DIRECTV NOW Competitors: What Other Live Streaming Services Are Available?

By September 24, 2018 2 Comments

DIRECTV NOW competitors

It’s 2018, and these days, if you want to get rid of cable, you have several options. One of the most popular cable alternatives is a service called DIRECTV NOW, which offers 65+ channels for $40 a month. There are also a number of DIRECTV NOW competitors, which we’ll cover in this detailed guide.

There are many reasons why you’d want to consider the DIRECTV NOW alternatives that are available to you. Perhaps you have recently cancelled cable, and are interested in reviewing all possible options. Maybe you’ve tried DIRECTV NOW and were not impressed. Regardless of your reasoning, let’s take a look at the DIRECTV NOW competition to find out what service fits your needs best.


First Things First

If you’ve stumbled upon this guide, but you’re looking to learn more about DIRECTV NOW itself, we recommend checking out our detailed DIRECTV NOW review and the DIRECTV NOW channels list. If you are a DIRECTV NOW subscriber already, but are looking into alternatives, we explain how to cancel DIRECTV NOW, as well. Additionally, do keep in mind that this guide will look strictly at live streaming services that are similar to DIRECTV NOW. We won’t be exploring Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. as those are on-demand services. With all that said, let’s take a look at the DIRECTV NOW competition!


DIRECTV NOW Competitors: At a Glance

DIRECTV NOW is a live streaming service that gives you 65-125+ channels to watch live on your favorite devices. Today, we’re going to go over the DIRECTV NOW alternatives. In this section we will touch briefly on each service, then move on to more in-depth reviews further down the page.

Hulu with Live TV


  • 40+ channels included
  • $16 per month
  • Compatible with most streaming devices
  • DVR included
  • A very budget-friendly option, but has no sports channels
  • Free 7-day trial available

Sling TV

  • 23+ channels in basic package, over 100+ available in total
  • Plans from $25 per month
  • Compatible with most streaming devices
  • DVR included for extra $5 a month
  • Best for budget-minded folks
  • Free 7-day trial available

PlayStation Vue

  • 45+ channels in basic package, over 90+ available
  • Plans from $45 per month
  • Compatible with most streaming devices
  • DVR included
  • Best for large families (you can stream on up to 5 devices simultaneously)
  • Free 5-day trial available


  • 75+ channels in basic package, a few additional add-ons available
  • Plans from $45 per month
  • Compatible with most streaming devices
  • DVR included
  • Best for sports fans
  • Free 7-day trial available

YouTube TV 

  • 50+ channels in basic package, a few additional add-ons available
  • Plans from $40 per month
  • Compatible with most streaming devices
  • DVR included
  • Free 7-day trial available


DIRECTV NOW Competition: In Depth

After taking a quick look at the overview of the DIRECTV NOW competitors, it’s time to dive in and cover all the details of the top contenders. We also have even more detailed information in our full reviews of each service, which will be linked to in each respective section.


Hulu with Live TV


Hulu with Live TV is an awesome new streaming service that’s giving the streaming industry a run for it’s money. At $40 per month, Hulu with Live TV costs about the same as most DIRECTV NOW competitors – but it offers a lot for that price. Over 50 channels are included, putting it in-line with most similar services in terms of channel selection. But one area where Hulu really shines is in on-demand content. In addition to the live channels, subscribers also get access to a HUGE on-demand library of TV shows, movies, and exclusive Hulu Originals that aren’t available anywhere else.

Another key offering from Hulu Live is excellent coverage of local and regional channels. Hulu offers the best coverage – by far – of networks like NBC, FOX, CBS, and ABC, as well as regional sports channels from FOX Sports and NBC Sports. These networks are vital for local sports teams, news and more – and Hulu offers the best coverage currently.

Hulu with Live TV works on all your favorite devices, and is super easy to use. It’s available without a contract, so you can cancel it at any time.

Want to learn more? Read our Hulu review. Or, get started with a free 7-day trial!



philo tv

Philo is a budget-friendly DIRECTV NOW alternative that serves up 40+ channels for an incredibly low price: just $16 per month. Similar services may offer a few more channels, but for more than twice the price! How does Philo offer such low prices? Simple: they don’t cover any sports networks. Sports channels like ESPN are notoriously expensive to carry, so by dropping sports altogether, Philo is able to offer insanely low prices.

So, this service is clearly not ideal for sports fans – but for folks who don’t really care about sports, it’s pretty ideal! Networks like Comedy Central, HGTV, AMC, Food Network, MTV and many more are all included, so there’s plenty of entertainment to go around! See the full Philo channel list for details.

Click here to try a free 7-day trial of Philo!


Sling TV

Sling TV is a primary DIRECTV NOW competitor, and an excellent choice for those looking for an affordable cable TV alternative. Sling has plans starting from just $25 per month, which makes it a highly affordable option. The basic package includes 23+ channels, and up to 100+ channels are available in total. No contract is included, which makes it quite flexible. You can even start with a free 7-day trial!

Like DIRECTV NOW, Sling TV works over the internet, allowing you to watch live TV without cable. It works on most devices that are capable of streaming video – including streaming players like Roku, Apple TV, etc. as well as computers, mobile devices and more. There are often even deals to get discounted or even completely free streaming devices!

The Sling TV channels list is quite impressive, offering the majority of the most popular and most useful TV channels. The basic package, at $25 per month, offers ESPN, TNT, AMC, CNN, HGTV and much, much more. Packages go up from there, offering everything from live sports to hit TV shows to live news to… the list goes on!

