fuboTV is a good option for streaming live TV over the internet. Even though the price is a little on the high side, the selection of channels, on-demand content, app experience, and the additional features all help to justify the cost. Where consumers may find the decision a little harder to make is when taking into consideration that fuboTV costs the same as Hulu Live TV and more than YouTube TV.
While fuboTV has been around for some time now, the service has changed over the years. Originally positioned as a solution for sports fans, fuboTV has continued to evolve. The current version now boasts a wide selection of channels and is likely to appeal to a variety of different consumers looking to stream live TV.
fuboTV will suit those looking for a live TV streaming service with a focus on sports content, but also enough entertainment channels to keep the rest of the household busy. However, the price is a little on the high side and some may find that competing services offer plans that better suits their needs for the same price.
Plenty of channel
Good for sports
4K (Elite and Ultimate)
Missing some popular channels
Most content limited to 720p
A Limited DVR
fuboTV starts at $69.99 per month for the Pro plan but consumers can also upgrade to either the Elite or Ultimate plans. Upgrading to either of the more expensive plans will not only increases the number of channels, but also affects the resolution. The Elite plan is currently priced at $79.99 while the Ultimate plan costs $99.99 per month.
To sum up our experience, fuboTV works well, it is reliable, and many consumers will find it to be a good alternative to Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV. However, before signing up to fuboTV, it might be worth taking a closer look at what exactly is on offer in terms of live TV, the on-demand catalog, the cloud DVR, and the overall experience. Below is our full review of fuboTV.
fuboTV’s live TV and on-demand
fuboTV features a good selection of channels overall, which should make it a suitable option for many individuals and households. The standard (Pro) plan comes with more than 130 channels while the Elite plan boosts the number to over 190 and the Ultimate plan to over 230. However, that number is slightly deceptive as it does include multiple channels from the same networks, and especially in terms of sports channels.
While the service has prioritized sports in the past, that’s no longer the case with a subscription now including more entertainment and news channels than ever before. There are still some notably channels missing, including Cartoon Network, CNN, TBS, and TNT, among others. Generally speaking, the lineup is rich enough to make the asking price worth it. It is also varied enough to appeal to multiple household members, and their varying tastes.
The same is largely true for the on-demand catalog. fuboTV provides a good amount of content that’s available to watch on request, and from many of the channels included with a subscription. This is in addition to offering TV Everywhere support for a number of networks as well, allowing subscribers to use their login details to access even more videos from popular channels. All of which means there is plenty to watch with a fuboTV subscription.
fuboTV also offers an easy-to-use live TV guide, and the Guide section of the app or website comes with enough options to make finding the right channel easier. For example, subscribers can sort by listings or networks, view listings by day (up to seven days), or filter by one of the various categories, such as News, Sports, or Entertainment. There is also an option to favorite some channels to position them higher up the guide.
Clicking on any of the live listings won’t immediately start playing the channel, but will open a new page instead. Subscribers then have the ability to either play the live feed, play the current program from the beginning (depending on the channel/video), record the program, or head over to the program’s title page for more information.
If watching certain live sports, fuboTV also offers a FanView which essentially places the game in a smaller window, allowing the additional space (to the side and below) to display stats and scores. No matter which sport is being watched in FanView, the viewer can quickly check the scores for other sports, including MLB, MLS, NBA, and NHL.
The actual playback interface is functional, but also a little confusing. The initial layer allows pausing, rewinding, fast forwarding, and starting over. Then there’s a second menu which allows the viewer to see additional information, such as the program description, or access the settings to make changes. For example, when watching live TV, on-demand or recorded content, the viewer is able to adjust the resolution to improve the picture quality or reduce data usage. This is in addition to enabling subtitles and captions, or turning on streaming stats for a more granular look.
Pressing down on the remote while watching live TV opens yet another menu. This one is designed to make it easier for subscribers to quickly switch between related channels, switch back to the previously viewed channel, or select a category. For example, Entertainment or Local to see a selection of specific genre channels.
All in all, the fuboTV live guide and on-demand section work as expected. While there are multiple menus to navigate, it functions well overall, and gets many of the basics right.
The general fuboTV app experience
fuboTV subscribers shouldn’t encounter too many issues when it comes to devices. This live TV service is fairly well supported with apps available to download on different smart TVs and streaming players. The fuboTV website and apps are also fairly well polished, resulting in a reliable and easy-to-use experience. However, there are some smaller issues that some may find annoying. Or, at the very least, frustrating. The first is the quality of the streaming to begin with.
While there’s nothing majorly wrong with the reliability of the streaming experience, the 720p maximum resolution for live TV might be an issue for some. It is particularly noticeable when watching live sports on a larger TV. fuboTV does offer 4K support, but only for those signed up to either the Elite or Ultimate plans. In addition, 4K is currently limited to select events. Any channels available in 4K are listed in the guide but, more often than not, they won’t be playing anything at the time.
