With the price of a live TV subscription directly linked to networks, the selection of channels 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.
With live TV channels available to watch over the internet for as little as $7.99 a month, it is possible for homes to find a provider that better fits their budget.
Frndly TV — from $7.99 a month
One of the cheapest options for live TV streaming is Frndly TV. While Frndly TV’s channel lineup isn’t as varied as many other live TV services, focusing on fewer channels is how Frndly TV is able to keep the overall cost down, and it’s hard to argue with prices as low as $8 a month.
Frndly TV is somewhat designed with feel good programming in mind, so that’s another factor to be aware of before signing up, as the selection of channels and content may not suit some homes, and especially those looking for live sports or news.
In general, however, Frndly TV is a highly affordable way to stream more than 40 live TV channels, including A&E, Hallmark Channel, History, ION, Lifetime, UPtv, and The Weather Channel, among others.
While Frndly TV doesn’t really provide much in the way of add-ons, the service does offer more than one plan to choose from. These upgraded packages add a cloud DVR, expand the number of recording hours, and make it possible for more people to watch at the same time.
Regardless of the plan, Frndly TV maintains an emphasis on price. Even its most expensive plan is just $11.99 a month.
up to 4 streams
Unlimited DVR (select plans)
Philo TV — $25 a month
At $25 a month, Philo is more than twice the cost of Frndly TV’s most expensive package. However, it does come with many more channels.
In total, Philo offers access to over 70 channels, making it a good option for homes wanting access to as much live TV as possible. That said, those considering Philo will want to check the channel lineup before signing up, as it is missing some popular channels, including live news and sports channels.
A benefit of Philo is that there aren’t any other plans to choose from. All subscribers get access to the full Philo experience for the same low price, including a decent on-demand library and an unlimited cloud DVR.
$12.50 1st month with “DeckTheHallMark23”
Sling TV — from $40 a month
For those that find Philo’s channel lineup to be missing important channels, there’s always Sling TV. Technically, Sling TV comes with fewer channels than Philo, but the selection is more focused on higher profile channels, making it a better option for some individuals and homes.
Sling TV offers two main plans, Sling Orange and Sling Blue, and there is no difference in the price. With both of Sling’s main plans costing $40 a month, deciding between them mostly comes down to the channel lineups.
For those mostly interested in watching news and entertainment, and/or wanting access to the widest selection of channels overall, Sling Blue is likely to be the better option.
50 hours DVR
50% Off Your First Month
If you are more interested in watching sports and family content, then Sling Orange might be the right plan for you.
50 hours DVR
50% Off Your First Month
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 selection of channels packs.
Even though these Extras add to the overall cost, they put the control back in the hands of the subscriber. If you only want access to additional news or entertainment channels then you can just add additional news or entertainment channels, instead of upgrading to a more expensive plan and paying for channels you don’t want.
Why pay more if you don’t need to?
While live TV streaming prices have been on the rise in general, that doesn’t mean consumers should, or even need to, pay more for live TV. Thankfully, these higher-priced services are not the only options.
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 homes across the country.
However, with the exception of Sling TV, the other two services are fairly expensive. While Hulu Live TV is priced at $69.99 each month ($76.99/month from October 2023), YouTube TV costs $72.99 a month.
In contrast, services like Frndly TV, Philo and Sling TV provide an affordable way to watch live TV. These services do tend to compromise in different ways, but with plans as low as $7.99 a month, they can be good options for homes wanting to watch live TV without having to subscribe to an expensive monthly plan.
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 meets your channel needs, then why pay for a more expensive service?