A young woman is sitting in her kitchen and is loking at her receipts at home while using a smart phone

Which Live TV Streaming Service is The Best Deal? We Take a Look…


A young woman is sitting in her kitchen and is loking at her receipts at home while using a smart phoneWe often get asked, “what is the best bang for the buck when it comes to live TV?” That is a hard one to answer because it really comes down to what channels you want and what device you own. However, many of our readers still want to know who gives you the most content for your dollar.

I do want to stop here and say each service has different channels in different packages. Shop around to find the one that has the channels in the package you want. If you want a full look at what channels each service has; DVR, the number of streams, etc click HERE.

For those who really want to know what services give you the most- I am going to do my best to answer that question. I looked at both channels per dollar and who has the most on-demand content.

Channels Per Dollar

PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue starts at $39.99 a month for all new PlayStation Vue subscribers. Its core service offers 44 channels plus locals depending on where you live.

Just looking at the cost per channel in the core package of 44 channels it works out to $0.91 per channel.

Bottom Line: $0.91 per channel

DIRECTV NOW

For the deals currently offered by DIRECTV NOW, you can get 60 core channels plus locals in some areas for $35 a month. That works out to be about $0.58 per channel.

If you also want HBO, DIRECTV NOW is the least expensive way to add HBO to a live TV service. With DIRECTV NOW, you can get HBO for just $5 a month with access to HBO GO.

Bottom line: $0.58 per channel

Sling TV

With Sling TV you get access to 30 core channels plus locals in some areas starting at just $20 a month. That works out to be about $0.66 per channel.

Sling TV has one catch; they offer a special deal that will give you 80 channels for just $35 a month. With the special Sling Orange, plus the following add-ons: Kids Extra, Sports Extra, News Extra, Comedy Plus Extra, and Lifestyle Plus Extra, you will get 80 channels for just $35 a month. Cost per channel with this bundle is about $0.43 per channel.

Bottom line: $0.43 per channel

Hulu Live TV Beta

For $39.99 a month, Hulu will give you 50+ channels of live TV. That works out to be about $0.80 per channel.

Bottom line: $0.80 per channel

YouTube TV

YouTube TV offers 46 channels for $35 a month plus access to YouTube Red Originals. That works out to be about $0.76 per channel.

Bottom line: $0.76 per channel

Fubo TV

Fubo TV has a huge sports lineup of both US and world sports channels. For $34.99 a month you can get 62 channels. That works out to be about $0.55 per channel.

Bottom line: $0.55 per channel

Sports awardsThe winner in cost per channel: SLING TV & fuboTV

If you take the $35 bundle of add-ons plus the orange package, Sling TV is the least expensive at $0.43. Straight up just looking at the base package, fuboTV is the winner at $0.55 per channel, beating out DIRECTV NOW.

Recently, fuboTV added more channels from Scripts that include HGTV, Food Network, and the Travel Channel to name a few. They also announced that other networks like CBS Sports would be coming to their service sometime in July. That will push their price even lower.

Update: A reader reminded us that AT&T Wireless Unlimited customers can get $25 off their DIRECTV NOW bill every month. That would lower the price per channel of DIRECTV NOW to $0.35 per channel. Making DIRECTV NOW the cheapest option for AT&T Wireless Unlimited subscribers.

Video On Demand

Now this one is harder because there are no firm numbers on how many shows and movies each offers, but we do have a good idea who has the most.

Winner: Hulu

Hulu’s live TV beta also includes access to the Hulu video on-demand service. This gives Hulu a huge lead in video on-demand content. Recently, Hulu has been doubling down on the on-demand library by adding more content to popular shows like Family Guy, Bob’s Burgers, and American Dad.

Runner Up: Sling TV

Sling TV may not have as much on-demand content as Hulu, but they have been doing a lot to add more to their library. Recently, they added hundreds of free movies and even more TV shows.

Hopefully, this helps you find the streaming service that offers what you want and at the price you want.

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  • Reggie Suplido

    If you have AT&T unlimited plus, then you get $25 off on all DIRECTV NOW packages with free HBO, so for the 100 channels, that’s only about $0.35, with free HBO.

  • tbird2252

    Like cable, each vendor only has about seven channels I would watch. 40 channels, 60 channels does not mean much if one does not utilize the service. Whichever service one uses, the primary advantage for the consumer is ability to have control. Also, not having to deal with service contracts is a huge advantage. Hope that does not change…

    • Sunny Rain

      Looking at total number of channels is very naive considering that the Sling extra packages are filled with garbage channels that no one watches. I would pay $20 for 5 good channels I watch than pay $10 for 100 channels I don’t watch

    • Vegas Steve

      While that’s a very good point, if people keep asking ‘what is the best deal’, then cost per channel is the objective way to do it. As he mentioned people really need to take the time to read the charts of who offers what, and pick one based on that plus any other features they might want.

  • Skip Rose

    but but playstation vue….lol

    • Robert Anthony Hartzell

      Yeah, that $2+ per local channel didn’t really help things, and that figure goes up even more if you’re not getting them all. If you can’t get an antenna to work because of where you live, isn’t the odds greater that you won’t also have access to good internet to stream Vue? The locals should have been optional.

  • Sunny Rain

    PlayStation Vue is way ahead over Sling when it comes to On Demand. Even YouTube TV is way ahead of Sling. I’m not sure how that conclusion was reached here. Sling likes to make buzz about every addition but if you want to give good info, please look at the actual content, not press releases.

