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The best streaming services in 2024


Free trial: Yes | Monthly price: $73/month | Live TV: Yes | Local channels: Yes

YouTube TV is a great option for cord cutters who still want to watch live TV without having to sign up for a contract. It carries over 85 different channels, so it’s highly likely that you won’t miss your cable TV or satellite subscription at all if you switch over. YouTube TV even carries your regional PBS channels, which is a rarity on most live TV streaming services.

Where YouTube TV really shines is in the live sports department. Not only does it offer sports-carrying channels like CBS, FOX, ESPN, NBC, TBS and TNT, it also offers specific sports coverage networks like the MLB Network, NBA TV and the NFL Network. You can even opt for a Sports Plus package for an additional $11 a month if you want specific sports channels like NFL RedZone, FOX College Sports, GOLTV, FOX Soccer Plus, MAVTV Motorsports Network, TVG and Stadium. Unfortunately, however, YouTube TV recently lost the rights to carry Bally Sports regional networks, which means that you won’t get region-specific channels such as Bally Sports Detroit or Bally Sports Southwest.

One particularly strong selling point for sports fans is that instead of always remembering to record a particular game, you can just choose to “follow” a specific team and the DVR will automatically record all of its games. Plus, if you happen to have jumped into the match late, there’s a “catch up with key plays” feature that lets you watch all the highlights up until that point so that you’re up to speed.

YouTube TV is on the expensive side at $73 a month, which might not be much more than your basic cable package. If you want to add 4K viewing (which is currently only available through certain sporting events) plus unlimited streaming, you’d have to cough up an additional $20 a month. But a standard subscription includes channels such as BBC, BET, Comedy Central, the Food Network, MTV, Nickelodeon, USA, and more.

It currently offers one of the best cloud DVRs available. YouTube TV’s DVR has unlimited storage plus you have up to nine months to watch your recorded content before they expire. There are also no DVR up-charges here; you can rewind or fast forward through the recorded content as you please by default. We should note, however, that the on-demand content on YouTube TV does have ads which you can’t fast-forward through.

There’s also a plethora of premium channels that you can add for as low as $3 per month, such as Showtime, Max, Starz, Cinemax and EPIX. You can also subscribe to an Entertainment Plus bundle that includes Max, Showtime and Starz for $30 a month. Other niche add-ons include CuriosityStream, AMC Premiere, Shudder, Sundance Now, Urban Movie Channel, and Acorn TV. — N.L.


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