In most cases, sports fans will probably have to settle for 720p and a slightly grainy picture. While on-demand content is available to stream in 1080p, that’s not going to help those who prefer to watch live. As recordings are also limited to the video quality of the channel, subscribers shouldn’t expect recordings to be available in anything above 720p in most cases.
A more minor grievance is with account management. Although the various platform apps are easy enough to use, they’re somewhat limited in terms of account options. There is no ability to make changes to a plan from within the apps, including adding any additional channels or extras. Instead, all of these changes need to be made through the fuboTV website. Even though this type of limited in-app account management is not solely a problem with fuboTV, it’s still something to be aware of.
One problem that has since been fixed by fuboTV relates to the watch list. Last time we took a closer look at fuboTV, there was no ability to add on-demand content to a watch list. Even though there was a dedicated My Stuff section in the app, this was previously and solely reserved for recorded content, somewhat forcing subscribers to record an upcoming version if they want to bookmark an episode or movie for later.
That’s now changed. Subscribers can now easily bookmark any program by opening the program’s details page and then clicking on Add to My Stuff. Once done, the program can be accessed via an Added section in the My Stuff tab.
Subscribers will also find a Continue watching section under My Stuff to make it easier to jump back into an episode, movie, or game. It is worth noting that there’s also a Where You Left Off section on the home screen which can also be used to access partially watched videos.
fuboTV’s cloud DVR and additional streams
fuboTV offers a good, but not great, DVR experience. Firstly, it is not unlimited. While the exact amount of space a subscriber received was previously dependent on their plan, that’s no longer the case. All fuboTV subscribers, except those on the Latino plan, receive 1000 hours of recording space. Even though this is likely to be plenty for most homes, it is still limited, and the restriction may prove specifically problematic for the busiest of households.
Further adding to the issue, the DVR does not count scheduled recordings as part of the overall limit. This can make it difficult to know exactly how much space is already allocated for recordings and manage accordingly.
When it comes to shows and sports, where there are likely to be multiple recordings available, fuboTV does allow subscribers to set a recording preference for a single episode/event, the show, or sports team as a whole. Likewise, if recording all episodes for a show (or games for a team), there is the option (under the Recorded tab) to deselect a single episode or event. This can help to remove an individual recording without affecting the rest of the scheduled recordings.
That’s largely the extent to the ability to manage the DVR, and on some devices recorded content cannot be sorted any further in the Recorded tab. For example, while the website allows sorting by All, Sports, Shows, and Movies, the smart TV apps don’t offer these additional recorded filters.
Similar to the DVR experience, the number of devices a fuboTV account can be streamed on at the same time depends on the situation. Previously, fuboTV only offered the option to stream on up to three devices at the same time, but has since upgraded all of its its plans (except Latino) to unlimited – which fuboTV defines as 10. However, this is in relation to when accessing the service through the home network. If accessing outside the home, all fuboTV subscribers are limited to a maximum of three streams at the same time, irrespective of their plan. Whether at home or away from home, all Latino plan subscribers are currently limited to 2 screens at the same time.
fuboTV price and overall value
The price of fuboTV is not bad when considering the value, but it’s not exactly great either. Subscribers do get access to a decent selection of channels and there’s plenty of on-demand content available to watch. Not to mention, there is the ability to expand the channels and on-demand content further, albeit at an additional cost per month.
The value problem fuboTV faces is when comparing to other similarly-priced services. For example, YouTube TV offers more features and a better DVR experience at a cheaper price. Likewise, a Hulu Live TV subscription costs exactly the same as fuboTV’s Pro plan but also unlocks access to basic Hulu, Disney Plus and ESPN Plus as well. For those wanting to save a few dollars, YouTube TV is going to be a better option. For those wanting access to as much content as possible, Hulu Live TV greatly expands the amount of available on-demand content.
|Hulu Live TV||$69.99||75+|
None of this is to say that fuboTV doesn’t offer value for money, or isn’t worth the asking price. It is just that some consumers may find better value with other services at the same price point. Of course, sports is the notable exception here, as fuboTV does include enough additional sports channels and content to add extra value for sports fan. For non-sports fans, fuboTV offers good value, but not quite as good as Hulu or YouTube TV.
fuboTV review summary
fuboTV is an excellent live TV streaming service and those subscribing shouldn’t find too many issues overall. There is a good selection of live TV channels, plenty of on-demand content, and the app experience is very reliable. Where the issues start to arise is in the resolution and the price. While the resolution might not be a major issue for some, it is likely to be a concern for sports fans – the ones who are most likely to otherwise benefit from a fuboTV subscription. fuboTV’s 4K support is a work in progress so this particular issue may resolve itself in time. Not to mention, fuboTV isn’t the only live TV service that currently has a 4K problem.
As for the price, fuboTV offers good value for money but it is still an expensive service in general. The fact that a subscription costs exactly the same as Hulu Live TV, and is more expensive than YouTube TV, means some consumers may find they are better off going with one of these other services. Overall, fuboTV is absolutely worth trying, as the channel selection and features may suit some homes better than competing services.
Updated October 2022