What Streaming Services Can I Use To Replace Cable?


There are a lot of cable replacement streaming services out there claiming to deliver the best TV lineup for your money. What is best for you though is up to you. We provide a listing of all of the major streaming services that aim to build a cheaper and more flexible version of a traditional cable TV lineup. Editors note, these services appear in alphabetical order not in order of preference or endorcement.

DirecTV Stream

DirecTV Stream is a streaming option designed very much like the traditional satellite service DirecTV. Its packages range in price from $74.99-$154.99. The multi-tiered service offers the most channels of any streaming service including support for hard-to-find channels like regional sports channels. The service allows users to stream on unlimited devices within a home. It includes ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX & PBS, an unlimited DVR with the ability to record multiple things at once. Its top package “PREMIER” includes access to the entire lineup of HBO linear channels and access to “Max” along with Showtime, Starz, and Cinemax. Essentially what you are paying for with the extra money is all of the premium services. All of the packages are contract-free which is a departure from traditional cable.

Cost: $74.99-$154.99


FRNDLY, otherwise known as Friendly, is a low-cost streaming service that is built to deliver informational and general entertainment. The service does not offer sports channels or news channels, nor does it provide access to local over-the-air network affiliates such as ABC, NBC, FOX, or CBS. This is part of the reason it can charge such a low monthly rate. The lineup is built to deliver a number of channels that are found over the air with antennas, but of course with clear non-pixilated quality. Traditional Cable channels include The History Channel, multiple Hallmark channels, The Game Show Network, and Lifetime. The package is perfect for the folks who just love genre entertainment and live in places where lower-end OTA channels are hard to come by.

                                                                                                                   Cost: $6.99 per month


FUBO is a cable replacement service that offers more sports channels than anything on the market. It also has a robust on-demand system that breaks down all content into sub genres to make it easy to find the type of content a user is in the mood for. For sports fans Fubo allows users to search by sport and even different leagues and levels of competition. For instance, a user looking for basketball may see listings for NBA, College Basketball, European Leagues, The Big 3, etc. Things break down that way for multiple sports. Users who are major international Soccer fans can get a lot of action from across the globe. On the general TV front, Fubo offers local Network affiliates for ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS, ESPN and the vast majority of popular general entertainment options. What it does lack is programming from Turner networks such as TBS and TNT and CNN. The service does provide access to other major 24-hour news channels like MSNBC and FOX News among a large collection of choices. Other features include 1,000 hours of DVR space and the ability to allow 10 screens of streaming at home.

                                                                                                                    Cost $74.99-$99.00 per month


Hulu With Live TV

Hulu with Live TV may be a confusing name, mainly because there is an on-demand app version of Hulu that does not offer live TV. But that is how it shook out back when Hulu was owned by multiple media companies. For you, the cord cutter, just understand that “Hulu With Live TV” is different than “Hulu” on its own. The channel lineup delivers a majority of the popular entertainment and news channels, the whole family of ESPN networks, along with local affiliates for ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and the CW (See the link in the description). The service also provides an unlimited DVR, the entire on-demand lineup of network content and Hulu originals, as well as access to the Disney+ streaming service and ESPN+ access to both its streaming library and ESPN website features.

Cost: $69.99 per month (With disney+ and ESPN+ ad-supported service) $82.99 (for ad-free)


Philo is another service that chose to offer general entertainment channels and eschew 24-hour news networks, expensive sports channels, and local over-the-air network affiliates in an attempt to offer a robust lineup of channels at a low cost. The service is able to deliver 71 channels mixing pay TV entries with over-the-air general entertainment channels. The service also integrates Internet-based TV channels into its lineup to bring the total offering to over 90 channels. Cable channels offered include The History Channel, Lifetime, HGTV, Nickelodeon, Discovery, Hallmark, and more. Users can add select premium services for additional fees as well. Philo includes an unlimited DVR with recordings kept for 1-year.

Cost: 25.00

Sling TV

Sling TV deserves credit for being the first to the market to offer an Internet-based TV option that replicated cable for less than the cost of a normal cable bill. And it still does. Sling TV does this like others by not building in local network broadcast channels into its lineup but instead actively encourages users to set up an antenna for over-the-air broadcasts. The service is set up to offer three starter-level mini-bundles of channels and then allow users to add and drop groups of other services as they please. While this makes the service a little more confusing to explain, it also makes it the closest thing to a-la-carte cable TV on the market. For instance, while two of its base packages include ESPN and ESPN2 its sports addons can expand to include all of ESPN’s networks. You can add them during say football season and drop them afterward. Sling offers lineups of movie channels, lifestyle channels, and other groupings to add to a smaller but strong basic lineup. This means that the cost is very much up to what the consumer is looking for. If users choose to add every single extra service it takes the cost to right about 75.00 or so depending on the costs of the bundles at the time.  The idea though, is that users don’t have a take it all or leave-it service.

                                                                                                                Cost: Basic tier $40-$55 (Additional addons are up to customer)


VidGo is a streaming service with three English language service tiers of service starting at $69.99. The company also offers a Spanish language bundle for $39.99. The lineup starts with over 110 channels including major sports channels like ESPN, ESPN2, the SEC Network, The ACC Network, FS1, FS2 and the Pac 12 Network. Its news lineup is not as diverse as some in that it does not offer MSNBC or CNN while it does offer Fox News. As one moves up the tiers the selections expand to include more sports, general entertainment and movie options. The website provides an interactive channel listing for users to explore. Of note VidGo offers local ABC and FOX stations but not NBC and CBS.

Cost: $69.99-$84.99




YouTube TV

YouTube TV might confuse some users as its name is almost exactly like the free app that people have been using for years to watch user-created content. But YouTube TV is a separate service and for that matter a totally sepperate app owned by YouTube/Google that offers users a cable-like streaming solution with a lot of perks to go along with it. The channel lineup includes access to all major local broadcast affiliate channels ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS as well as the inclusion of PBS. The service also includes unlimited DVR. 119 channels as well as access to YouTubes on-demand movies, and YouTube Premium (watch videos without ads on YT app). The lineup is a strong basic cable selection that includes most of the got-to-haves from across the spectrum. This means you get all the big ESPN national networks, The three major 24-hour news channels, as stated earlier the major broadcast networks, and a host of cable lifestyle and general entertainment channels. Perspective subscribers can use their tool to see what the would receive in their local market. Overall it is a pretty simple take-it-or-leave-it offer.

                                                                                                                Cost: $72.99