The Fubo live streaming service is a solid option for sports enthusiasts. In our tests, we loved the international soccer (football) coverage. We also liked the interface and overall sports lineup, but were a little disappointed to miss out on TNT and CNN. We were also bummed by hidden regional sports fees, but highly recommend the seven-day trial.
Optimum offers exceptional value. You get tons of channels, a solid DVR, and a good selection of sports and premium channels for a very reasonable price. Despite some additional fees, Optimum is an excellent choice.
Fubo is a decent all-around replacement for cable TV, but it really shines when it comes to regional sports. This handy channel guide from Fubo is an easy way to see whether your shows and games are available.
Fubo offers more local channels than most of its competitors in the streaming space, and that means home games, primetime hits, and local news. There’s no PBS or C-SPAN though, and some markets don’t have NBC or ABC. You’ll also miss out on CNN, The CW, A&E, and HBO.
Fubo is a great choice for regional sports networks in addition to popular favorites including FS1, Golf, ESPN and ESPN2, and NFL Network, all of which are available on the first-tier. You also get TUDN channels, beIN SPORTS channels, and BIG NETWORK channels, but no TNT. For NBA TV, NHL Network, MLB Network, and PAC 12 coverage (among others), you’ll need the Fubo Extra add-on for about $8 per month. Other add-ons for sports include MLB.TV ($25 per month), NBA League Pass ($15 per month), Adventure Plus ($5 per month), and more.
Family and education: 2.5/5
Fubo is adequate (but not great) when it comes to programming for kids. You get Disney, Disney Jr., Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. plus Animal Planet and Universal Kids at the first tier. There’s even a channel that’s all Bob Ross, all the time. You can’t get PBS or The CW, though.
News and politics: 3.5/5
Fubo does a little better when it comes to news. You can get local coverage from your ABC, NBC, FOX, Telemundo, Univision, or CBS affiliate station plus Fox News, MSNBC, Bloomberg, NEWSMAX, and Scripps News (a channel not widely available elsewhere). There’s no way to get HLN or CNN with Fubo, though, and you’ll have to pay an extra $3 per month for the News Plus add-on if you want coverage from smaller outlets including ROI, Cheddar News, TYT, and i24 News.
Entertainment and lifestyle: 3/5
From true crime documentaries to love stories and blockbuster hits, Fubo has a lot to offer. We like that Paramount and Bravo are included at the base package price. You can also get TLC, Grit, USA, and three Hallmark channels at that price. There’s no way to get Lifetime channels, though, and there’s also no TBS, History, A&E, AMC, IFC, or Sundance.
Optimum offers a great selection of channels, and pricing at each of its tiers is reasonable. If you’re part of a big family with diverse TV tastes, Optimum is easy to recommend.
Optimum offers a fantastic selection of local channels in each of its four package tiers. You get access to the four basic broadcast channels (NBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX) plus Univision and Telemundo. That means local news and sports, big national games like the Super Bowl, and primetime favorites.
Not only does Optimum offer a ton of great channels for sports, you can get most of it at either the Basic TV or Core TV packages. In addition to wrestling on USA Network and all that ESPN has to offer, you get TNT, Fox Sports 1, MLB Network, and NBA TV. NFL Network is available on the highest tier, and you can get NFL RedZone as an add-on. Sports aficionados should opt for at least the Select TV plan to get the best selection.
If Optimum's offerings aren't quite right, you're in luck! A lot of games and matches are now available via streaming or over the air. Find out how to watch the MLB, how to watch pro football, and how to watch the NHL.
Family and education: 5/5
Optimum TV truly offers something for everyone, and that includes all kinds of shows for kids and channels focused on education. You can get PBS, Disney, and Nickelodeon at the Core TV price. If you bump up to the next tier, you can get History, Discovery, NationL Geographic, Travel, Animal Planet, and more. There’s no Family Entertainment TV (FETV) or Me TV, but we aren’t too mad about it.
News and politics: 5/5
Optimum TV keeps hitting homers when it comes to news. You get a selection of US political news from both sides of the aisle plus international news, Spanish-language news, business news, and even sports news.
Entertainment and lifestyle: 4.5/5
When it comes to watching great movies, reality TV, and home improvement shows, Optimum TV has you covered. At the highest tier, you get a selection of premium channels including Reelz, HBO, and SHOWTIME, plus both Hallmark and Lifetime. A number of the top 100 channels in the US are missing, including Game Show Network, Grit, INSP and Ion Mystery, but all the most popular content is easy to find. (1)
Monthly costs for Fubo are about average compared to competitors we tested, at least for the first tier. For about $75 per month, you get access to more than 140 channels, including a very strong soccer lineup. We also found golf, NASCAR, and NFL options pretty easily. A lot of content is limited to 720p resolution, but that’s standard for a lot of live TV. To access games in 4K, you’ll need to pay for the third- or fourth-tier plan for between $10 and $30 more per month. It’s not cheap, but it may be worth it if you’re a serious international soccer fan. We also liked the add-on lineup, which includes options for soccer in French, Portuguese, and Spanish, plus most of the standard entertainment extras like SHOWTIME and MGM+.
There’s a big drawback, though. The Fubo streaming service doesn’t carry any Turner Network channels, so you can’t get CNN or TNT. Depending on where you live, you may also miss out on local stations, which could mean missing home games. We highly recommend the seven-day free trial, but set yourself a reminder to cancel in case you can’t find your games and teams.
After the trial ends, you’ll be charged the regular monthly price plus local taxes and a regional sports fee, which is either $10.99 per month (if you have one RSN in your area) or $13.99 (if you have more than one RSN or signed up through Roku). Most streaming providers have dropped hidden fees at this point, and we wish Fubo would do the same.
