playing field: Hulu + Live TV, at $55 per month, is $10 less than FuboTV’s Family package, while YouTube TV is only $15 less at $50 per month.
Instead of using off-the-shelf tech, FuboTV opted to build its own — a risky move, but one that has seemed to pay off, especially when it comes to streaming big events. While Hulu had brief outages during the 2018 Super Bowl, FuboTV customers got through the entire game without a hitch. It has also given FuboTV the ability to stream in 4K Ultra HD, and it remains the only Live TV streaming service to offer broadcasts in 4K.
A partnership with sports-betting company FanDuel makes FuboTV the only live streaming TV service that embeds sports betting data in its live broadcasts. Betting data is presented on its own FuboTV Network and Cycling channels, as well as horse-racing channels TVG and TVG2.
FuboTV also owns a free, ad-supported, sports-only network, called Fubo Sports Network. It’s available via free services powered by Xumo, like LG’s Channel Plus app, but FuboTV also includes it in its subscription-based live TV service.
FuboTV is supported by most popular streaming devices, including the fourth-gen Apple TV and Apple TV 4K, Roku streaming boxes and streaming sticks, Amazon’s Fire TV devices, and Google Chromecast devices. You can also access your FuboTV subscription from within Apple’s TV app — a rarity among live streaming services. Smart TVs powered by the Roku, Amazon Fire, and Android TV platforms are also supported, and there’s also a FuboTV website to watch on your computer. It should work with most browsers, but the company recommends Google Chrome.
Both iOS and Android devices are supported for watching on the go. The Android app received a major overhaul with version 4.0, including a redesigned interface that better matches what you’ll see on your TV or the FuboTV website. This update also added the ability to access your cloud DVR recordings, as well as support for the Startover feature, which we’ll explain in the next section.
As of June 2020, you can also stream FuboTV on Microsoft’s Xbox One gaming consoles, but so far, it’s the only game console that FuboTV supports.
A cloud DVR is becoming a must-have feature for live TV streaming services. FuboTV’s cloud DVR works like a stand-alone DVR in that you have a limited amount of storage available. The base package includes 30 hours of DVR storage, though you can upgrade to 500 hours for an extra $10 per month. Most users should be able to make the 30-hour limit work with some careful management. Either way, you can keep your recordings for an unlimited time.
For most devices, DVR recordings only become available to watch one hour after the recording is finished, however, iOS devices, Apple TV, and Roku support FuboTV’s instant DVR feature, which lets you begin watching as soon as you start recording.
Out of the box, FuboTV’s base package supports two streams at a time, the same as AT&T TV Now. If you need more, for $5 extra per month you can upgrade to the Family plan which gives you a third stream and also boosts your DVR space to 500 hours. Given that these two features would normally cost $16 per month on top of the base package, it’s a good value.
If you own a 4K TV, FuboTV has the most 4K content of any live TV streaming service. In addition to the live sporting events that get the 4K treatment, FuboTV recently became the first live TV streamer to offer non-sports in 4K too: BBC America’s Seven Worlds, One Planet, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, was streamed in 4K throughout January and February 2020. FuboTV says more entertainment content in 4K is planned for the future.
A common frustration among sports fans using streaming services is watching a game they’re recording that is already in progress. What if you want to watch from the beginning? With the Startover feature, you can jump back to the start of the game. This feature is currently in beta and available only on select channels and programs. It’s only available on iOS, Android, Apple TV, and Roku devices, as well as the FuboTV website, with more devices set to gain support.
Channels and pricing
Depending on how many local affiliate channels are available in your area, dozens of channels carry sports in FuboTV’s base package, around half of which are purely sports channels. FuboTV says that it offers more than 30,000 sporting events per year, which includes games from the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, and more. FuboTV also claims to offer more soccer than any other streaming service. With the addition of ESPN’s channels, this will only increase.
Until the Disney deal, one notable weakness of FuboTV’s cable-substitution prowess was a lack of ABC affiliates, but that’s been remedied as of August 2020.
You can also add other sports packages, like the Sports Plus package, which includes 23 channels for $9/month, or the international sports package at $6/month. Basketball fans can add NBA League Pass for $29/month, and cycling fans can add six cycling channels for $12/month.
FuboTV isn’t all about sports. The company has been expanding its other categories regularly. It now has a slew of Viacom-owned lifestyle and entertainment channels along with 18 live and on-demand Discovery channels, including Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, and Motor Trend — all of which are a part of the company’s base package.
Those who sign up for the FuboTV Extra package will also get Cooking Channel, DIY Network, PeopleTV, BBC World News, and TeenNick for $6.
The full channel lists are below.
