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Sling TV Competitors: What Other Live Streaming Services Are Available?

By September 22, 2018 No Comments

Sling TV competitors

The online streaming industry is exploding at an impressive rate – each day, tens of thousands of people join the ranks of those who have quit cable to seek out better, cheaper alternatives. While services like Netflix remain dominant, newer platforms like Sling TV were introduced a few years ago as the first real way to watch live TV without cable. Today, Sling TV is quite popular, and there are a growing number of Sling TV competitors moving in to the rapidly expanding industry.

Today, we’re going to take a detailed look at the Sling TV alternatives to give you a better picture of what’s out there. Maybe you’ve tried Sling TV and weren’t impressed. Maybe you’re just shopping around to get the best deal. Whatever your reason may be, let’s take a look at the Sling TV competition to give you all the options!

 

First Things First

First off, if you’ve stumbled across this article and are looking for more information on Sling TV itself, you should check out our full review of Sling TV.

If you’re an existing Sling TV customer looking for an alternative, take a look at our guide on how to cancel Sling TV.

Also, keep in mind that this guide will only be looking at live streaming services which allow you to watch live TV without cable. You won’t find info about Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, etc. in this comparison, because we’re focusing specifically on the live streaming services.

 

Sling TV Competitors: At a Glance

As you likely know, Sling TV is a live streaming service that offers anywhere from 25 to 100+ channels, depending on the package you choose. Several similar services exist, which we’ll go over briefly below, and then in more detail further down the page. Here’s the at-a-glance view of other services like Sling TV:

Hulu with Live TV

Philo

  • 40+ channels included
  • Starts at $16 per month
  • Works on most streaming players
  • DVR included; recordings older than 30 days are deleted
  • No sports channels, but very affordable for general TV
  • Free 7-day trial available

DIRECTV NOW

  • 65+ channels in basic package, up to 120+ channels available
  • Starts at $40 per month
  • Works on most streaming devices
  • DVR with 20 hours of storage included free
  • Best for people who want a lot of channel selection
  • Free 7-day trial available

fuboTV

  • 75+ channels in basic package, a few add-ons available
  • Starts at $45 per month
  • Works on most streaming devices
  • Offers a DVR with 30 hours storage included
  • Best for sports fans (most channels are sports related)
  • Free 7-day trial available

PlayStation Vue

  • 45+ channels in basic package, up to 90+ channels available
  • Starts at $45 per month
  • Works on most streaming devices
  • Offers a DVR with storage for up to 28 days
  • Best for folks familiar with the Sony/PlayStation world
  • Free 5-day trial available

YouTube TV 

  • 50+ channels in basic package, some add-on channels available
  • Starts at $40 per month
  • Works on most devices
  • Offers a DVR with unlimited storage
  • Free 7-day trial available for those who qualify

 

Sling TV Competition: In Depth

Now that you’ve taken a look at the overview of these different options, we’ll dive into the nitty gritty of each of these services, covering channel selection, price, value, and other pros and cons. We’ll also include links to further reviews of these alternatives to Sling TV for more information.

 

Hulu with Live TV

Hulu

Hulu with Live TV is a newcomer to the industry, but it’s quickly become a main competitor to Sling TV and other alternatives. It costs $40 per month, with no contract, and includes over 50 channels to watch live.

The service works on all your favorite devices, and provides live TV from most of the biggest TV channels. Local channels like FOX, NBC, CBS and others are included in most areas, as nationwide subscribers can get ESPN, FX, A&E, HGTV and much more.

Another huge perk of this service is that it comes with the legendary Hulu on-demand library. This is a huge library to rival Netflix, filled with on-demand TV shows, movies, exclusive Hulu Originals, and more. Usually this is a separate service, but it’s included free of charge for Hulu Live subscribers.

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

 

Philo

philo tv

Philo is another newer service, but it’s quickly gaining steam due to it’s ultra-low price. It currently costs just $16 per month, while most Sling TV competitors are $40+ per month. Even Sling TV is at least $25/mo – so how does Philo offer their services so cheap?

Basically, the service skips sports entirely. Sports networks are the most expensive for streaming platforms to offer, so by eliminating them entirely, Philo is able to offer rock-bottom pricing. So while Philo is certainly not a good choice for sports fans, it’s a great option for folks looking mostly for entertainment channels.

The Philo channel list is quite impressive, particularly given the price. Highlights include AMC, Comedy Central, Food Network, MTV, HGTV and much more! In total there are 40+ channels on Philo. For $16/mo, that’s quite a bargain!

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

 

DIRECTV NOW

DIRECTV NOW is a top Sling TV competitor, and one of the most attractive cable alternatives in general. The service works over the internet, bringing you at least 65+ channels in the basic package alone. Plans start from $40 per month. The service is non-contract, so there’s no commitment, and it’s easy to cancel DIRECTV NOW, if need be.

