We may be living in the age of streaming entertainment, but that doesn’t mean the old ways have died out completely. With the ability to watch whatever you want whenever you want comes certain pressures. You can’t just let the TV ride and see what comes on; the choice falls to you, at least if you don’t want the algorithm to start serving up weird stuff. Sometimes, you just don’t feel like dealing with that, and that’s where streaming TV fills its niche.
Many top streaming services feature live channels in addition to their libraries of on-demand content, ready to offer you that endless schedule of random programming you crave while working or zoning out on the couch. Two of the most prominent choices for streaming TV right now are FuboTV and YouTube TV. If the name of the game is live channels, though, which one of these two services reigns supreme?
FuboTV’s live channels
FuboTV is intended primarily as a replacement for your cable package, an all-inclusive streaming TV service. Compared to some other services on the block, its on-demand offerings aren’t quite as robust, but it makes up for that with quite an impressive array of live channels to choose from.
The Pro-tier FuboTV package features 153 live channels. This includes all of the bedrock staples of cable, like the major news networks, entertainment like Comedy Central, FX, and MTV, kids’ programming like Nickelodeon and The Disney Channel, and sports channels for just about everything you can think of. The Elite-tier package adds an additional 53 sub-channels like MTV Classic and Discovery Family, plus 12 extra news channels. The Premier-tier package adds 9 different Showtime channels on top of everything else. As a side note, there’s also a dedicated Latino package that provides 52 Spanish-language channels. In addition to any of the packages, you can also selectively include add-on packages for sports, news, and entertainment.
YouTube TV’s live channels
Compared to other dedicated streaming TV services, YouTube TV is a bit leaner, prioritizing more popular networks for its live channels. It’s meant to be a streamlined service compared to cable with a flat monthly rate, as opposed to a standalone service which requires annual contracts and installations.
YouTube TV only has one English package, which includes 126 live channels. These channels include all the major news outlets, as well as more specialized entertainment and news channels like Adult Swim, Game Show Network, and the BBC. In addition to the base package channels, though, there are also 47 add-on channels that you can add to your plan piecemeal, including AMC+, Showtime, NBA League Pass, and more. If sports are your aim, there are an additional 14 sports-centric channels you can add to your package. Finally, there are 27 Spanish language channels you can add to your English plan, though if you only want Spanish channels, there is also a dedicated Spanish package that includes all the Spanish channels, plus 3 extra channels. You may be able to access additional local news channels on YouTube TV depending on where you live, but your mileage may vary on that, so we won’t include those channels in the final tally.
The winner is…
The absolute highest number of channels you could conceivably have with FuboTV is 227, while the most channels you could have with YouTube TV is 214. It’s quite a close race, but in terms of sheer channel availability, FuboTV just barely wins out over YouTube TV. If you want a service to mindlessly channel surf upon, FuboTV will keep you surfing for comparably longer than YouTube TV.
It’s also worth mentioning that FuboTV’s Premier-tier package costs $94.99 a month, while the base YouTube TV package costs $72.99 a month, plus an additional $1.99 for every add-on channel. If you wanted to get every single YouTube TV channel, it would cost substantially more than FuboTV, even at its height. If you want the most channels possible between these two services, you’ll probably want to go with FuboTV, while YouTube TV can provide a slightly more affordable, customizable approach.