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3 Cheap Live TV Streaming Services That Are Worth Paying For

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Frndly TV, Philo and Sling TV are some of the cheapest live TV streaming services around. With the cost of a live TV subscription directly linked to the channels, the selection is often the biggest compromise with cheaper services. In spite of this, some may find the more affordable services actually provide access to the very channels they want the most, removing the need to pay more for the channels they don’t want.

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Sling TV, Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV are currently the most popular live TV streaming services in the United States, with each providing live TV to millions of subscribers. However, with the exception of Sling TV, the other two services are fairly expensive. For example, YouTube TV currently costs $64.99 per month while Hulu Live TV costs $69.99 each month, with both services having encountered multiple price increases over the last few years.

While live TV streaming prices have been on the rise in general, that doesn’t mean consumers should, or even need to, pay so much each month. Thankfully, these higher-priced services are not the only options. With live TV channels available to watch over the internet for as little as $6.99 per month, consumers can choose a service which better fits their budget.

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Frndly TV (from $6.99 per month)

Frndly TV channel guide

One of the cheapest options for live TV streaming is Frndly TV. To be clear, it is also one of the most limited, with Frndly TV’s channel lineup not quite as varied as many other live TV services. Still, the limited channel selection is what helps to keep the overall cost down, and it’s hard to argue with the price.

Frndly TV is actually a service that’s very focused on family-friendly shows and movies, hence the name, which is another factor to keep in mind before signing up as this approach to content might not suit everyone. For others, however, it can be a highly affordable way to stream live TV if the selection of channels happens to match the channels that are most commonly watched by an individual or household.

While Frndly TV doesn’t really provide much in the way of add-ons or options to expand the channel lineup, the service does offer more than one plan. These upgraded packages either add cloud DVR or expand the number of recording hours, improve the overall quality, or make it possible for more people to watch at the same time. Regardless of the plan, Frndly TV maintains an emphasis on price, considering the most expensive plan costs just $10.99 per month.

Philo TV ($25 per month)

Philo live TV channel guide
Philo channel guide

At $25 per month, Philo is a little more than twice the cost of the most expensive Frndly TV package. However, it does come with considerably more channels. In total Philo offers access to no fewer than 60 channels, making it a good option for those individuals and households that want access to as much live TV as possible. It also comes with a very easy to use interface.

Another benefit with Philo is that it doesn’t really offer any other plans. Due to this, all subscribers get access to the full Philo experience for the same low price. For reference, this not only means access to on demand content and a cloud DVR, but there are also no restrictions on the number of hours. While Philo subscribers can record as many shows and movies as they want, they will need to watch recordings within a year of being recorded.

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Where Philo may prove less appealing to some is in the channel selection in general. In spite of providing access to a greater number of channels overall, it is missing some popular ones. Again, this is a result of an attempt to keep the price down, with the most popular networks typically costing the most money. Still, at $25 per month, and with more than 60 channels to watch, it’s a good option to consider.

Sling TV (from $35 per month)

Sling Tv channel guide
Sling TV channel guide

For those that find the Philo live TV channel lineup is missing their favorite channels, there’s always Sling TV. Technically Sling TV comes with fewer channels than Philo, but the selection is more focused on the ones that many households will be mostly interested in. Due to this, it can be a better option for some individuals and households.

Sling TV offers two main plans, Sling Orange and Sling Blue, and there’s no difference in the price. With both of Sling’s main plans costing $35 per month, deciding between them mostly comes down to the channel lineups. For those mostly interested in news and entertainment, as well as the widest selection of channels possible, Sling Blue is going to be the best option. In contrast, those more interested in sports and family content will likely find Sling Orange is the right choice.

Another benefit of Sling TV is the add-ons and extras. Sling provides multiple ways for subscribers to upgrade their live TV package, including choosing from a variety of channels packs. While these do add to the additional monthly cost as well, they put the control in the hands of the subscriber. For example, those who want access to additional news or entertainment channels can just add them, instead of having to upgrade to another plan where they may end up paying for channels they don’t want as well.

Cheapest live TV services summary

The cost of live TV streaming is increasing and, considering the way the market has been trending in recent years, that’s unlikely to change anytime soon. However, services like Frndly TV, Philo and Sling TV provide an affordable way to watch live TV. These services do tend to compromise in some way, but with plans starting from as low as $6.99 per month, they can be a good option for individuals and households that want to watch live TV without having to subscribe to expensive monthly plans.

In reality, choosing the right live TV service shouldn’t come down to how many channels a plan has, but how suitable the channel lineup is. If Frndly TV, Philo or Sling TV meet the channel needs of an individual or household, then there’s no real reason to pay for a more expensive service.

Updated: January 28th, 2022

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John Finn

By John Finn

John started Streaming Better to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been writing about technology and TV-related services and devices since 2014 and believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingbetter.com or on Twitter

One reply on “3 Cheap Live TV Streaming Services That Are Worth Paying For”

Bottom line is that no matter cable service or streaming guarantees you’ll always be paying the highest rates continuously because they CAN charge and upcharge whatever to raise the billions of bottom $ for top dogs. This highly includes ISP’S.

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