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.
Spectrum TV is good if you’re bundling and on a budget, and we love the $500 contract buyouts. Better yet, Spectrum doesn’t force you into a contract, so you can give the cable TV service a try with relatively little risk. We don’t love the low channel count, and it’s a bummer that you can get 4K programming only if you also have home internet (and upgrade your DVR to an Apple TV box).
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.
Spectrum TV is a good choice for basic TV viewing on a budget, especially if you bundle with home internet. You get more than 125 channels with TV SELECT and more than 140 channels on MI PLAN LATINO, but those are your only package options. Your exact channel lineup depends on where you live (and some areas even have unique package options), so enter your address and check the channel guide as you decide.
Spectrum does a great job of providing local channels throughout the hundreds of markets it covers. You get the big four—NBC, ABC, CBS, and FOX—plus The CW and Spanish-language channels. You’ll miss out on a few smaller local networks in some areas, such as Antenna TV and Estrella TV, but we have no major complaints.
Spectrum TV is only passable when it comes to sports. You’ll get national games on the local networks and coverage from networks like TNT and FS1, but you’ll have to pay extra for goodies like MLB Extra Innings, NHL Center Ice, and the ESPN College Extra. You may be eligible for various regional sports networks, but they almost always cost extra. The sports pack is a breezy $6 per month, which isn’t bad, but we’d still prefer the channels be in the standard package.
Family and education: 3/5
Spectrum TV also earns a passing grade for kids shows, but it’s nothing to write home. You won’t get Disney Jr., Nat Geo Wild, Cartoon Network, or Nick Jr., unfortunately. Smithsonian’s out, too, and Science (you can get some of these with the Entertainment View add-on, but it costs $12 extra each month). You do get PBS, though, plus the regular Disney channel, Family Entertainment TV (FETV), and Discovery. It’s not great, but it’s not awful either.
News and politics: 4.5/5
Spectrum doesn’t offer the hotly debated Newsmax channel at its base price, but it has almost everything else news junkies crave. You get national networks CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News, plus all the news that comes with local channels. If your primary reason to pay for live TV is to stay up to date, we think you’ll be pretty happy with what Spectrum has to offer.
Entertainment and lifestyle: 3.5/5
Spectrum TV’s lineup for movies, home improvement shows, reality TV, and true crime is just OK. You’ll have to pay extra for HBO, SHOWTIME, STARZ, and CINEMAX, or for an Entertainment View add-on that includes NFL Network, OWN, and the Cooking Channel. That said, you get channels like Investigation Discovery (ID), TLC, Hallmark, and INSP with the regular package price. You can’t get Ion or Ion Mystery either way, which is a bummer, but there are still hundreds of channels to choose from.
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.
The two package options from Spectrum TV are pretty decent when it comes to channel per dollar, and you get all but one of America’s top 100 channels. (1) You’ll need add-ons for international programming, premium sports, and premium education and entertainment, but the cost is about average compared to other providers we review.
You’ll have to pay even more for your cable boxes and DVRs. Plus, there’s virtually no way out of a local broadcast fee, which tops out at more than $20 per month. Worst of all, that low base price will increase in the range of $20–$30 per month after your first 24 months. Competing services have much bigger second-year price jumps (we’re looking at you, DIRECTV and Astound TV), but we still wish Spectrum would end the practice.
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.
The daily Spectrum TV experience isn't as good as what you may find with other cable competitors, and it's quite a bit worse than you would get with a satellite TV provider. It all works, but it's not the top of the line.
Ability to watch: Good
Spectrum TV uses HD receivers from a handful of companies, but none are very impressive and there’s no way to control which one you receive. The no-frills remote has controls for channels, a TV guide, and your DVR (if you pay extra for the service). It’s functional, but there’s no voice remote or way to watch in 4K unless you have an Apple TV (or buy one from Spectrum).
Ability to record: Fine
Spectrum’s DVR options are not nearly as good as the DVR setups you’ll get with satellite TV providers, and it falls short compared to other cable providers, too. Rather than create its own high-tech DVR, Spectrum offers a payment plan for a 4K Apple TV that’s preloaded with the Spectrum TV app. You can also use your own Apple TV or buy theirs up front, but the Apple TV option requires internet access.
It’s the best way to access 4K programming with Spectrum, but it ends up being a little more expensive than the competition’s top-of-the-line DVRs. If you end service before you pay your Apple TV off, you’ll be charged the complete price for the device. It’s not a bad deal if you’re already in the Apple ecosystem and have multiple streaming services in addition to cable TV, but it’s not a huge value add for a lot of users.
That aside, we like that you can record from either your regular set-top box or the highly rated mobile app, and it’s easy to see how much storage capacity you have left. You top out at just about 100 hours of HD storage, though, so keep an eye on that library and make sure to delete anything you don’t need.
Ability to find: Fine
You don’t get a voice remote with the standard Spectrum TV equipment, but you do get channel buttons, and we like that you can see both channel numbers and icons from the home screen. We gotta say, though, the Spectrum system for showing which channels are free, which are blocked, and which you have to pay extra for takes some getting used to.
There are workarounds so you see only channels you’re subscribed to and even a way to hide adult-themed shows from the guide, but we wish it were a little more intuitive. Lucky for you, this guide from Spectrum can help you get oriented.
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.
Spectrum leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to how it treats its customers. Starting with installation, you can do it yourself for free if you have had the service at your address before, but there’s an unusual $25 activation fee no matter what. If you need a pro install, you may be charged up to $50, but the company doesn’t list those fees publicly. Either way, you have to pay for your first set-top box, you can’t choose which DVR equipment you get, and you have to pay hefty fees for local broadcast stations and premium channels.
If you have trouble, you’ll need to contact customer service. We like the online help guide and 24/7 chat option, but the service overall scores worse than average among TV providers. (2)
You won’t see promotional pricing on any of the premium channels like you will with the competition, but we aren’t mad about it. Those promotions mostly amount to hidden charges a few months into the contract, and we applaud Spectrum for being more straightforward.