Regional sports networks and local channels like NBC, FOX, etc. are available in some areas. Premium channels like HBO are also available for an additional fee. Of all the DIRECTV NOW competitors, Sling TV is one of the most affordable. That’s definitely a significant plus. And the $25/month base package still offers 23+ channels. Better yet, for additional channels, you can pay an extra $10 a month for 35+ MORE channels, bringing your total to 60+ channels for only $30 a month. Plus, remember that this service is non-contract, and it’s easy to cancel Sling TV, if you decide to. Most services like DIRECTV NOW are contract-free.

Overall, these factors make Sling TV one of the best DIRECTV NOW alternatives. To learn more, check out our guide that answers a common question – how does Sling TV work? We also have a detailed Sling TV review with further information. You can also get started for free by trying out a free 7-day trial of Sling TV!


PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue is another of the top DIRECTV NOW competitors. As the name suggests, the service is made by Sony and was originally meant for PlayStation users. But now, PS Vue works on most devices, from streaming players to PS3 and PS4 devices, and even mobile devices. Today, it serves as a viable DIRECTV NOW alternative.

Vue offers several plans, but the basic package is priced at $45 a month. 45+ channels are included in the base package, including highlights like ESPN, AMC, TBS, TNT, and much more. If you go with a larger package, you can enjoy upwards of 90+ channels. Premium channels like HBO, Showtime and Cinemax are also available for an extra fee. The full PlayStation Vue channels list has all the info you need!

PlayStation Vue is contract-free, and it’s easy to cancel PlayStation Vue, if desired. Take a look at our PlayStation Vue review to learn all the ins-and-outs of this alternative to DIRECTV NOW. There is also a free 5-day trial of PlayStation Vue available.


fuboTV (Primarily Sports-Focused)

Another key DIRECTV NOW competitor is fuboTV. This service is particularly attractive for sports fans, because the service has tailored its channel selection to fit the needs of sports lovers. Of the 75+ channels offered, over half are sports-focused. There are still general channels, though, so you can use the service to watch TV as well as sports.

Some key channels include NBC/FOX/CBS, NBC Sports and FOX Sports Regional networks, which are available in select areas, as well as NBCSN, FOX Soccer Plus, BeIN Sports, FS1, FS2, NBA TV, and more. There are a couple add-ons available, as well, but selection is somewhat limited. Unfortunately, fubo does not offer the ESPN family of networks, which is a notable downside.

See our fuboTV review for more general info, and the fuboTV channels list for the full channel coverage. We also explore the answer to the common question – how does fuboTV work? fuboTV works over the internet, and is compatible with most streaming devices. Plans start from $45 per month, with no contract required. It’s easy to cancel at any time, should you desire to. Click here to try a FREE 7-day trial of fuboTV!


YouTube TV

YouTube TV

YouTube TV is a newer alternative to DIRECTV NOW, but it’s growing quickly. The service is not yet available everywhere, but it’s in the bulk of major US markets. One big perk of this service is that it includes a cloud DVR feature with unlimited storage!

The newly-launched cable alternative offers 50+ channels for $40 per month, with no contract required. You’ll be able to enjoy networks like ESPN, FS1, USA, FX, FXX, and more. You can also get regional sports networks, local channels like NBC and FOX, and more. The service has excellent coverage of local channels like NBC, FOX and CBS, so if that’s what you’re after, it’s a great option. To learn more, check our YouTube TV review. There’s also a free 7-day trial available!


DIRECTV NOW Alternatives: Bottom Line

Competition in the online streaming industry is great news for people like us – the more businesses that compete for our dollars, the more they end up offering! Today, there are really several options to chose from, and depending on your individual needs and preferences, any option on this list could be a great choice. Also, keep in mind that new DIRECTV NOW competitors will come about as the industry continues to expand. We keep all our guides updated with the latest information, so this page will be expanded as the industry evolves.

The online streaming industry is actually responsible for changing the entire entertainment industry – and as a consumer, it’s an exciting time indeed! If you’re struggling to chose the “right” DIRECTV NOW alternative, here’s a word of advice: ALL of these services offer free trials. That means that it’s not necessary to spend too much time or energy agonizing over which one to chose – you could potentially try several, to see which works best for you. There’s no risk with a free trial! Follow the links below to test out the respective services:

Austin Meadows

Author Austin Meadows

Austin Meadows is a cord-cutting reporter living in the rainy but beautiful Pacific North West. Disclosure: Streaming Observer is supported by readers. Articles may contain referral links. For more information, see the disclosure at the bottom of the page.

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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Mike Agner says:

    You missed an awful lot of other aggregators that are out there now; CellOn (returning), Channel Pear, CSPire, Hulu Live (coming), Pluto TV, Nitro, SelectTV, Set TV, TeeVee, USTVNow, VidGo and Xumo. Give me a yell if you want links

    • Eric Anthony says:

      Mike, thanks for the comment and great list of services. I’ve used many of those aggregators and there’s a lot to like about them. However, aside from Hulu Live and Vidgo, both of which aren’t out yet, I wouldn’t consider them pure DIRECTV NOW competitors. This article was meant for the readers we get that are looking for more of a full cable replacement with channels like ESPN, AMC, and all that.

      On a related note, have you tried any of the TVs that have Xumo integrated into them? It’s a pretty cool experience!

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