DIRECTV NOW has several key advantages. First, the channel selection is excellent. Up to 125+ channels in total are available, and even the basic package offers over 65 channels. Now, numbers aren’t everything – the quality of those channels is obviously important, too! Well, the DIRECTV NOW channels list really shines. Key channels that are included are ESPN, TNT, TBS, FOX News, CNN, AMC, HGTV, Comedy Central, and much more. And that’s just in the basic, $40/month package. Most areas also get NBC, FOX, CBS and even regional sports networks in your area!

There’s even a free 7-day trial of this service to test things out. Another huge plus for DIRECTV NOW is that it will be an easy switch from cable, if you’re a recent cord-cutter. It uses a grid-like pattern that will be very familiar for former cable users, and everything is straightforward and easy to use. Plus, you’ll be saving a ton over cable! You can see our DIRECTV NOW review for the breakdown of all the different packages, and further general information. We also answer the common question – how does DIRECTV NOW work – in a detailed guide.

Lastly, you can add premium channels like HBO, Cinemax and Starz for as little as $5 per month. This is actually the cheapest way to get the HBO live stream, as it’s usually $15 on its own (Sling TV offers HBO, but at the standard $15 a month). DIRECTV NOW works on most of your favorite devices – use it on your TV via a streaming player, like Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, etc. or use it on your computer. You can even watch on your mobile devices, even if you’re not at home! Click here to try a FREE 7-day trial of DIRECTV NOW!

 

PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue is another one of the viable Sling TV alternatives that you may want to consider. As the name suggests, the service was originally meant for PlayStation users, but has now expanded to be compatible with most streaming devices and mobile devices. Plans start from $45 per month, with no contract (so it’s easy to cancel PlayStation Vue, if you so choose).

PlayStation Vue offers 45+ channels in their basic package, with up to 90+ channels available. Key channels included in the basic package are ESPN, AMC, TNT, CNN, FS1, Food Network, and much more. Local channels like NBC, FOX and CBS are available in some areas, as are regional sports networks. See the PlayStation Vue channels list for details.

PlayStation Vue also has a number of add-on channels, including premium channels like HBO ($15 a month), Showtime ($10.99 a month), Cinemax ($15 a month), and more. They offer other premium channels and add-ons, as well. PlayStation Vue works on most devices, including PlayStation consoles, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, and most mobile devices. See our PlayStation Vue review for details.

Click here to try a FREE 5-day trial of PlayStation Vue!

 

fuboTV (Sports-Focused)

Are you a sports fan? If so, you may be interested in fuboTV more than the other Sling TV competitors. This is because fuboTV is what we call a sports-first streaming service – meaning, it’s focus is mostly on sports content, although general TV channels are also included.

fuboTV’s plans start at $45 per month, and no contract is required. Out of all the alternatives to Sling TV, fubo is perhaps the best for sports fans. fubo’s $45/month plan offers up 75+ channels, like NBCSN, FS1, FS2, NBA TV, Bein Sports, FOX Soccer Plus, and a whole lot more. They even offer regional FOX Sports and Comcast SportsNet (CSN) regional sports networks in  most areas! You can also add on channels to further expand your channels.

fuboTV certainly makes our list of the Sling TV competitors, because it offers an easy way to stream live TV without cable. With that said, it’s definitely aimed at sports fans – so if you’re looking for more of a general streaming service, one of the other alternatives to Sling TV might serve you better. It also lacks ESPN, which, for a sports service, is a significant downside. You can check out our fuboTV review to learn more.

Click here to try a FREE 7-day trial of fuboTV!

 

YouTube TV

YouTube TV Review YouTube TV is one of the newer Sling TV competitors. The service aims to take YouTube to a whole new level, offering live TV channels instead of homemade videos. To confirm, this is NOT a new way to watch YouTube videos – it’s a full-blown alternative to cable (and therefore, viable Sling TV competition).

YouTube TV offers 50+ channels for $40 per month, with no contract. Key channels include ESPN, FS1, USA, FX, FXX, and more. Regional sports networks are also available, as are local channels like CBS, ABC, FOX and NBC. Local channels are available in most areas where YouTube TV is available.

YouTube TV is a very new service, so there are bound to be some kinks to work out. With that said, it’s a good service overall, and it’s one of the several Sling TV competitors that we recommend. Learn more in our YouTube TV review.

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

 

Sling TV Alternatives: Bottom Line

There’s some stiff competition in the online streaming industry, and things will just continue to heat up as new services are released. Other services like Sling TV seem to be popping up left and right. The streaming service is actually growing faster than cable, and the trend will continue!

For now, the two biggest Sling TV competitors are definitely Hulu with Live TV and DIRECTV NOW. These services offer the most value for cord-cutters looking for general TV, including live sports, news, TV shows, movies and more. For sports fans, fuboTV offers another viable option. YouTube TV has promise, as well.

When it comes down to it, the choice is up to you to pick the service that works best for your needs and budget. Here’s the good news: ALL of these services offer free trials. So, you could feasibly sign up for all of them, if you want, and pick your favorite to keep – and just cancel the rest! Follow the links below to start a free trial:

If you are feeling adventurous, you could test out multiple services and see which one you like best. Remember that ALL of the Sling TV competitors mentioned here don’t require a contract, so you pay month to month and can cancel at any time.

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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