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. The company is keen to point out that while it’s a sports-first streaming service, it’s not a sports-only service. Sports fans are the target demographic, but as you’ll find out below, there are plenty of other types of channels to keep you entertained.
Since its launch, the service has been rapidly adding more non-sports channels to its available packages, making it an all-around competitor. It now has Turner-owned networks, a wide selection Viacom’s entertainment channels, and Discovery Channel properties too (more on this below). In addition to its primary channel package, the service also grants access to hundreds of local channels with availability varying depending on where you live.
In the past, FuboTV has been significantly more expensive than some of its live TV competitors. Recent price hikes at YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV, however, have mostly leveled the playing field: Hulu + Live TV, at $55 per month is the same as FuboTV’s base package, while YouTube TV is only $5 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 and 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, something it does for many live sports events.
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.
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 and Apple TV 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, will be 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 recently added 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, and Apple TV devices, as well as the FuboTV website, with more devices set to gain support.
Channels and pricing
Despite being a sports-centric streaming service, FuboTV has one major hole in its sports coverage: It doesn’t carry ESPN or any other Disney-owned channels. That’s not to say this will always be the case, but right now, the sports-first streaming service doesn’t carry one of the most popular sports networks. Don’t worry, though, there are still plenty of sports to be had.
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.
One notable weakness of FuboTV’s cable-substitution prowess: It does not offer ABC affiliates. The reasons for this are not entirely clear, but given that ABC is owned by Disney, this gap is consistent with FuboTV’s lack of any other Disney-owned TV property.
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 Science Channel, Destination America, Discovery Family, American Heroes Channel, and Discovery Life. The company did not say exactly when these new channels would be made available.
The full channel lists are below.
Fubo Standard, $55 per month
FuboTV’s approximately 109-plus channel base package includes many popular sports channels (except for ESPN), plus a small collection of entertainment and news channels.
Fubo Family, $60 per month
All of the channels in Fubo Standard, 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
20 dedicated sports channels including NFL RedZone:
Showtime, $11 per month:
Fubo Ultra, $80 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, $6 per month: Fox Soccer Plus, Chelsea TV, Gol TV English, Gol TV Spanish, TyC Sports
- Adventure Plus, $5 per month: Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel, World Fishing Network, Outside TV, MAV TV, Motorsport.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
- FX Plus, $6 per month
- Fubo Latino, $25 per month
- Latino Plus, $8 per month: Fox Deportes, Gol TV Spanish, TyC Sports, Cine Sony Television, Fox Life, El Gourmet, Mas Chic, Discovery en Español, and Discovery Familia
- RAI Italia, $8 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
In July 2018, FuboTV became the first streaming service to offer content in 4K Ultra HD and HDR10, beating major competitors like Dish’s Sling TV and AT&T TV Now to the punch. It remains the only live TV streaming service to offer these two features.
Are you into all sorts of sports, especially those airing across the pond? If so, FuboTV may be perfect for you. On the other hand, you could spend less money — especially if you want ESPN — by going with another service, such as Sling TV. For $40 per month, if you chose Sling’s Orange package with the sports add-on, you could get a comprehensive sports portfolio including channels like NFL RedZone, ESPN, NBA TV, and others. Of course, that package has far fewer entertainment and news options, and no local affiliates.
For those who live and breathe sports from all over the map, FuboTV has that in spades, as well as enough variety elsewhere that you’ll be able to find most of what you want from the service. If you’re still unsure, we recommend checking out the free seven-day trial. We also highly recommend checking out our comparison of the most popular streaming services to see if there’s another service that better fits your needs.
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