Thinking of cutting the cord or changing streaming services? As more online streaming providers enter the market, the offers get more attractive — this is also the case with Sling TV vs FuboTV.
In a hurry? FuboTV and Sling TV are both great streaming services. Here is the bottom line about each:
- Sling TV: Offers limited number of channels with great options create the channel lineup you want. Try it with a free 3-day trial!
- FuboTV: Offers a lot of channels especially sports ones and all your local channels. Try for 7 days free of charge.
FuboTV was originally founded in 2015 to become the “Netflix of soccer.” The service initially cost just $7/mo and offered a handful of live-streaming soccer channels.
The start-up has grown slowly but steadily into a major live TV provider. So if it seems different from other live TV streaming services, there’s a good reason: it’s the only full cable-replacement service that wasn’t started by an already-enormous media conglomerate.
Sling TV was launched that same year. But in contrast, it was founded by Dish Network as a way to better compete with arch-rival DIRECTV.
It was designed with young adult cord-cutters in mind from the beginning. Instead of having large, high-priced channel lineups, it opted instead to offer a myriad of TV channels in smaller, cheaper bundles.
So what do either of those actually look like? Read on to learn!
Fubo has three tiers of service, plus a Latino Quarterly plan for Spanish-language viewers. The first two levels, Starter and Pro, have the same channels, but Pro has upgraded features. Elite has Pro’s upgraded features plus more channels.
DVR and account sharing upgrades are also available separately, and any plan can add on premium channels and add-on bundles. It includes general and sports-oriented add-ons as well as ones that focus on different areas outside the English-speaking world.
Sling doesn’t have any tiers. Instead, it has two base packages to choose from, Blue and Orange, with slightly different channels and features.
Then it has eight Extras, add-on packages of 5-10 loosely genre-themed channels (Sports, Heartland, Hollywood, Kids, News, etc.) And finally, it carries over 40 premium a la carte channels.
There are six Latino packages as well, which can be ordered on their own or paired with the Orange or Blue plan. Now, let’s take a closer look.
FuboTV is more similar to plans like Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV — offering what you would normally expect from a cable TV subscription. Sling TV is much closer to the long-discussed a la carte cable plan.
|FuboTV||Sling Orange||Sling Blue|
|Cloud DVR Storage||250 hrs||50 hrs||50 hrs|
Fubo is priced competitively with the other full cable-replacement services: $64.99/mo for its aptly-named “Starter” tier, $69.99/mo for its mid-level “Pro” plan, and $79.99/mo for its top-shelf Elite package. The Latino Quarterly plan is $33/mo billed, as the name says, in quarterly installments of $99.
Premium channels start at $4.99/mo for AMC Premier and go up to $10.99/mo for Showtime. You can bundle the three movie premiums — Showtime, Starz, and Epix — for $19.99, basically getting Epix free. They also provide the Fubo Extra add-on, which provides 46 channels for $7.99/mo.
The other channel add-ons range from $4.99/mo for Adventure Plus (outdoorsy-type pursuits) to $10.99 for Sports Plus, for really hardcore sports fans who want more than the 30+ channels included in the regular line-up.
Sling TV is cheaper on its face, but don’t be fooled, it can get just as pricey. The difference is that you have more control over what you’re paying for. The base packages, Orange and Blue, are $35/mo each, or $50 for both.
Extras are $6/mo each, except AMC+ ($7/mo) and Sports ($11/mo). There are deals for multiple Extras. Premiums range from CineMoi and ScreamFlix at $3/mo to Showtime or BET+ for $10/mo; most are under $6/mo.
Sling Latino plans are all $10/mo each, but you get $5 off if you subscribe to two or more.
Fubo has more channels overall (110+ in its Starter package). Over a third of those — somewhere around 40 — are sports flavored. The Elite plan has over 150 channels for $79.99. You won’t see any channels from A&E Networks (A&E, History, Lifetime) or, more crucially, WarnerMedia, who owns Turner (read on for more details).
Sling has a very basic lineup in its base packages. Orange has Disney and ESPN, Blue has NBC and Fox, and (some of) their pay-TV sister channels. The Extras are themed by genre, so the Comedy Extra has MTV, truTV, FETV, Laff, and so forth, while the News Extra has BBC World News, NewsNation, Newsmax TV, HLN, etc.
