Everything die-hard sports fans need to know about FuboTV
By Kris Wouk
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Livestreaming TV is all about choice, so it’s a good thing there are so many services available. Sling TV, PlayStation Vue,Hulu with Live TV, and others all offer similar packages as an alternative to cable, but each has its own specialties, too.FuboTV is yet another way to ditch cable, but it adds its own twist with more sports offerings in the base package than any competing streaming service — and even more available via add-ons. It’s also the first live TV streaming service to offer content in 4K UHD and high dynamic range (HDR) But is it right for you?
What is FuboTV?
FuboTV initially launched as a soccer-based streaming service, before pivoting to a more traditional live TV streaming service. The company is keen to point out that while it’s a sports-first streaming service, it’s not a sports-only service. Sports fans are the target demographic, but as you’ll find out below, there are plenty of other types of channels to keep you entertained.Instead of using off-the-shelf tech, FuboTV opted to build its own — a risky move, but one that has seemed to pay off, especially when it comes to streaming big events. While both Hulu and PlayStation Vue had brief outages during the 2018 Super Bowl, FuboTV customers got the entire game without a hitch.
FuboTV is supported by most popular streaming devices, including the fourth-gen Apple TV and Apple TV 4K, Roku streaming boxes and streaming sticks, Amazon’s Fire TV devices, and Google Chromecast devices. Smart TVs powered by the Roku, Amazon Fire, and Android TV platforms are also supported, and as expected, there’s also a FuboTV website to watch on your computer. It should work with most browsers, but the company recommends Google Chrome.Both iOS and Android devices are supported for watching on the go. The Android app received a major overhaul with version 4.0, including a redesigned interface that better matches what you’ll see on your TV or the FuboTV website. This update also added the ability to access your cloud DVR recordings, as well as support for the Startover feature, which we’ll explain in the next section.
A Cloud DVR is becoming a must-have feature for live TV streaming services, though some like DirecTV Now have yet to introduce one. FuboTV’s cloud DVR works like a stand-alone DVR in that you have a limited amount of storage available. The base package includes 30 hours of DVR storage, though you can upgrade to 500 hours for an extra $10 per month. Most users should be able to make the 30-hour limit work with some careful management.Out of the box, FuboTV’s base package supports two streams at a time, the same as DirecTV Now. As with the cloud DVR, you can also add a third stream for an additional $6 per month. This lags PlayStation Vue, which supports up to five streams at once.A common frustration among sports fans using streaming services is watching a game they’re recording that is already in progress. What if you want to watch the whole thing? With the recently added Startover feature, you can jump back to the beginning of the game. This feature is currently in beta and available on iOS, Android, and Apple TV devices, as well as the FuboTV website, with more devices set to gain support when it exits beta.
Channels and pricing
FuboTV has one major hole in its sports coverage: It doesn’t carry ESPN, or any other Disney-owned channels. That’s not to say this will always be the case, but right now, the sports-first streaming service doesn’t carry one of the most popular sports networks. Don’t worry though, there are still plenty of sports to be had.Depending on how many local affiliate channels are available in your area (FuboTV currently carries a total of 276 local broadcast stations), up to 36 channels carry sports in FuboTV’s base package, and 17 of those are purely sports channels. FuboTV says that it offers more than 30,000 sporting events per year, which includes games from the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, and more. FuboTV also claims to offer more soccer than any other streaming service. In other words, you can get a boatload of sports with FuboTV, though you may have to put your boat purchase on hold to pay for it.There are two base packages: Fubo, which costs a relatively pricey $45 per month for roughly 75 channels, and Fubo Extra, which bumps the channel count to over 90 for $50 per month. At thetime of publication, the first month of either package costs just $20, and there’s also a free 7-day trial. Some specialty channels, though, like NFL RedZone, are extra and part of one of FuboTV’s many add-on packages.The full channel list is below.
