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Cost of Live TV Streaming Services Compared

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Intro: Cost of Live TV Streaming Services Compared

Like death and taxes, price increases for streaming services have become an inevitable part of life. Live TV streaming services in particular may come at a lower cost compared to cable, but they aren’t cheap, either, especially as their price continues to rise.

We’ve prepared a guide for cord cutters on a budget looking to comparison shop the major live TV streaming services. Here is the cost of every major live TV streaming service compared.

Shall I Stream It is viewer-supported and provides honest reviews. To support this work, some links feature partners where commission is earned for purchases.


What's Included (and What's Not)

Here's a criteria for this guide.

  • The streaming services must feature some of the same live TV channels you'd find over broadcast television, cable, or satellite. Not just the free channels you'd find on Tubi or Pluto TV. For a guide that also includes streaming services without live TV (like Netflix) go here.
  • They must be legal and operate within the boundaries of copyright law. There are plenty of sketchy companies offering low-cost IPTV services that we can't advise giving your credit card details to. You put yourself at risk when you sign up for these services!
  • They must be available nationwide in the United States. Some cable companies (like Spectrum) have begun experimenting with their own live TV streaming offerings, but these haven't rolled out nationwide yet.

The Budget Tier (Under $10/mo.)

Frndly TV

Frndly TV Review
Image: Frndly TV

Frndly TV’s focus is on feel-good TV with networks like Hallmark Channel, Lifetime, Dove Channel, Great American Family, History, and A&E. It also happens to be the lowest-cost way to get over 40 live channels without a cable subscription.

Here's a breakdown of their plans. Note that all three tiers offer an annual option that saves you 15%!

# of Streams124
(keep for 3 mos)
(keep for 9 mos)

For more on Frndly TV, check out our article here!


Peacock TV Review
Image: NBCUniversal

You might not think of Peacock as a “live TV” service, but is has snuck up on us with a small but mighty lineup of live TV, sports, news, and entertainment.

For starters, everyone on the Peacock Premium Plus plan gets full 24/7 access to their local NBC station. And subscribers on either plan get Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, and Hallmark Drama.

NBCUniversal (Peacock's parent company) has announced that they will also offer NBC Sports Networks with Peacock at a late date.

Take note that with Peacock there is no DVR option, although many shows end up on-demand automatically. For more on Peacock, check out our article here.

Peacock PremiumPeacock Premium Plus
FeaturesOn-demand shows and movies (w/ ads)
Live TV (w ads)
On-demand shows & movies (no ads)
Live TV (w/ads)
Offline Downloads
Pricing$4.99/mo or $49.99/yr$9.99/mo. or $99.99/yr.
Local NBC Station?NoYes
Hallmark ChannelsYesYes


Subscribers on the Paramount+ Premium plan get access to their local CBS station, although subscribers on either of their plans get access to NFL games from CBS, CBS News, and soccer games.

If you bundle Paramount+ with Showtime, you'll also have access to a live feed of Showtime.

Paramount+ does not offer a DVR for your live channels but many of the TV shows and programs will end up on-demand shortly after they first air. All Paramount+ plans come with a free trial!

Essential PlanPremium Plan
FeaturesOn-demand shows and movies (w/ ads)
Live TV (w ads)
On-demand shows & movies (no ads)
Live TV (w/ads)
Offline Downloads
Pricing$4.99/mo or $49.99/yr$9.99/mo. or $99.99/yr.
NFL on CBS?YesYes
Local CBS Station?NoYes

The Middle Range ($25-$40/mo.)


Philo is a good live TV service if you’re interested in entertainment channels but not so much into sports or cable news. Since there’s a fairly significant overlap between Philo with AMC+, Discovery+, and Paramount+, this can be a way to consolidate some of your entertainment options.

With Philo, you’ll get over 70 live TV channels including A&E, AMC, Comedy Central, Discovery, Food Network, Hallmark Channel, HGTV, History, Lifetime, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, TV Land, and VH1. It also remains one of the most affordable ways to watch “cable” shows like Yellowstone or RuPaul’s Drag Race when they first air.

Philo includes a cloud DVR with unlimited storage that lets you keep your recordings for up to a year plus a seven day, free trial for new customers.

Take note that Philo does not include local channels, so it's best to get an antenna for that!

There is just one plan with Philo (although there are some possible add-ons like STARZ or MGM+) that costs $25 a month.

Sling TV

Sling TV Review

Looking to get a wider lineup of news, sports, and entertainment channels but don't want to dish out the price for a higher-priced service? Then Sling TV might be a good option for you.

Their color-coded plans may seem a little confusing at first. We recommend checking out our article here for the full details on Sling's channel lineup.

Just know this- with Sling TV there's a good chance you'll be making at least a little bit of a compromise between features and content with price.

Orange PlanBlue PlanOrange & Blue Plan
Channels150+ free channels
31 paid channels
Disney & ESPN
150+ free channels
41 paid channels
including Bravo, Discovery, FX,
Fox News, NFL Network, & FS1
150+ free channels
All 47 paid channels
from Orange & Blue plans
DVR50 hrs50 hrs50 hrs
# of Streams131-3

For more on Sling TV, check out our review here!

The Premium Tier ($70/mo. & up)

YouTube TV

YouTube TV remains one of the most popular live TV streaming services despite a recent price increase. They offer over 100 live channels including local networks, news, entertainment, and sports plus a DVR that allows you to keep unlimited recordings for up to nine months.

With the 4K Plus add-on, you can watch certain content in 4K resolution, download recordings to watch offline, and get unlimited simultaneous streams for an extra $9.99/mo.