Fubo Family, $65 per month
Fubo Family is now the base package for Fubo after eliminating the Standard package. It includes 115 channels, plus 500 hours of DVR recording space, and the ability to run three live streams simultaneously.
Fubo Extra, $6 per month
Fubo Extra is a 30+ channel add-on that contains lifestyle, sports, and entertainment channels:
Sports Plus, $11 per month
28 dedicated sports channels including NFL RedZone:
Showtime, $11 per month:
Nine live channels plus the entire Showtime on-demand catalog.
Fubo Ultra, $85 per month:
This combo package bundles the features of Fubo Family along with Fubo Extra, Sports Plus, and Showtime channel packages for $20 less per month than these features would cost individually.
- International Sports Plus, $7 per month: Fox Deportes, Fox Soccer Plus, Zona Futbol, ESPN HD Deportes, Gol TV English, Gol TV Spanish, TyC Sports, Eleven Sports
- Adventure Plus, $5 per month: Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel, World Fishing Network, Outside TV, MAV TV, Insight TV
- Fubo Cycling, $12 per month: Fubo Cycling, Fox Soccer Plus, Chelsea TV, Gol TV English, Gol TV Spanish, TyC Sports
- AMC Premiere, $5 per month
- Fubo Latino, $25 per month
- Latino Plus, $20 per month: Fox Deportes, Zona Futbol, ESPN HD Deportes, Gol TV Spanish, TyC Sports, Cini Sony, El Gourmet, Nat Geo Mundo, Mas Chic, Nuestra Tele, Fox Life, Telefe, Familia Discovery, Discovery en Espanol, Tres, Babylv
- RAI Italia, $8 per month
- TVMonde, $10 per month
- Portuguese Plus, $15 per month: Gol TV, Benfica TV, RTP International
While streaming services have yet to catch up to cable in terms of general quality, FuboTV is among the best-looking streaming services we’ve seen, without the “soft” image that plagues other services. More important to sports fans, it also features a fair number of channels that support a 60 fps frame rate, making it much easier to follow the action. While some entertainment channels like Syfy and USA feature the higher frame rate, most channels with 60 fps are sport-focused or sports only. Currently, more than 40 available channels support 60 fps, and FuboTV says more are on the way.
That said, unless you’re watching one of the sports events or entertainment shows available in 4K Ultra HD, FuboTV’s streams are limited to 720p HD. This is fairly standard for the live streaming industry, but if you want something better, YouTube TV is the only service that makes its streams available in 1080p Full HD.
When it comes to navigation, FuboTV differs greatly from other services, as its main method of navigation is browsing by sport. To drill things down even further, you can filter by league or team, or search by sport, league, team, event, or title. This works similarly for entertainment and news channels as well, letting you browse or search by network or genre. A standard, cable-style guide also lets you browse everything that is currently airing live, and includes any local channels you may be able to watch.
On-demand offerings aren’t as robust as some other streaming services, especially when it comes to TV shows, but there is still a fair amount to watch. Some networks don’t have on-demand content available despite airing live. AMC is one example, but this could be because the network was only added recently. For movies, you can browse by genre, similar to other services, and while you won’t find the most recent releases, the overall library of films certainly isn’t small.
4K Ultra HD and HDR
FuboTV was the first streaming platform to offer content in HDR10 and 4K Ultra HD back in July 2018. Because the company adapted the technology so rapidly, it annihilated competitors like AT&T TV Now and Dish’s Sling TV. Even now, FuboTV is the only live TV streaming platform to offer both of these viewing features. HD fans will appreciate this high-tech feature of FuboTV. That said, we still don’t recommend solely going with a service based on this feature alone.
If you’re a sports enthusiast, FuboTV could be an excellent match for you. Its vast selection of US athletics and sports worldwide makes for a competitive package. The standard FuboTV option also includes some news and entertainment channels. However, you could save some much-needed cash through a service like Sling TV. Again, if sports is your main priority, the Orange package with Sling features a highly-valued sports bundle for just $40 per month. With that option, you can get channels like ESPN, NBA TV, NFL Redzone, and many more. The negative side is that that package offers considerably fewer news and entertainment channels and zero local media. Between the two choices, then, FuboTV may be the better option for overall use. Its bonus features allow you to customize your TV watching at a budget-friendly price.
If you’re a die-hard sports fan, who wants to soak up the best sports from all over the world, then your only clear choice is FuboTV. You may find you also enjoy their variety of channels outside of just sports. For consumers on the fence, try out their free week-long trial. Consider checking out our comparison of the most popular streaming services to see if there’s a specific service that can best fit your preferences and budget.
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