One of the most recent entrants in the cord-cutting arena is FuboTV. The live television service offers more than 100 channels just like traditional cable, except it feeds into your home through a broadband connection. Are you sick of cable, but still want to watch live news, sporting events, and premieres? FuboTV wants your business — but is FuboTV worth the money.
What’s It All About?
FuboTV is modeled on a traditional cable package, offering multiple channels playing a live lineup of content 24 hours a day. The major difference is that it only requires an internet connection to function, which means you can use it across devices, from a smart TV to a computer or tablet. Additionally, FuboTV has a major emphasis on sports programming, claiming to provide about 40 sports specialty channels.
What’s Included, What’s The Cost?
FuboTV currently has three packages to choose from, though none of them really matches the number of channels you’d get from a traditional cable bundle.
The “Family” plan costs $64.99/month and includes 122 channels. Meanwhile, the “Elite” plan costs $79.99/month and offers 168 channels. There is a third option, called “Latino Quarterly,” which offers 32 Spanish-language channels for $24.99/month.
Whichever package you choose, there are a few notable networks missing from the FuboTV lineup. While Fubo penned a deal with Disney in 2020, bringing Disney-owned networks like ABC, ESPN, Disney Channel and FX to the docket, the platform also dropped all channels owned by Turner. That means you will not get CNN, TNT, or TBS. It also got rid of Fox regional sports programming last year.
All of this is to say, for a service that claims to be about “sports first,” you’re losing some valuable sports options, like TBS and local Fox coverage. Additionally, if you were seeking a subscription so you could watch live news, don’t expect to stream CNN through FuboTV. It should also be noted that premium cable channels like HBO and Showtime are not available through the service.
One of the brightest spots in the FuboTV package is the cloud DVR feature, which is available at no extra cost. That allows you to record a program or an entire series, and get access to your recordings across multiple devices. The function lets you pause, rewind, and fast-forward through commercials, with 250 hours of recording space available.
In addition to Fubo’s accessibility across multiple devices, the Family plan lets you stream on 3 screens at once. In addition to personal computers, FuboTV is available through the following devices:
- Android and iOS smartphones and tablets
- Amazon Fire TV
- Android TV
- Android Smart TVs
- Apple TV
- Samsung Smart TVs
- Xbox One
A major reason many consumers switch from traditional cable to a streaming alternative is to avoid the high cost of cable bundles. But don’t expect to save a fortune.
FuboTV, at $65/month for a basic package, is pretty much on-par with other streaming cable substitutes. YouTube TV, which offers a similar channel lineup, also costs $65/month, as does Hulu + Live TV, which includes the entire Hulu content library in addition to live television. The one competitor that is substantially cheaper is Sling TV, priced at $35/month for a basic plan. However, Sling only offers 45 channels in its most extensive plan. You can sample some of these services to try them out as well.
Of course, a traditional cable plan will probably cost you more than $65, but that’s still a pretty hefty monthly expense. And there’s no question that subscribing to several non-live streaming services is more affordable.
By comparison, a basic Netflix subscription is $9/month, an HBO Max plan is $15/month while an ad-free Hulu subscription (without live TV) costs $12/month. Even if you subscribed to all three of these services, you’d still be paying almost half of what you’d pay for FuboTV.
Is It Worth It?
The answer really depends on how hungry you are for the live TV experience. If you’re happy consuming content on your own schedule, and are not a sports enthusiast, FuboTV is probably not the best use of your money. You’re better off sticking to one (or a few) non-live streaming services.
But if you’re eager to watch live sports and cable news (minus CNN), or if you just like the experience of flipping channels and discovering new shows that way, FuboTV could be a good alternative. It will definitely save you money compared to traditional cable, even if the price is on-par with other live streaming services.
Michael Timmermann, a product tester with Clark Howard, writes that though FuboTV has its flaws, it’s still one of the best options available for those who like cable, but hate their cable company.
“Overall, FuboTV may be worth a closer look if you’re not happy with YouTube TV for whatever reason,” says Timmermann. “The two services aren’t the cheapest, but they’re the closest to a cable TV experience.”