    • Sunny do you have any numbers to back that up? With the addition of the Tribeca movie deal it gave Sling hundreds of movies that PS Vue and others do not offer. http://cordcuttersnews.com/sling-tv-just-added-hundreds-movies-demand-service/

      From everything we have seen Sling TV has far more on demand content because of that deal. Yet if you have some numbers or other details to share we would be happy to look at it.

      • Sunny Rain

        The Tribeca deal added only about 200 hours of movies. That’s less than 150 movies.

        PS Vue has all broadcast shows and most cable shows on demand. The least have at least 5 most recent episodes while majority have dozens or even full seasons. Some networks like Disney owned ones have entire shows on demand with PS Vue. There are over 30,000 episodes & movies on PS Vue On Demand. Sling and DirecTV Now have very few shows on demand and their episodes are inconsistent at best. If you want to look it up, think of any show, then compare it’s availability across all the services.

        • I can not find anything to back up your 30,000 episodes and movies as part of PS Vue. Do you have a source? I also think you are hugely understating the number of movies on Sling TV from the numbers we have seen.

  • John Burgess

    PS VUE wins with apps and DVR (for some). For the price, sling and Fubo are my main options (after the price increase on PS vue). If either one had Animal Planet (in thier packages), I would already be there…with what they offer.

    DTVN kills with having to have the $70 package to get chiller…lol.

  • Andrew Webber

    I’ve had them all with the exception of Youtube TV (not available in my area). A couple of years ago, I would have said PS Vue hands down. This was back when they had viacom and were actually cheaper, but they have been in a steady decline since then. For myself, I keep going back to Sling. Sling I think has the best options mainly because you can build your own. For my parents they just like to keep it at the orange package and it works for them. I myself I have the blue with the 4-deal extras. I have several friends who have different combos with Sling.There are some negative things about Sling, but overall I find it to be the best.

    DTVN was really good and I almost chose it over Sling after a month trial, but chose to stick with Sling because the On Demand content for DTVN was not quite there. However, I would be willing to check it out if they get more content.

    • Mike Thaler

      Andrew –
      Nobody has mentioned “user friendliness” as a factor. Since you seem to have used several of the services – could you comment on them? All I know is that Vue can make use of Roku and Hulu can’t (yet).

      • Andrew Webber

        Just my opinion, but they’re all pretty user friendly. In terms of Roku (which I predominately use myself) I would say PSVUE is the least user friendly only because if you’re use to cable or satellite it’s the least similar to them. DTVN and Sling have the traditional guide etc. PSVue for Roku is pretty limited, however, it’s very responsive and I had very little problems when I had it. One plus that PSVUE does have over the other two is the ability to login to the channel apps. Sling is the worst when it comes to that. However, like I said I’m a huge fan of Sling and that is what i’ve chosen. DTVN would be a close 2nd.

  • Robert Anthony Hartzell

    Sling really is a bargain, as long as you’re willing to go single stream, or sacrifice Disney/ESPN and go multi stream. Just stay clear of the orange + blue + dvr. That’s when Sling jumps up to Vue’s prices. As you pointed out, their on demand is impressive too. However, if you like premiums (HBO/Cinemax) or have access to AT&T discounts, Directv Now will save you way more in the end.

  • Supertx

    This is a good cost per channel breakdown, but there are a lot of other factors. We still like the channels on our PS Vue at the Core level, some of which you’d have to get DTV at the highest level to get. The five stream option, DVR and compatibility with all ROKU devices are great, too. We use the DVR all the time. And we found that our brand new TCL tv is not compatible with DTV.

    • I fully agree there is a lot more to it than cost. Yet a lot of people really want to know the cost break down.

  • cordfree

    Slghtly off subject. But with regard to the ps vue price increase. Do not let it expire for even a min. I keep my card protected, so didnt process when they ran it this morning. Right away I put funds in the ps wallet. But it doesnt re process. They tell me the only way is for me to sign up again, and they cant overide the price. Not a good way to keep a customer

  • Kevin Bragdon

    I have Sling Orange with the Hollywood Extra add-on. $25.00 + tax =$27.00
    BTW Luke, it’s official, ROOT SPORTS is now ATT SPORTSNET.

    • Respected Citizen
      • Kevin Bragdon

        Oh. Down here in Houston, it just changed this week. I don’t get Root Sports, but I signed up for MLB at bat last week for $20.00 for the rest of the season and I can watch reairs of games 90 minutes after conclusion. This past week when I watch my Astros, it’s no longer ROOT SPORTS SW, but ATT SPORTSNET.

  • Harry Flores

    You failed to mention how many available streams are available for each service. PS Vue blows them all the way with 5 available streams at the same time!! Hulu TV is in second but they charge you for more streams. The others either have one or at best 2 simultaneous streams and that doesn’t cut it for a family of 4. Unless you are catering to the college and singles crowd

  • vikings football

    both sling and fubo may have the best cost per channel deal, but they both dont have the majority of the channels i enjoy watching…like the discovery channels and some others…making it a no-go for me…directv now 100 channels for 35.00/mo plus free hbo for a year is the better deal for me…includes all the channels i frequently watch.

  • Adam Duff

    I just checked the sling deal on this article and I only get 47 channels. Unless I did something wrong u don’t get 80 channels. I selected the $20 package and added every add on as you wrote.