X

Comparing Streaming Live TV Channels In 2021 – Updated August 2021

streaming service hub 2019 100816186 large 3x2
Advertisement
Advertisement

There’s quite a few streaming Live TV services out there, and each one has a different channel lineup. This can make finding the right service for you a lot more difficult. So in this post, we will be putting the most popular streaming Live TV services side-by-side to make that decision easier.

Showing you which ones have local channels (and which local channels), as well as premium channels, and which of the top 100 cable channels they all have. Of course, we won’t be able to show all of the channels here, as some have channels that are not popular – Like Cheddar on YouTube TV. So we’re limiting it to just the top 100 channels.

In this post, we are comparing DIRECTV Stream, Fubo TV, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV.

Advertisement

Update: On August 26, 2021, AT&T completed the rebranding of AT&T TV (NOW) to DIRECTV Stream. This post has been updated to reflect that change.

Local Channels

For some, the local channels are the most important part of a channel lineup. As these are the ones that they should all have, and also bring you the local news.

What we’ve found is that most of them offer all the local channels, except for Sling TV. Which only offers NBC and FOX in select markets on the Sling Blue plan.

Advertisement
DIRECTV Stream
Sign Up
$59
Fubo TV
Free Trial
$65
Hulu + Live TV
Free Trial
$65
Sling TV
Free Trial
$35
YouTube TV
Free Trial
$65
ABCX
CBSX
FOXBlue Only
NBCBlue Only
TelemundoX
The CWX
UnivisionXXX

Of course, these channels will depend on where you are located, as not all of the affiliates are owned by the company. For example, Sinclair owns quite a few local channels, instead of CBS or FOX owning them. Speaking of Sinclair, let’s talk about the local sports channels. It’s really fuzzy, but for the most part, almost no streaming service has the FOX Regional Sports Networks. Check out the table below for more.

Regional Sports Networks

Much like local channels, these regional sports networks will only be available in the area that they serve. So AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh is only available in the Pittsburgh area, unfortunately. Meaning if you are a Pittsburgh fan, you won’t be able to get all of their games in Boston, or another city.

For the most part, the Fox regional sports networks are only available on DIRECTV Stream. This is due to the fact that Sinclair bought them from Disney (when it bought Fox), and has started being very greedy about how much they charge for licensing. Causing YouTube TV, Fubo TV and Hulu + Live TV to drop their channels. And we’d expect to see that happen soon with DIRECTV Stream as well.

Advertisement

display 750xx1280 720 0 0

DIRECTV Stream
Sign Up
$69
Fubo TV
Free Trial
$65
Hulu + Live TV
Free Trial
$65
Sling TV
Free Trial
$35
YouTube TV
Free Trial
$65
Altitude$85XXXX
AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh$85XXX
AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain$85XXXX
AT&T SportsNet Southwest$85XXX
Bally Sports Arizona$85XXXX
Bally Sports Carolinas$85XXXX
Bally Sports Detroit$85XXXX
Bally Sports Florida$85XXXX
Bally Sports Indiana$85XXXX
Bally Sports Kansas City$85XXXX
Bally Sports Midwest$85XXXX
Bally Sports New Orleans$85XXXX
Bally Sports North$85XXXX
Bally Sports Ohio$85XXXX
Bally Sports Oklahoma$85XXXX
Bally Sports Prime Ticket$85XXXX
Bally Sports San Diego$85XXXX
Bally Sports South$85XXXX
Bally Sports Southeast$85XXXX
Bally Sports Southwest$85XXXX
Bally Sports Sun$85XXXX
Bally Sports Tennessee$85XXXX
Bally Sports West$85XXXX
Bally Sports Wisconsin$85XXXX
LA FC Sports NetworkXXXX
Longhorn NetworkXXXXX
Marquee Sports Network$85XXXX
MASN$85XXXX
MASN2$85XXXX
MSG$85XXX
MSG+$85XXX
NBC Sports Bay Area$85
NBC Sports Boston$85X
NBC Sports California$85
NBC Sports Chicago$85X
NBC Sports NorthwestXX
NBC Sports PhiladelphiaXX
NBC Sports Philadelphia+XX
NBC Sports Washington$85
NBC Sports Washington+XXX
NESN$85XXX
Root Sports Northwest$85XXXX
Spectrum SportsNet$85XXXX
Spectrum SportsNet LA$85XXXX
SportsNet NY$85X
SportsTime Ohio$85XXXX
YES Network$85XXXX

Sports channels

Most streaming live TV services do offer the usual sports channels that you’d expect. Like the ESPN suite of channels, in addition to FS1 and FS2. Fubo TV of course offers a lot of other channels that you won’t find elsewhere. Here’s how they stack up.

Currently, only YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV have all of these channels. DIRECTV Stream has most, but you will need to upgrade your plan for FS2. Fubo TV has most of these, except for the WarnerMedia channels. That will be changing in the near future, and FuboTV also has a lot of other smaller sports channels available too.

