FuboTV is a pricier alternative to other live TV streaming services like Sling and Hulu - we break down pricing, packages, and what it's like to use
Alyssa Powell/Business Insider
- FuboTV is a solid cord-cutting option for those who want lots of live sports and a hefty selection of channels to watch.
- The base package costs $54.99 a month and doesn't include as many quality-of-life features or device options as competing services like Sling or Hulu.
- Some sports events are available in 4K, but they're few and far between.
With a bevy of similar cord-cutting services available these days, it can be difficult to discern which is best for your personal needs. FuboTV is one such service whose profile has risen significantly in recent months, targeted toward sports lovers with disposable income.
I spent some time watching via the Fubo apps and in-browser viewer, and while it's got some definite advantages - namely, a slick, intuitive interface and a massive list of live networks - it just doesn't offer enough at its lofty price point to compete with the industry heavyweights.
What exactly is FuboTV?
FuboTV launched in 2015 as a soccer-focused streaming service aiming to capture the hearts (and wallets) of the gargantuan, underserved fanbase of the "beautiful game." In the years since, the service has grown into a full-fledged cord-cutting platform, offering an alternative to Sling, Hulu, PlayStation Vue, and their ilk.
Fubo still places a strong focus on sports content, with several channels you won't find in other services, especially ones covering soccer and other less-popular sports like cycling. In addition, though, it boasts a huge base package with tons of channels, even if it costs about 30% more than competing services.
How much does FuboTV cost?
Alyssa Powell/Business Insider
To begin, you'll need to drop $54.99 per month to get Fubo Standard, the base-level package. It includes more than 100 channels, comprising pretty much every major network you could imagine - sans Disney-owned networks like the ESPN and ABC families. (Sorry, basketball fans: No ESPN or ABC means missing out on lots of NBA games, including the playoffs.)
As with Sling, you can then spend your way to even more channels, adding on piecemeal packages like Fubo Extra (which includes 36 channels across a variety of genres, from the Cooking Channel to BBC World News) or International Sports Plus for monthly fees. There are also a couple of À la carte premium channels you can add, like Showtime and AMC Premiere. In the case of Showtime, you'll get all nine channels (with all of it available on demand) for $10.99 per month.
If you want to add channels and features in bulk, Fubo also offers bundle packages. By default, Fubo lets you watch two simultaneous streams, and you get 30 hours of Cloud DVR storage. You can bump those numbers up to three streams and 500 hours with the Family plan, which coats $59.99. For $64.99, the Family Deluxe plan adds the Fubo Extra package to the Family plan, and for $79.99, you can get the Ultra plan, which tacks on Showtime and Sports Plus to the Family Deluxe offerings. For a full breakdown of pricing and channel packages, check out our guide.
A disclaimer: I reviewed a version of Fubo running on the Ultra plan (or something similar; the service recently changed its pricing structure).
How can I watch FuboTV?
FuboTV has apps available on a number of platforms. You can watch it in your web browser, of course, but also on Apple and Android devices, Roku devices, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, and select Samsung smart TVs. Unfortunately, Fubo doesn't yet have apps available for other smart TV brands (excluding, of course, TVs with built-in Roku OS) or game consoles.
I spent most of my time watching in my browser (Chrome), on my Roku TV, and on my iPad (4th generation). The user interface is always an attractive charcoal gray, and it's easy to navigate, with sections like "Sports," "Series," and "Movies" listed in the top menu, and multiple lists of recommended content on the home page based on my viewing habits. I never had issues finding specific stuff - the search function works fine - and the app was easy to navigate on every platform I tried. I did find that the app would occasionally crash on my Roku TV, particularly while viewing on-demand content (especially at the end of an episode or movie).
One thing that bothered me while watching FuboTV is the lack of playback functionality on various devices. While watching in your browser, there are little buttons to skip forward or back 15 seconds, but they are nowhere to be found in the iOS or Roku apps. You can't rewind or fast-forward on-demand content, and closed captions are usually only available in English.
Other things to consider
FuboTV offers a seven-day free trial to those who haven't previously signed up for the service. You'll have to offer up a valid credit or debit card, and if you decide to cancel, make sure you do it before the seven days are up, or risk losing out on a full $55.
While some of Fubo's networks and on-demand content run in 1080p, most of it is available only in 720p, meaning things can get fuzzy on larger televisions. You can adjust video quality on select devices, but most of the time, you can only choose between 720p and 1080p (see below).
4K and 60FPS
Want more image clarity and smoother action? Fubo does offer some content in 4K and 60FPS. There's a regularly updated schedule of upcoming events offered in 4K on the Fubo website. Some of its channels run all their content in 60FPS, too, including USA, NBC Sports, all the Fox Sports channels, and the NFL Network.
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