|A&E||❌||🟠 + 🔵|
|AMC||✔️||🟠 + 🔵|
|AXS TV||❌||🟠 + 🔵|
|BBC America||✔️||🟠 + 🔵|
|BBC World News||💲||❌|
|BET||✔️||🟠 + 🔵|
|Bloomberg||❌||🟠 + 🔵|
|CN||❌||🟠 + 🔵|
|Cheddar||✔️||🟠 + 🔵|
|CNN||❌||🟠 + 🔵|
|Comedy Central||✔️||🟠 + 🔵|
|Comet TV||✔️||🟠 + 🔵|
|EPIX Drive-In||❌||🟠 + 🔵|
|Food Network||✔️||🟠 + 🔵|
|fuse TV||💲||🟠 + 🔵|
|HGTV||✔️||🟠 + 🔵|
|History||❌||🟠 + 🔵|
|IFC||✔️||🟠 + 🔵|
|ID||✔️||🟠 + 🔵|
|Law & Crime||💲||💲|
|Lifetime||❌||🟠 + 🔵|
|Local Now||✔️||🟠 + 🔵|
|Nat Geo Wild||💲||💲|
|NBC News Now||✔️||❌|
|newsy||💲||🟠 + 🔵|
|Nick Jr||✔️||🟠 + 🔵|
|TBS||❌||🟠 + 🔵|
|TNT||❌||🟠 + 🔵|
|Travel||✔️||🟠 + 🔵|
|Vice||❌||🟠 + 🔵|
Fubo has great local coverage for all the major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox). This makes sense for a sports-centered service since a lot of games are found right on your local broadcast network affiliate. It also offers excellent coverage of Telemundo, Univision, and UniMás. Its coverage of The CW, however, is spotty.
This is far better than Sling, which only carries Fox and NBC on Sling Blue. Their network coverage is a lot better than it used to be, but it’s still very weak — only covering around 40% of US households.
However, Sling TV has a secret weapon: the HD antenna. Using an AirTV device, you can display your antenna channels right along with your other streaming channels. They even offer a deal: pay for 3 months of Sling TV upfront, and get an HD antenna and AirTV 2 (a $150 value) for just $49. If you are in a good area to get over-the-air (OTA) channels, this is a great way to go.
Sling TV offers a lot of sports options. But outside of the NBA, fans will find it a bit limited. For instance, Sling Blue has Fox, NBC, Fox Sports 1 (FS1), NFL Network, and truTV. Sling Orange has ESPN. So you either have to choose between them (!) or spring for Orange + Blue for $50/mo (!!).
It gets worse: the Sports Extra has 13 channels, but 5 of them are different depending on if you have Sling Blue or Orange. If you have Orange + Blue, though, you get all 18, and it goes from $11/mo to $15/mo. Now you’re up to $65/mo, which is the same price as Fubo or one of the other big services.
FuboTV is not without its own issues. In order to keep costs down, a while back they stopped carrying Warner’s channels — which include TBS, TNT, and truTV, which carry many of the NBA and MLB playoff as well as NCAA March Madness games. Sling does carry all three in its base package(s). However, true to its roots, Fubo does have unbeatable international sports coverage.
Regional sports networks (RSNs) also need some consideration. Sling has none, so if they’re a deal-breaker, Sling’s out. Fubo doesn’t have the Bally sports networks (only DIRECTV STREAM has those).
But it does carry most of the others, including NESN (New England), Marquee Sports (Chicago), AT&T Sportsnet, MSG (New York), and ROOT Sports. Fubo also carries the NBC Sports RSNs, but if you’re just after those, you may want to sign up with Hulu + Live TV instead, which is the same price and, also has the Turner networks in addition to the NBC RSNs.
|Sports Channels||FuboTV||Sling TV|
|beIN Sports LaLiga||✔️||❌|
|beIN Sports Ñ||✔️||💲|
|beIN Sports Xtra||✔️||💲|
|Big Ten Network||✔️||💲|
|CBS Sports Network||✔️||💲|
|Ginx Sports TV||💲||❌|
|GOL TV Spanish||💲||❌|
|MLB Strike Zone||💲||💲|
|The Olympic Channel||✔️||💲|
|Stadium||💲||🟠 + 🔵|
|TUDN Xtra (1 – 11)||✔️||❌|
They do, however, offer a number of foreign sports-oriented add-ons like RAI Italia (Coppa Italia matches, plus Italian-language general programming), TV5MONDE (French-language Ligue 1 soccer and Rugby Top 14, plus French news, movies, and series subtitled in English), and live CONMEBOL qualifiers.
Both FuboTV and Sling TV offer NBA League Pass.
Sling TV’s premium add-ons go well beyond movies and sports with over 40 networks covering everything from British TV, Comicon, and Dominican Republic news (in Spanish) to sports betting, faith-based shows, and Indian films. They also have Showtime, Starz, and Epix as a la carte premiums (same prices) and AMC+ (which is better than AMC Premier) as a $7/mo Extra.
FuboTV’s interface is clean and easy to navigate. It features a top-of-screen menu with options that vary slightly based on platform. For example, Shows and Movies are two separate tabs on the web, but on mobile, they’re combined under “Entertainment.” The “Home” section contains sub-sections for Live TV, 4K on Demand, Live Sports, and more. There’s also the standard grid of channels and times, as well as a tab for all your DVRs.
Sling TV’s interface received an upgrade last year, and now sports a leftside bar of icons, varied sizes on program thumbnails, and DVR shortcuts from the Live grid. Sling also features a popular “mini-guide” — an easily-accessible menu of other channels’ current shows across the bottom of your current show.
With at least 250 hours of cloud DVR storage included in all plans, FuboTV’s DVR storage allowance has one of the highest storage limits of any service. And recordings can be kept indefinitely.