Advertisement
DIRECTV Stream
Sign Up
$69
Fubo TV
Free Trial
$65
Hulu + Live TV
Free Trial
$65
Sling TV
Free Trial
$35
YouTube TV
Free Trial
$65
ESPNOrange Only
ESPN2Orange Only
FS1Blue Only
FS2$94.99+$11
NBCSNBlue Only
TBSX
TNTX

College sports

In addition to those national sports channels, there are a lot of college sports networks out there too. And this list is a bit tougher, with YouTube and Hulu offering the majority of these channels.

DIRECTV Stream
Sign Up
$69
Fubo TV
Free Trial
$65
Hulu + Live TV
Free Trial
$65
Sling TV
Free Trial
$35
YouTube TV
Free Trial
$65
ACC Network$84.99+$11
ACC Network ExtraXX+$11
Big Ten Network $84.99+$11
CBS Sports Network $84.99X
ESPNU $84.99+$8+$11
Fox College SportsX+$11XX+$11
Longhorn NetworkXXX+$11X
Pac-12 NetworkX+$11X+$11X
SEC Network $84.99+$11

Premium channels

Premium channels include Cinemax, EPIX, HBO/HBO MAX, Showtime and Starz. These are channels that you almost always have to pay extra for, and that’s the case here. None of these are available included in the base-packages from any of these streaming TV services. Here’s how they stack up.

Keep in mind that AT&T does own HBO MAX and does provide it for free (for one year) if you subscribe to its Choice Plan or higher.

Advertisement
DIRECTV Stream
Sign Up
$69
Fubo TV
Free Trial
$65
Hulu + Live TV
Free Trial
$65
Sling TV
Free Trial
$35
YouTube TV
Free Trial
$65
Cinemax+$11X+$9XX
EPIX+$6+$6X+$6+$6
HBO+$15X+$15X+$15
Showtime+$11+$11+$11+$10+$11
Starz+$11+$9+$9+$9+$9

Top cable channels

Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for. This is the list with all of the top cable channels, and which streaming service has them. Most of these services do offer up at least 25-35 of the top Cable channels from Disney, Discovery, NBCU, WarnerMedia, ViacomCBS, Hallmark, A+E and AMC. The lineups are fairly similar but can differ a bit.

DIRECTV Stream Now has around 23 of the top 35 cable channels. And you’ll need to upgrade to the “Choice” plan for $84.99 per month to get the regional sports networks.

FuboTV has around 30 top cable channels, and they recently added the Disney family of channels, which was the only real missing piece in its lineup.

Advertisement

Meanwhile Hulu + Live TV offers around 26 of the top cable channels. And the ViacomCBS channels are on their way to the service, which will bump that number up to 32.

youtube tv channel list

Finally, we have YouTube TV which has around 31 of the top cable channels. Really the only ones that are missing here are the A+E channels like A&E, History, Lifetime and Hallmark.

Advertisement

Without further ado, here’s the full list of the top cable channels.

 

DIRECTV Stream
Sign Up
$69
Fubo TV
Free Trial
$65
Hulu + Live TV
Free Trial
$65
Sling TV
Free Trial
$35
YouTube TV
Free Trial
$65
A&EX
AMCX
BETX
BravoBlue only
Cartoon NetworkX
CNNX
Comedy CentralX
DiscoveryBlue only
Disney ChannelOrange only
Disney Junior+$6
E!Blue only
ESPNOrange only
Food Network
Fox NewsBlue only
FreeformOrange only
FXBlue only
FXX+$6X
Hallmark ChannelX+$6
HGTV
HistoryX
Investigation Discovery
LifetimeX
MSNBCBlue only
MTVX+$6
NickelodeonXX
Paramount NetworkX$6
SyfyBlue only
TBSX
TLCBlue only
TNTX
Travel Channel$84.99
truTVXBlue or +$6
USA NetworkBlue only
VH1X+$6
WE tvX+$6

Wrap Up

As you can see, the channel lineups are pretty much the same across the board here on DIRECTV Stream, FuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV. There are a few channels that are different, which makes it even tougher to decide which one to get.

For sports lovers, FuboTV is definitely the best bet. As it does have a ton of sports channels available, as well as many in 4K. Giving you a really incredible looking picture here. Unfortunately, regional sports channels are still very hit or miss, especially when it comes to the Fox Regional Sports Networks. And that comes down to Sinclair being unfair with negotiations, forcing most streaming services to drop their channels. Currently, only DIRECTV Stream has the Fox Regional Sports Networks, and we’d expect that to change once their contract comes up for renewal.

One thing we do need to mention about DIRECTV Stream though, is the fact that it is not allowing new customers to sign up right now. You’d need to sign up contract free, which will cost you a bit more per month. Hopefully this is not a sign of AT&T getting ready to ditch this service (too).