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Which DIRECTV STREAM Package is Best For You? All Plans + Options Explained

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DIRECTV STREAM is the service that is most like cable or satellite. It tends to be a bit more expensive than other services but in exchange, DIRECTV STREAM offers no real programming hole. Get the proper plan and you should be able to watch everything you want.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about DIRECTV STREAM’s plans and channel lineups.

New customers get a 5-day free trial with DIRECTV STREAM.

DIRECTV STREAM’s history has been muddled by a series of over-the-top (OTT) and/or live TV streaming services, variously branded AT&T or DirecTV, and so confusingly named not even AT&T can tell them apart. It’s true! In 2019, they mixed up their own AT&T TV Now and AT&T TV services.

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By 2021, AT&T had had enough of the TV provider game, and spun DirecTV, U-Verse, and whatever the streaming service(s) were called at the time into their own company. That was when DIRECTV STREAM came into being under that name.

DIRECTV STREAM is one of the streaming services that aims to just completely replace your cable service (as opposed to supplementing your on-demand subscriptions with a few live channels). It offers a channel selection that’s about on par with most cable companies. The feature set is too. Let’s take a closer look.


DIRECTV STREAM was originally launched as a direct competitor to arch-rival Dish Network’s Sling TV, which beat them to the punch by a year. In a lot of ways, you can see where DIRECTV STREAM seems to shape its direction around being the opposite of Sling:

  • Sling TV has two small, cheap base packages and tons of add-ons; DIRECTV STREAM has four big, expensive base packages and a half-dozen traditional premiums you can add on.
  • Sling TV has limited local channels, but offers deals on antennas; DIRECTV STREAM has all the local channels you’d get with an antenna or cable, plus exclusive regional sports networks.

So how much does a “big expensive base package” run? DIRECTV STREAM’s tiers are Entertainment ($79.99/mo), Choice ($108.99/mo), Ultimate ($119.99/mo), and Premier ($164.99/mo).

Premier is pricey, but it includes all 140+ base channels, plus HBO Max, Showtime, Cinemax, and Starz. All plans include local channels, and the Choice package and above come with the regional sports networks. This is doubtless why the Choice plan is the most popular.

DIRECTV STREAM has always provided a two-week money-back guarantee on its service and equipment (more on the equipment below).

It’s also important to note that even if DIRECTV STREAM’s top tiers start to approach cable-like excess, there are still no contracts. You can cancel or downgrade your service anytime. You’re not locked into two years like you would be with a cable or satellite provider.


Cloud DVR Storage
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† All DIRECTV STREAM plans allow you to watch simultaneously unlimited devices at home and 3 away.

A tiered system means more flexibility for you. If you’re fine with around 80 channels, then the Entertainment package is all you need. Most subscribers pick the Choice package because that is the level that includes the regional sports networks (RSNs).

As is usual with tiered plans, each tier includes all the channels from the one(s) below it. There are a few exceptions, though. Hallmark Movies & Mysteries is in the Entertainment and Premier packages, but you can only get it with Choice or Ultimate packages if you also subscribe to the Movie Extras add-on. And, weirdly, music channel Revolt TV and fine arts showcase Ovation are both available on every tier except Choice.

Here’s a breakdown of STREAM channels, by category:

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Entertainment & Music

Family & Kids

Movie & Event

News & Information


DIRECTV STREAM offers a number of other sports channels as add-ons: ESPN Deportes, Fox Deportes, GOLTV, NBA League Pass, NBAbet Stream, and TyC Sports.

Here is a breakdown of which channels come with which plan. Note that the Ultimate package and the Premier package have more or less the same channels except for the premium channels discussed below.


  • A&E
  • AccuWeather
  • AMC
  • Animal Planet
  • AXS TV
  • BabyFirst
  • BBC America
  • BET
  • Bloomberg TV
  • Boomerang
  • Bravo
  • C-SPAN
  • C-SPAN 2
  • Cartoon Network
  • Cleo TV
  • CMT
  • CNBC
  • CNN
  • CNN Español
  • CNNi
  • Comedy Central
  • Daystar
  • Discovery
  • Disney Channel
  • Disney Junior
  • Disney XD
  • E!
  • EarthxTV
  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • FMC
  • The First
  • Food Network
  • Fox Business
  • Fox News
  • Fox Soul
  • Fox Weather
  • Freeform
  • FS1
  • FX
  • FXX
  • Galavisión
  • Hallmark
  • Hallmark Mysteries
  • HGTV
  • History
  • HLN
  • HSN
  • IFC
  • ID
  • Ion TV
  • Jewelry TV
  • Lifetime
  • MotorTrend
  • MTV
  • MTV2
  • National Geographic
  • Newsmax TV
  • NewsNation
  • Nickelodeon
  • Ovation‡
  • Paramount
  • PBS Kids
  • Pursuit
  • QVC
  • QVC-2
  • QVC-3
  • ReelzChannel
  • Revolt‡
  • RFD-TV
  • Scientology Network
  • Shop LC
  • SportsGrid
  • Sundance TV
  • SyFy
  • Tastemade Home
  • Tastemade Travel
  • TBS
  • TeenNick
  • TLC
  • TCM
  • TNT
  • TruTV
  • TV Land
  • TV One
  • Univision
  • USA
  • VH1
  • Vice
  • We TV


