fuboTV review: a good cord cutting option for sports fans
Looking to cut the cord on your cable TV subscription? There are a lot of companies out there now that will help you do just that and still get your TV fix. These OTT (Over-the-Top) providers deliver video content over the internet, two of the most well-known OTT providers are Netflix and Hulu, but the market has significantly expanded in recent years with new entrants like Sling TV, YouTube TV, and the one I’m going to be reviewing today, fuboTV.
What is fuboTV?
fuboTV began with a focus on soccer streaming, eventually evolving into a sports-first OTT service. Today, fuboTV offers customers access to watch 30,000 sporting events per year and also sports (see what I did there?)a lineup of at least 75 channels, featuring over 500 local broadcast stations, top regional sports networks, and national channels owned by A+E, AMC, Discovery, Fox, NBCU, Turner and more.
One thing I’ve noticed is that most of these OTT providers have essentially the same basic channel lineups. fuboTV is really not much different, though, based on what I’ve seen, they do have more sports channels in each plan than other competing services–which does make sense as the service is sports focused.
So what channels can you expect? Well, some of the channels you’ll be provided depend on your location. For example, I get the YES Network (the Yankees channel) as I live in NY–if you elsewhere, you likely wouldn’t get that channel. That being said, you can definitely expect to get CBS, Fox, and NBC–no ABC or ESPN though. With fuboTV, you’ll also get CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox News, TNT, TBS, AMC, and USA no matter which plan you go for (they have two plans: fubo and fubo Extra).
In addition to each plan, you can purchase additional add-ons for your plan. These add-ons offer additional sports channels (e.g. NFL RedZone, NBA League Pass) as well as premium channels (e.g. Showtime). The add-ons range in price but start at $4.99/month for the Adventure Plus add-on and go to $28.99/month for the NBA League Pass add-on.
Overall, the channel selection is on par with other services I’ve tested in the past. None of these OTT will be providing you 500+ channels, but then again, that’s not the type of customer they’re targeting.
The fuboTV is one of the better OTT apps I’ve seen. I really like how it’s laid out. The menu bar is broken up into five main sections: Sports, Shows, Movies, Guide, and My Fubo.
Each section highlights sports games, shows, and movies that are either on TV right now, are coming up soon, or that you just missed. If the content is live now, simply tap on it and it’ll start playing immediately. If the content isn’t on yet, you can have the app record it whenever it’s on. And if you happen to just miss your favorite show, well, you can tap on it and it’ll start playing immediately. The only downside to this is that fast-forwarding is disabled so it’s like you’re watching it live.
In terms of recording content with fuboTV, each plan has cloud DVR functionality. All content you record will be stored indefinitely (or until you delete it) in the fuboTV cloud DVR and can be accessed via the My Fubo section of app. By default, fuboTV provides 30 hours of cloud DVR storage to all customers, however, if you want more it’ll cost you an additional $9.99/month and you can bump that number to 500 hours. I should also note that if you do DVR content using fuboTV, you will be able to fast-forward–it’s only if you’re watching something you just missed (and didn’t DVR) that you cannot fast-forward.
If you’re using your iPad and you want to quickly switch to watching on your TV, you can do that with the fuboTV app with ease. The app has support for both AirPlay and Chromecast so no matter which platform you’re using, you’ll be able to stream that content to your TV.
The app works fairly well, the content is streamed in HD–fuboTV even has some 4k channels. I did experience some issues when relaunching the app after a period of not using it, it would just sit on a black screen and I had to force quit the app and relaunch it which seemed to clear up the issue for a bit.
Another thing I like about the fuboTV app is that if you’re watching something and want to browse to see what else is on, you can simply swipe down on the content and it’ll move it to a PIP (picture-in-picture) window on the bottom right of the app allowing you to then browse through the app for something else to watch.
Alright, so how does the price of fuboTV stack up against the competitors?
The basic fubo plan will run you $45/month, while fubo Extra will cost you $50/month. That’s before any add-ons that you may want to tack on, such as additional sports channels, Showtime, or more cloud DVR space. Both plans allow for up to two simultaneous streams from one account, if you want to add the ability to stream to a third device, that’ll cost you an additional $5.99/month.
All-in, with fuboTV, you’re probably going to end up paying between $45 and $85 per month depending on what (if any) add-ons you choose. For a single person using a fuboTV account, you’re likely going to be on the lower end of the pricing spectrum.
How does fuboTV compare to YouTube TV? Well, YouTube TV costs $40/month with unlimited cloud DVR space and a similar channel lineup–though definitely not as many sports channels. Additionally, YouTube TV offers the NBA League Pass add-on for an additional $40/month on your plan, whereas, fuboTV offers the NBA League Pass for an additional $28.99/month on your plan. That’s still a savings, even if you account for the fact the fuboTV plans are a little more expensive.
I also compared the fuboTV pricing to that of my Verizon TV package that I have as part of the internet, TV, and phone bundle. Currently I have FiOS TV Ultimate HD (which I believe is the most expensive TV package they offer) and after a $5/month discount, my TV portion of the bill is $85. While I certainly don’t watch nearly all the channels I’m provided, I signed up for this TV package because of the bundle deal I was given. I was paying more than $220/month for FiOS Gigabit speeds, the lowest end TV package, and phone–when I called to ask what they could do for me, I was able to keep my FiOS Gigabit speeds, upgrade to the best TV package + HBO, and keep my phone line for under $200/month.
The point is, I don’t know if these OTT services that offer TV packages will ultimately save you money when compared to a good bundle offer from your ISP (because keep in mind, without a bundle sometimes the other services offered by your ISP increase significantly in price) but if you’re looking for a more a la carte way of doing things then maybe it works for you.
I like fuboTV, it works well and if you’re into sports, it makes sense to use. I’ve been enjoying watching Premier League soccer on Saturday mornings since I started testing the service. If you’re interested in trying it out for yourself, check out their site.