Starting with the 2023-2024 season, YouTube will be the exclusive provider of the NFL Sunday Ticket but it comes at an extra cost. To include it as an add-on will cost you $349 for the season or $389 if you want to get it with a package that also includes NFL RedZone. Early subscribers can get it for $100 off. Get more details here.

YouTube TV offers a free trial of up to three weeks for new users and they usually offer a sign-up discount (for example, $10 off for your first three months).

Here are the two plans:

  • Base Plan: $72.99/month. Includes over 100 live channels with the capacity for 3 simultaneous streams and 6 household accounts.
  • Spanish Plan: $34.99/month. Includes over 30 live channels with the capacity for 3 simultaneous streams and 6 household accounts.

For more information on YouTube TV, check out our review here!

Hulu + Live TV

Hulu Live TV New Channels

Hulu’s live TV service offers a robust lineup of 85+ channels including cable news, sports, local channels, and entertainment. Like some of their competitors, they also offer an unlimited DVR that lets you keep recordings for up to nine months.

One of the biggest perks of Hulu + Live TV is the inclusion of the “Disney Bundle” (i.e. standard Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+) at no extra cost with your subscription. That means you’ll get a ton of on-demand shows and movies in addition to your live TV, making it a good choice for families and entertainment junkies.

There are two main plans available with Hulu + Live TV. The live channels are the same on both plans. The difference is if you want your on-demand content from Hulu or Disney+ to be ad-free or don’t mind sitting through some ads.

Here are the plan options:

  • Hulu (With Ads) + Live TV, Disney+ (With Ads), and ESPN+ (With Ads) for $69.99/month.
  • Hulu (No Ads) + Live TV, Disney+ (No Ads) and ESPN+ (With Ads) for $82.99/month.

For more on Hulu + Live TV, check out our review here!

DirecTV Stream

This streaming service comes to you from the same company we all know from the satellite service, DirecTV. It has a robust lineup of features including an unlimited DVR and unlimited simultaneous streams (from the devices in your home).

You’ll have to choose from a few different plans based on the channels you’re most interested in. Along with Fubo TV, it remains one of the only two live TV streaming services to offer certain regional sports networks (RSNs) like Bally Sports and SportsNet affiliates- but you’ll need the higher-priced “Choice” plan to access them.

On all of their plans, DirecTV Stream offers a five-day free trial and usually offers a sign-up discount for first time customers.

Here are their plans

  • Entertainment Plan includes 75+ channels for $74.99/month. This has channels that “essential for sports, news, and entertainment.”
  • Choice Plan is $99.99/month. This includes 105+ channels including Regional Sports Networks. 
  • Ultimate Plan for $109.99/month. This includes140+ channels for a “full range of sports, news, and entertainment.”
  • Premier Plan is $154.99/month. Includes 150+ channels including HBO (and HBO Max), Cinemax, Showtime, and STARZ.
  • Óptimo Más for $74.99/month. Includes 100+ channels including Spanish language networks.

For a breakdown on the channels available, check out our link below!


Image: Fubo

Fubo is a live TV streaming service with a specific emphasis on sports, although it also has a great lineup of local channels, news, and entertainment, too.

It’s one of the best (and only) options to stream regional sports networks (RSNs) like Bally Sports, NBC Sports, NESN, and Marquee Sports Network. 

Their plans don’t include “unlimited” DVR space, although they still offer a generous 1000 hours of cloud DVR storage with their English language plans. You also get the option to stream from up to 10 devices simultaneously at home. And if you’re using an Apple TV, you can use use Multiview to watch up to four channels at once. 

The plans and pricing for Fubo are below. Take note that if you live in an area that offers RSNs, you’ll need to pay a $10.99/month fee if there is one RSN included or $13.99/month fee if two or more RSNs are offered.

All plans include a seven day free trial.

  • Pro: This plan includes 154 channels for $74.99/month
  • Elite: This includes 220 channels including some events in 4K resolution for $84.99/month.
  • Premier: This includes 229 channels, including Showtime, plus 4K events for $94.99/month.
  • Latino: This includes 52 channels (including Spanish language networks) for $32.99/month, 250 hours of cloud DVR space, and can stream from two devices at a time.

As a special offer for Shall I Stream It? readers you can get 15% off your first month of Fubo (after a seven day trial) with the link below!


Vidgo Logo

If you haven’t heard of Vidgo, you’re not alone. Their customer base is much smaller than their competitors

Their plan lineup has gone through several overhauls since the service was first launched in 2018. At one point it had a much lower entry price than its competition, although it didn’t offer any way to record shows with a cloud DVR. Now it has added some DVR functionality but with a starting price that’s the same as Hulu + Live TV.

Their channel lineup is a bit more spotty than the other live TV streaming services. You won’t find CBS or NBC, and if you’re looking for college basketball it’s missing essential networks like TNT and TBS. It does have some regional sports networks, though, such as PAC-12 and Longhorn Network.

Here are the plans and pricing for Vidgo:

  • Plus: This plan includes 110+ channels for $69.99/month and a DVR, although their website does not indicate how many hours are included.
  • Premium: This plan includes 150+ channels for $84.99 month with a DVR, although their website does not specify how many hours are included.
  • Video Mas: 45+ Spanish channels for $39.99/month with a DVR, although their website does not specify how many hours are included.
  • Video Ultimate: All English and Spanish channels included for $99.99/month.

Final Thoughts: Cost of Live TV Streaming Services Compared

Now that we've compared the cost of live TV streaming services, what do you think? Which have you tried? Let us know in the comment section below!

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Matt Davis
Matt Davis
Matt Davis is a writer, entertainment critic, and content creator that hails from the Kanas City area. He has been featured in various publications, including and CNET. As the founder of Shall I Stream It? he has helped it grow into a multi-platform media outlet that reaches over 100,000 viewers each month.
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