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Affordable Options for Live TV

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Thinking about switching from cable to a streaming platform? Cutting the cord is a lot easier than you might think and can save you more on your monthly bill than certain basic cable plans.

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For TV lovers who want to make the leap to streaming, and Spectrum and other cable customers looking for streaming alternatives, we’re breaking down some of the best platforms for live TV.

Check below for a roundup of streaming options that range from $25 a month up to $150 a month. The services recommended below offer month-to-month subscription plans that can be canceled at any time.

From Fubo to Peacock: Best Streaming Services for Live TV

Though major league streamers like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Paramount+ produce mostly on-demand content, Sling TV and Philo, DirecTV Stream and YouTube TV are some of the more affordable options for live content.

If you’re on a tight budget, Philo is the cheapest among the regular-priced plans on our list at $25/month after a one-week free trial. Stream 90+ channels including ESPN, MTV, BET, A&E, Food Network, Discovery, Hallmark, ID, Nickelodeon, OWN, AMC, IFC, Lifetime, CNN, Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS, WeTV, HGTV, Comedy Central, Hallmark, TLC, TV One, OWN and the Paramount Network. Philo also includes DVR and like all other streamers, you can watch content from any compatible device.

When it comes to sports, it can be tricky finding an affordable streamer that offers your favorite games and other sporting events along with other channels. Thankfully, streamers like DirecTV, Fubo and Sling TV offer a bit of everything.

Directv Stream

Directv Stream logo seen displayed on a smartphone screen.

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Looking to put some money back in your pocket? Save $30 over three months when you subscribe to DirecTV Stream and include the Sports Package ($14.99).

Stream live channels and DVR recordings and add Max, Starz and more when you subscribe to some of the larger streaming packages. And if you want to stream from outside of the U.S., you can access streaming platforms internationally with VPNs such as ExpressVPN and NordVPN.

In terms of affordability, Sling TV rivals Philo as streaming plans start at $20 for your first month ($40 after).

Sling TV Deals 2024

Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Sling’s Orange and Blue plans include dozens of channels like ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, QVC, Disney, Freeform, FS1, NBA TV, E!, Syfy, Tru, HLN and networks such as ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox in select regions. Plus, DVR storage and streaming on multiple devices.

Sports fans can stream NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL games along with NASCAR, MMA, tennis, soccer, boxing, golf, college sports and more on Fubo. Plans start at $79.99 per month (after the free trial) to access over 196 channels and 100+ sporting events. ABC, NBC, Fox and CBS, along with MLB Network, Golf TV, NBA League Pass and other sports-only channels in addition to MTV, ESPN, VH1, E!, FX, MSNBC, TLC, MGM+, Paramount Network, TV Land, TRVL channel, USA, Bravo, Telemundo and a bunch of other channels are available on Fubo.

The subscription includes 1,000 hours of DVR space and family share to simultaneously stream on up to 10 screens at home and two outside of your home internet network.

Need more channels? Subscribe to Fubo Elite and stream 267 channels for $89.99/month, or join Fubo Premier to access 276 channels for $99.99/month and free Paramount+ with Showtime. For Spanish speakers, Fubo Latino is $32.99/month to stream 66 channels, 250 hours of cloud DVR and streaming on up to two screens.

hulu black friday deal

Hulu

Hulu is one of the oldest platforms in the streaming age, and one of the more affordable. Plans start at $7.99 per month after a 30-day free trial, but if you’re interested in live channels, join Hulu + Live TV and stream for free for three day.

Streaming plans start at $76.99 a month after the free trial ends, and you’ll get to stream 95+ channels, including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, ESPN, MTV, BET, ID Network, HGTV, Own, USA, TRVL channel, Oxygen, FX, Freeform and more; along with access to Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu’s on-demand streaming library where you’ll find exclusives like Shogun, The Bear, We Are the Lucky Ones, Only Murders in the Building, Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story, Death & Other Details, The Impossible Heir, The Kardashians, and The Handmaid’s Tale.

What is the best way to save on your streaming bill? Most of the on-demand streamers like Hulu, Apple TV+, Disney+ and Paramount+ offer bundles, annual plans, student discounts, and cash back and free options through credit card companies, internet companies and other third parties, but streaming deals for live television can be a little harder to find, although not impossible. Typically, live TV streamers offer discounts on monthly streaming packages a few times a year (at the very least), including the NFL football season, which doesn’t launch until Sept. 5.

You can also find streaming deals during the NBA Playoffs, NHL Playoffs, MLB season and over the holidays. In fact, Black Friday is one of the best times of the year to score the deepest discounts on top streamers. But if you can’t wait that long, keep reading for affordable ways to save on your bill.

Streamers That Offer Live Channels

One of the perks of Peacock is that you’ll get a good mixture of live and on-demand content for $5.99/ month for ad-supported streaming, but Peacock Premium subscribers can enjoy live access to NBC and commercial-free streaming for $11.99/month.

Peacock gives you next-day access to current NBC programs; Premier League, WWE, Sunday Night Football, Indy 500 and other sporting events; plus movies, beloved TV shows (including Yellowstone) and original series such as The Traitors, Apples Never Fall, To The Edge, Poker Face, Wolf Like Me, Twisted Metal, Killing It, Bel-Air, Bupkis, and episode of Bravo shows such as the Real Housewives franchise, Vandperpump Rules and Below Deck.

Amazon Prime video

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Prime Video has its own collection of exclusive series and movies such as Fallout, Them, Invincible, Road House, Reacher, Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Ricky Stanicky. There’s also live channels, depending on your streaming plan.

To widen the streaming net, add Paramount+, BET+, Max, Starz and other Prime channels and stream must-watch shows, movies and sporting events, from one platform.

Prime also slashed the price on a few of its bundles, Max and Cinemax for $20.99/month ($5 off) and Starz bundles starting at $11.99 per month.

Sports fans can stream select NBA playoffs games on Prime Video, alongside trending TV series such as Knuckles, Diarra in Detroit, BMF, The Beekeeper, The Jinx, Quiet on Set, Yellowjackets, RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, The Chi, Halo and movies such as Bob Marley: One Love and Mean Girls.

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