  • ACCN
  • Big Ten Network
  • Bounce TV
  • Cheddar News
  • CNBC World
  • Comedy TV
  • Cooking Channel
  • Cozi TV
  • ESPNews
  • FanDuel
  • Fuse
  • GSN
  • GET
  • Golf Channel
  • Great American Family
  • Grit
  • Heroes & Icons
  • Justice Central
  • MeTV
  • MLB Network
  • NBA TV
  • NFL Network
  • Nick Jr
  • Nicktoons
  • OWN
  • Pop TV
  • Science
  • SEC Network
  • Tastemade
  • Tennis Channel
  • Travel Channel
  • UPtv
  • The Weather Channel

Ultimate and Premier

  • AHC
  • Aspire
  • BBC News
  • BET Her
  • CBS Sports Network
  • Destination America
  • Discovery Family
  • Discovery Life
  • FS2
  • Fuse Music
  • FXM
  • FYI
  • LMN
  • Logo
  • Magnolia Network
  • MTV Classic
  • NatGeo Wild
  • NHL Network
  • Oxygen
  • Smithsonian Channel
  • Sportsman Channel
  • TUDN
  • Universal Kids
  • Universo

‡ Not included in Choice Package.

In addition to its live TV channels, DIRECTV STREAM provides access to a very large library of on-demand titles.

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SpongeBox SquarePants on Nickelodeon via DIRECTV STREAM
SpongeBox SquarePants on Nickelodeon via DIRECTV STREAM.

DIRECTV STREAM’s Locals and Regional Sports Networks

As mentioned, DIRECTV STREAM has excellent local station coverage. If you have a local network affiliate, chances are DIRECTV STREAM will carry it:

Of much more importance to many subscribers is the exclusive availability of the Bally Sports networks (formerly the Fox Sports networks). In many areas of the US, the Bally networks are the only way to watch local baseball, basketball, hockey and soccer games.

RSNs are included in all except the Entertainment package (with a few geographic exceptions). Note that subscribers do not get access to all of these channels. You must live in the broadcast area of the channel.

A full list of DIRECTV STREAM RSNs:

DIRECTV STREAM Premium Channels

Premium channels can be added onto any tier of service, and there are frequently specials going with discounts or free introductory periods. For example, right now, If you sign up for Choice or Ultimate packages, you get HBO Max, Showtime, Starz, MGM+, and Cinemax all included for the first three months.

The Premier Package always includes HBO Max, Cinemax, Showtime, and Starz.


Technically this is HBO’s streaming service, which is HBO’s stuff mixed with a lot of other Warner (now Warner Bros Discovery) stuff. No definite word on what the Warner-Discovery merger means for either HBO Max or Discovery+. But what HBO Max means for you, right now, is access to all of HBO’s movies and series, plus all of Warner Bros. movies and series, plus exclusive HBOMax content.

This is included in the Premier package, otherwise $15.99/mo. DIRECTV STREAM subscribers also get the HBO linear channels:

  • HBO Comedy
  • HBO (East)
  • HBO Family
  • HBO Latino
  • HBO Signature
  • HBO Zone
  • HBO2


Provides box-office blockbusters and original series like Warrior and Strike Back. It is included in the Premier package, but you can add it other plans for $11/mo. Includes linear channels Cinemax and ActionMAX.

  • 5StarMax
  • ActionMax
  • Cinemax
  • Max Latino
  • MoreMax
  • MovieMax
  • ThrillerMax


It shows movies and pro boxing– you can have it all, plus original series like The First Lady and Billions. It’s included in the Premier package, or available as an add-on for $11.99/mo. You also get linear channels.

  • Paramount+ With Showtime
  • Showtime 2
  • Showtime Extreme
  • Showtime FamilyZone
  • Showtime Next
  • Showtime Showcase

Get Showtime With Paramount+ Premium!


Starz is a bit complicated. Starz and Starz Kids & Family are included with the Premier package:

  • Starz
  • Starz Cinema
  • Starz Comedy
  • Starz Edge
  • Starz in Black
  • Starz Kids & Family

All the Starz Encore channels are included with both the Ultimate and Premier plans:

  • Starz Encore
  • Starz Encore West
  • Starz Encore Action
  • Starz Encore Black
  • Starz Encore Classic
  • Starz Encore Family
  • Starz Encore Suspense
  • Starz Encore Westerns

The entire Starz package is available as an add-on for $11/mo.