Fubo Extra contains all the channels in the base package, plus extra lifestyle and entertainment channels.
Sports Plus, $9 per month:NFL RedZone, Universo, PAC12 Arizona, PAC12 Bay Area, PAC12 Los Angeles, PAC12 Mountain, PAC12 Oregon, PAC12 Washington, Fox College Sports Atlantic, Fox College Sports Central, Fox College Sports Pacific, GolTV English, GolTV Spanish, TyC Sports, FNTSY Sports Network, Fight NetworkInternational Sports Plus, $6 per month: Fox Soccer Plus, Chelsea TV, GolTV English, GolTV Spanish, TyC SportsAdventure Plus, $5 per month: Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel, World Fishing Network, Outside TV, MAV TV, Motorsport.tvFubo Cycling, $12 per month: Fubo Cycling,Fox Soccer Plus, Chelsea TV, GolTV English, GolTV Spanish, TyC SportsShowtime, $11 per month: Showtime, Showtime West, Showtime 2, Showtime Showcase, Showtime Extreme, Showtime Beyond, Showtime Next, Showtime Women, Showtime FamilyFubo Latino, $13 per month: Fox Deportes, GolTV Spanish, TyC Sports, Baby TV, Cine Sony Television, Fox Life, El Gourmet, Mas Chic, Nat Geo MundoMundo Plus, $6 per month: Fox Deportes GolTV Spanish, TyC Sports, Cine Sony Television, Fox Life, Nat Geo MundoPortugese Plus, $15 per month: GolTV, Benfica TV, RTP International
While streaming services have yet to catch up to cable in terms of general quality, FuboTV is among the best-looking streaming services we’ve seen, without the “soft” image that plagues other services. More important to sports fans, it also features a fair number of channels that support a 60 fps frame rate, making it much easier to follow the action. While some entertainment channels like Syfy and USA feature the higher frame rate, most channels with 60 fps are sport-focused or sports only. Currently, more than 40 available channels support 60 fps, and FuboTV says more are on the way.When it comes to navigation, FuboTV differs greatly from other services, as its main method of navigation has you browsing by sport. To drill things down even further, you can filter by league or team, or search by sport, league, team, event, or title. This works similarly for entertainment and news channels as well, letting you browse or search by network or genre. A standard, cable-style guide also lets you browse everything that is currently airing live.On-demand offerings aren’t as robust as some other streaming services, especially when it comes to TV shows, but there is still a fair amount to watch. Some networks don’t have on-demand content available despite airing live. AMC is one example, but this could be because the network was only added recently. For movies, you can browse by genre, similar to other services, and while you won’t find the most recent releases, the overall library of films certainly isn’t small.
4K and HDR
In July 2018, FuboTV became the first streaming service to offer content in 4K and HDR10, beating major competitors like Dish’s Sling TV and DirecTV Now to the punch. For the time being, content is fairly limited, with select 2018 World Cup matches on Fox and FS1 being shown in 4K with HDR, and it is currently only available to viewers watching on Chromecast and FireTV devices, with support for Roku and Apple TV to follow soon. Still, this is a major step forward and you can expect more content to stream in 4K and HDR in the future.
Are you into all sorts of sports, especially those airing across the pond? If so, FuboTV may be perfect for you, but be aware it’s certainly not the cheapest option out there, and it’s not for everyone — especially if you want ESPN. In fact, if your sports tastes are more traditional, you might be better off with another service, such as Sling TV, which starts as low as $20 per month, and offers channels like NFL RedZone, ESPN, NBA TV, and others in its Orange and Blue package for $50 per month (after add-ons).That said, for those who live and breathe sports from all over the map, FuboTV has that in spades, as well as enough variety elsewhere that you’ll be able to find most of what you want from a service. If you’re still unsure, we recommend checking out the free 7-day trial. We’d also highly recommend checking out our comparison of the most popular streaming servicesto see if there’s another service that better fits your needs.