Optimum TV offers excellent value, whether you live in an area that gets only cable internet or one wired for fiber-to-the-home. Internet-based TV packages are available for as little as $35 per month (for basic TV), while the higher-tier plans offer high channel counts for the price. There are as many as 420+ channels available—one of the highest channel counts of any provider.
The internet service is also a fantastic value, offering faster speeds for the money than many competitors. It’s worth noting that an internet plan is required, though, at a minimum price of $40 per month. There’s also a few hidden fees, but they’re lower than what we’ve seen from other cable providers.
There's a 2-year price lock on most plans, which is great! Prices go up in the third year of TV service, though, and the company doesn't say by how much. We've heard customers complain about price hikes in the range of $85–$115, though, and that's just for TV. Since you also need internet, your price could balloon by $200 per month by year three.
You may be able to save on your bill by calling in and threatening to switch to a competitor, so we recommend it!
No matter how you watch Fubo, we think you’ll enjoy the experience. The app is highly rated, the DVR works well, and it's easy to watch simultaneous streams both at home and on the go.
Ability to watch: Great
The day-to-day viewing experience with Fubo is very good. Shows load faster than with DIRECTV STREAM, and there are a lot of games available in 4K. We tested the service on a large Samsung TV, multiple browsers, and mobile devices. We also tested the mobile app, which is rated pretty highly by both Android and Apple users.
Ability to record: Excellent
Fubo offers a cloud DVR that lets you save up to 1,000 hours worth of shows, and we love that it doesn’t expire. You can also watch recent games you forgot to record, and you can pause and rewind most of your live shows and games (depending on the channel). We also liked that the cloud DVR saved a complete episode or game even if we forgot to start recording until the middle. There’s a minor caveat around DVR, though. You get only 250 hours of cloud DVR space with the Latino plan. That seems like a lot, but we don’t recommend it if you support multiple teams or have a household with diverse TV tastes. The other Fubo plans offer 1,000 hours of storage, but many top competitors offer truly unlimited DVR these days. The Fubo app felt faster and more modern than the DIRECTV STREAM options we tested and sleeker than bargain TV streaming services like Philo. Fubo feels a lot like traditional TV, but with a better interface and easier access to free options like Crackle and TYT.
Ability to find: Great
The channel guide from Fubo is fast and modern, and we like that you can see both channel numbers and logos from the home screen. You can see previews and details for a given program without having to click through to it, which is nice. You can also find your stuff using a few other views, and the recommendation engine works well. There were a few things we didn’t like, but we can’t really single out Fubo because we found the same issues elsewhere. First, it was tricky to find the on-demand library or see which shows are available on demand (compared to streaming live or recorded in your cloud DVR). DIRECTV STREAM was much better in that regard, but it only really matters if you’re watching a show that lets you skip commercials.
Ability to share: Excellent
Fubo lets you watch on up to 10 screens at a time, and you can create up to six different user profiles. It was nice to get a six-digit passcode when logging onto a new device rather than having to type in a password, but we didn’t love that we had to share our location every time we opened the mobile app. In today’s privacy-centric world, it felt borderline invasive, but the experience watching on the go was still better than with Hulu + Live TV. In all our tests, Fubo was one of the best services out there for sharing with a big household.
There’s just one minor downside when it comes to parental controls. It was easy to create profiles and get custom recommendations, but there are no parental controls or any way to request only kid-friendly shows on a given profile. We created a profile to watch the Disney Channel, Nick Jr., and Animal Planet, for example, and the first recommendation was South Park. Mmmkay.
Optimum TV is a nice option for channel surfing, watching on-demand, and catching episodes or games you might have missed (whether on a TV set or on your phone or laptop). However, its costly DVR storage may not be worth the money.
Ability to watch: Great
Whether you go with the Optimum cable box, buy an Apple TV from the company, or use your own Apple TV, we think you’ll enjoy watching Optimum TV. Optimum gives you Wi-Fi equipment and the first set-top box for free, but you'll be charged an additional $10 per month for each additional TV box. However, it’s easy to get out of those fees using the sweet Optimum TV mobile app, so that’s what we recommend for most households.
Ability to record: Good
Optimum’s Cloud DVR system offers up to 150 hours of storage for your favorite shows and movies, and you can record up to 15 shows at the same time—perfect for large families or households with lots of roommates. The system comes with all the modern features we expect from a DVR: voice control, an Apple TV app, support for streaming services, and more.
You can also access your DVR and on-demand content from your iPhone, iPad, or Android device with the provider’s app. Our only gripe is that the DVR storage is costly—more than $20 per month for the full 150 hours, in addition to the fee for renting the box. You'll also be charged a DVR service fee for every set-top box you rent, but you can skip the DVR altogether if you want and there’s no charge.
Ability to find: Great
Optimum TV offers thousands of shows and hundreds of channels, and they’re pretty easy to find using the app, the company’s cable box, or an Apple TV. Both the cable box and Apple TV have voice search functionality, and you can enter in credentials for other streaming services like Netflix on either. With the cable box, you can even pause and restart live TV.
Fubo treats its customers well, for the most part. The website and app are easy to use and navigate, and you can pretty easily see what you’ll be getting before you sign up. There’s extensive help documentation on the main site, or you can reach customer service by phone or even social media. We also really like the seven-day free trial and the 24-hour email notification that the trial would be ending soon. However, we wish the RSN fee were rolled into the base package price.
If you don’t like what you’re getting with Fubo, it’s easy to cancel your subscription, but your favorites and DVR won’t be saved. You can also pause your subscription for up to three months, which is a nice perk.
Most Optimum TV customers are happy with the service and self-installation is free if you order online. If you need a pro to come help (and you order online), the charge is $60. If you call in to order, self-install is free, the standard installation costs about $100, and premium installation costs about $150.