Get Starz for $3/mo for 3 Months!


Includes top Hollywood hits and original series like Get Shorty and Godfather of Harlem. It is the only premium channel not included in the Premier package, but it costs only $6/mo as an add-on. It also provides the linear channels MGM+, MGM+ Hits, and MGM+ Marquee.

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Most of DIRECTV STREAM’s add-ons are international channels (Latin American/Spanish, Brazilian/Portuguese, Vietnamese, or Korean). It also offers the Movies Extra Pack for $5/mo which definitely has some movie networks (HDNet Movies, for one) but then kind of veers off-brand with a few random ones (like Smithsonian Channel).

You’ll see some overlap between the categories above and the add-ons; some tiers include some add-on channels. Here’s a breakdown:

Movies Extra Pack ($5/mo)

  • Crime + Investigation
  • Hallmark Drama
  • Hallmark Movies & Mysteries [E,P]
  • HDNet Movies
  • MGM HD
  • MTV Live
  • ShortsTV [C,U,P]
  • Smithsonian Channel [U,P]
  • Sony Movies

Some channels are included in base packages [E]ntertainment, [C]hoice, [U]ltimate, and [P]remier.

Español ($15/mo)

  • Antena 3
  • Atres Series
  • Azteca
  • BabyTV (Spanish)
  • Bandamax
  • Canal 22 Internacional
  • Caracol TV
  • Centroamérica TV
  • Cine Estelar
  • Cine Mexicano
  • Cine Nostalgia
  • Cinelatino
  • CNN En Español
  • De Película
  • De Película Clásico
  • Discovery Familia
  • Ecuador TV
  • Ecuavisa Internacional
  • Enlace
  • ESPN Deportes
  • Estrella TV
  • FOROtv
  • FOX Deportes
  • FOXlife
  • Galavisión
  • GolTV
  • History En Español
  • ¡HOLA! TV
  • MegaTV
  • Multimedios
  • Nat Geo Mundo
  • NTN24
  • Nuestra Tele
  • Once Mexico
  • Pasiones
  • Perú Mágico
  • Sony Cine
  • SUR Perú
  • TeleCentro
  • Telefe
  • Telemundo
  • Tr3s
  • TUDN
  • TV Chile
  • TVE
  • TVV
  • TyC Sports
  • UniMás
  • Universo
  • Univision
  • Univision Tlnovelas
  • VePlus
  • VideoRola
  • ViendoMovies
  • Vme
  • WAPA América
  • ZooMoo

You can also get the Deportes add-on for just $5/mo, which has a smaller selection of sports-related Spanish-language channels:

  • ESPN Deportes
  • FOX Deportes
  • GolTV
  • TUDN
  • TyC Sports

Brazilian ($30/mo)

  • Globo
  • SporTV

Vietnamese ($20/mo)

  • Film 24
  • S Channel
  • SBTN
  • Tviet Network
  • VGN TV
  • Vien Thao TV
  • Vietface TV

Korean ($30/mo)

  • Arirang TV
  • CTS
  • EBS
  • KBS World
  • MBC
  • MBN
  • Nat Geo Korea
  • SBS
  • SBS Plus
  • TAN TV
  • YTN


MotorTrend airing on DIRECTV STREAM.

DIRECTV STREAM has improved its features a lot in just the last few months.

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Cloud DVR

While it didn’t always measure up in the DVR department, with a measly 20 hours of storage, now they’re sporting unlimited cloud DVR storage, though that “unlimited” does come with a number of restrictions.

First, you can only record 30 episodes of a series, after which it starts deleting the oldest episodes to make room for new ones. Second, all recordings expire after nine months. And third, and probably most important, you must sign-up online.

On the positive side, you can record multiple channels simultaneously. And your recordings are available on your home network or mobile.

Simultaneous Streaming

The service has always allowed basically unlimited devices on your home network as well as up to three devices when you are on vacation or just out-and-about. There are a few limits that you’re unlikely to run into.

First, you can only stream 2 TVs out of your home at a time. Second, some networks (Fox-owned networks, Starz, NHL Network) only allow 3 streams max, regardless of network.


Given that DIRECTV STREAM appeals most to sports fans (because of the RSNs), it’s disappointing that it doesn’t offer 4K on any of its channels. Movie buffs may also be put off. Some channels offer 1080p, most are only 720p. Fans of 4K may want to check out FuboTV.

The service works on the most popular compatible devices: Amazon Fire TV, Android mobile, Apple TV, Chromecast, iPhone/iPad, Roku, and Samsung smart TVs. And, of course, you can watch it via a web browser at directv.com. But that’s about it. For example, it does not support any game consoles, including Xbox. But this really isn’t a problem if it supports the devices that you use, and that is probably the case.