The Pro and Elite plans include 1000 hours. You can bump the Starter up to 1000 hours as well for $16.99/mo, but it’s unclear why you would want to do that when the Pro plan is just $5/mo more than the Starter, and gives you “Unlimited Screens” as well (see below).
Sling TV comes with a comparatively measly 50 hours of storage but the DVR Plus upgrade bumps you to 200 hours for $5/mo. Sling also keeps your recordings indefinitely, or until you come up against your storage limit, at least. If you pause your account, your recordings will still hang around for 30 days.
There are a handful of digital networks you can’t record (Local Now, ESPN3, ACC Network Extra, and SEC Network+), but everything else is fair game. DVR Plus subscribers can “protect” their recordings to keep them from being automatically deleted due to space.
FuboTV provides up to 3 simultaneous streams. The Pro and Elite plans come with “Unlimited Screens,” which in practice means you can watch on 10 devices on your home network, plus 3 more on the go.
Sling Blue subscribers can watch on up to 3 devices at a time. Sling Orange subscribers can watch on just one. If you get Orange + Blue, you can watch Blue-exclusive channels on up to three screens and Orange-exclusive channels on one. Channels that are included in both plans can be watched on up to four screens.
So, for instance, if you’re watching ESPN on TV, your kid can’t go turn on Disney on another. This makes Sling Orange less of an ideal option for families.
Both Sling TV and FuboTV provide excellent support for modern streaming devices and TVs. They both support the following:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Android Mobile Devices
- Android TV (Sony,Sharp,TCL)
- Apple TV
- Google TV
- iOS Mobile Devices (iPhone,iPad)
- LG TV
- Samsung Smart TV
- Xbox One.
FuboTV also supports Hisense and VIZIO smart TVs. Sling TV supports AirTV, Google Nest, Oculus, Portal, TiVo Stream, and Xfinity devices.
Which Is Best
Which service is best really depends on your preferences and viewing needs. Do you love having lots of channels to surf?
Do you prefer soccer or rugby to American basketball? Are you from Europe or South America — or simply spent a lot of time there — and want to keep following your team(s)? Do you like watching a lot of niche sports and leisure activities like billiards, poker, horse racing, or esports? Do you have a screen and a broadband connection that can support 4K? Does your household watch primarily (or only) in Spanish? Then you should check Fubo out.
Fubo has a lot of channels. It has the biggest channel packages of any streaming service, even DIRECTV STREAM, and its DVR storage is much, much better. Also, 4K is included in the plan.
Even for non-sports fans, Fubo is still a pretty good deal, and that’s saying a lot. Just bear in mind you’ll be missing all the A&E channels (including History and Lifetime) and all the Warner channels (Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, TCM, CNN, TNT, TBS).
On the other hand, are you someone who watches 5-10 core channels and occasionally a few others, and don’t want to pay for more than that? Are you a more casual TV dabbler who likes a couple series, a movie here, a ball game there? Are you a micromanager who likes to fiddle and pick and choose and customize from a wildly diverse selection of offerings? Are you single and just want to watch ESPN on the weekends? Then you should go with Sling TV.
The thing to remember with Sling is that if you truly do want a ton of channels, it’ll be cheaper to go with one of the bigger, higher-priced services because in the long run, Sling will nickel-and-dime you right over a hundred dollars or more.
- Hulu + Live TV: Slightly more than Fubo without as many channels but including its industry-dominating on-demand library as well Disney+ and ESPN+. It is missing AMC Networks channels, but that’s about it. See our Hulu + Live TV review.
- DIRECTV STREAM: Yes, you can have it all, if you’re willing to pay more for it. Plans start at $69.99/mo, but you get the most of the top channels, with no glaring omissions. And if you upgrade to the Choice plan ($84.99/mo), you get access to its great selection of RSNs. Get more information: DIRECTV STREAM review.
- Vidgo: Mid-level service starting at $55/mo for lots of family-friendly channels and great college football coverage. No DVR service included. See our Vidgo review.
- Philo: Bargain service with over 60 channels for $25/mo. No sports or news, but plenty of general entertainment and family fare. Unlimited DVR included. Our Philo review has more.
- YouTube TV: Provides roughly the same number of channels as Hulu + Live and Fubo, but without the value-adding on-demand or international sports. It offers 4K on some channels for $19.99/mo extra, but unlimited DVR on all accounts.
To sum up, FuboTV has a lot of channels, and about a third of them (35+) are all about sports. Your reaction to just that one fact (“Awesome!” versus “Ugh, why?!”) should help clarify whether Fubo is worth taking a further look.
Those in the “Ugh, why?!” camp should note though that Fubo’s 70+ non-sports channels are comparable to other similarly-priced services. In other words, Fubo is a perfectly good cable-replacement service even for the very casual sports fan.
Sling TV, on the other hand, fits a few very specific niches but is unlikely to meet the needs of most moderate to hardcore sports fans, especially without breaking the bank. But it should work well if you’re looking for other entertainment: comedy, drama, kids, movies, suspense, mystery, horror, fantasy.
Want to test one of these services?