It is the only service to have its own proprietary set-top box, just in case you missed that little bit of the cable experience. Like other smart devices, it allows you to download apps (like Netflix), and is optimized for a smoother, more intuitive DIRECTV STREAM experience. Best of all, it comes with a remote with voice-activated Google Assistant, so you can tell your DIRECTV STREAM device to launch an app or show or even ask it what the weather will be like tomorrow.

You can find more information in our DIRECTV STREAM Devices page.

TV Everywhere

There are a number of channels you can access through their TV Everywhere apps or websites (those are the ones that ask you to log in with your “TV provider” in order to watch anything). Here’s a list:

  • A&E
  • ABC
  • AHC
  • AMC
  • Animal Planet
  • BBC America
  • BET
  • Bravo Now
  • CBS Sports
  • CMT
  • CNBC
  • Comedy Central
  • Cooking Channel
  • Destination America
  • Discovery
  • Discovery en Espanol
  • Discovery Familia
  • Discovery Family
  • DisneyNow
  • DIY Network
  • E! Now
  • ESPN
  • Food Network
  • FOX Now
  • FOX Sports Go (B1G)
  • Freeform
  • FX Now
  • FYI
  • Golf Channel
  • Hallmark
  • Hallmark Movies
  • HBO MaxTM
  • HGTV
  • History
  • IFC
  • ID
  • Lifetime
  • LOGO
  • MLB.com At Bat
  • MLB Network
  • MotorTrend
  • Motor Trend
  • MSG GO
  • MSNBC Now
  • MTV
  • National Geographic
  • NBC
  • NBC Sports
  • Nick
  • Nick Jr
  • Ovation
  • OWN
  • Oxygen Now
  • Paramount Network
  • Pop TV
  • Science Channel
  • Showtime Anytime
  • SNY
  • Sundance TV
  • SYFY Now
  • Telemundo Now
  • TLC
  • Travel Channel
  • TV Land
  • Universal Kids
  • Univision NOW
  • VH1
  • Vice
  • WEtv

Alternative Streaming Services

Sling TV: The only service more modular than an IKEA shelving unit. It offers two base packages for $40.00/mo each or $55.00/mo for both. Then you can customize it with many add-ons. Love movies? Get the Hollywood Extra. Want lifestyle and gossip? Lifestyle Extra. Got kids? Kids Extra. Tons of options, but choose wisely or it’ll cost more than, well, DIRECTV STREAM. (Sling TV review)

Hulu + Live TV: Ok, I get it, you’re more of a Disney, Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, follow-new-network-series, a little-bit-of-everything kind of viewer. That’s why you should take a look at Hulu + Live TV. As the name implies, it is Hulu’s on-demand library combined with over 85 of the most popular live channels, unlimited DVR, and Disney+ and ESPN+ included for the base price of $76.99/mo. (Hulu + Live TV review)

FuboTV: But what about the international sports fans? The ones that live in the US but like to watch the Premier League (or La Liga or Bundesliga or Brasileirão or any of the other world’s top soccer leagues)? For them, there’s FuboTV, built from the ground up by American soccer fans for American soccer fans, but also has a pretty good selection of non-sports channels too, starting at $79.99/mo. (FuboTV review)

Philo: But aren’t there any really low-cost options? We’re so glad you asked! Philo is $28/mo for 60+ channels. Not much in terms of live sports, news, or local stations, but you’ll find plenty of classic TV and movies, family-friendly fare, and the best second-tier basic cable entertainment around. Combine it with an antenna and you just might be set. (Philo review)

YouTube TV: Kind of like Hulu + Live TV, but without the exciting on-demand extra bits. Similar number and selection of channels. Hulu is missing AMC Networks and YouTube is missing A+E Networks. And instead of ESPN+ and Disney+, YTTV offers a couple dozen optional premium channels and on-demand subscriptions to add on to your service. Both have unlimited DVR. The base plan is $72.99/mo.

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Wrapping Up

DIRECTV STREAM has the most value for sports fans because the regional sports networks are the only way to watch most of the MLB, NBA, NHL, and even MLS games if you are a home-team fan. And if you’re getting DIRECTV STREAM for the RSNs, that means you’re shelling out at least $89.99/mo. But that’s still going to beat most cable plans and you can cancel any time you like.

But DIRECTV STREAM isn’t just for sports fans. It’s also for people who just want a good overall streaming service that will have the channels you want and expect. Other streaming services have odd holes in their lineups. That just isn’t true of DIRECTV STREAM.

And with plan features like unlimited cloud DVR and effectively unlimited device use, it’s a pretty sweet deal. If you want to learn more about DIRECTV STREAM generally, see our thorough review.

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Alanna Baker
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