FuboTV review: Solid choice for sports fans, but with some holes in its game

In the near future, live TV streaming services like YouTube TV, Sling TV and FuboTV are what live television is going to look like. There’ll be no set-top cable box — instead all of your live TV shows will be streamed over the internet. To differentiate itself from rivals, FuboTV has a sports-centric focus, and the addition of Disney-owned networks like ABC and ESPN helps fill out gaps in its schedule. The attendant $5 increase to $60 per month also makes Fubo one of the most expensive options.

LikeSolid selection of channels with a sports bentFans of soccer will find plenty to loveQuick and easy navigation, especially on Roku

Don’t LikeLacks CNN, TNT, TBS and other Turner channelsYouTube TV is better overall for $5 moreHulu Live is a better value for $5 less

FuboTV has a robust channel lineup, and changes to the interface and suggestion engine have made it a lot more usable and fun, but I like two other services in this price range better. The cheaper Hulu Plus Live TV offers better value and a wealth of on-demand content, while YouTube TV offers a better experience and even more channels for just $5 more. It doesn’t help that when adding Disney’s networks, Fubo dropped Turner’s, meaning it no longer carries popular channels like TNT and TBS — so subscribers won’t get NBA or MLB games from either network. Overall, Fubo is a better service than it was — but still remains a niche player catering mainly to sports fans.

What is FuboTV?

FuboTV’s home screen on an Apple TV is uncluttered and friendly.

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

FuboTV launched in January 2015 as a soccer (er, football) streaming service and has expanded its reach with an extensive list of channels. Of our top 100 channels Fubo has 65, second only to YouTube TV with 75. FuboTV branches out into most categories including crime, drama and movies, but its origins are still apparent with dozens of sports-centric channels.

Fubo has offered live 4K sports programming in the past for events such as the 2019 Super Bowl, the Westminster Dog Show and the NCAA basketball tournament (March Madness). Due to the effects of the coronavirus, however, such coverage is on hold and the upcoming 4K events page on FuboTV hasn’t been updated in months. 

As sports leagues restart, Fubo allows you to follow most of the action, particularly soccer like the UEFA Europa League. While the addition of ESPN and ABC are particularly welcome, besides dropping TNT and TBS the service also lost Fox’s regional sports networks in January. The chart at the end of this article has a full comparison of how FuboTV’s channel lineup fares against competitors.

The cloud DVR comes with just 30 hours of recording by default, although users can boost this to 500 hours for an extra $9.99 a month. By comparison, YouTube TV’s DVR has unlimited storage. I found that I filled Fubo’s 30-hour limit without trying at all, so heavy DVR users will probably want to budget for the upgrade — especially if you record entire TV series or games from your favorite teams.

Live TV streaming services compared

AT&T TV Now

FuboTV

Hulu Plus Live TV

Sling TV

YouTube TV

Base price

$55/month for 45-plus channels

$60/month for 100-plus channels

$55/month for 60-plus channels

$30/month for 30-plus (Orange) or 45-plus (Blue) channels

$65/month for 85-plus channels

Free trial

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC channels

Yes, in many markets

Yes, in many markets

Yes, in many markets

Fox and NBC only in select cities

Yes, in many markets

Simultaneous streams per account

2 ($5 option for 3)

2 ($6 option for 3)

2 ($15 option for unlimited)

1 (Orange), 3 (Blue)

3

Family member/user profiles

No

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Cloud DVR

Yes (50 hours, 200 hours for $10 a month)

Yes (30 hours, 500 hours for $10 a month)

Yes

Yes

Yes (keep for 9 months)

Fast-forward through or skip commercials with cloud DVR

No (Yes with $15 option)

Yes

No (Yes with $10 option)

Yes

Yes

What’s it like to use?
Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The basic menus are an improvement on the previous interface which, despite having the same options, felt overly cluttered as all of the entries were the same-size text. Options across the top of the home screen are Search, Home, Sports, Shows, Movies, Guide, Recordings and a smaller Account button. 

Most of these menus summon a Netflix-like grid, which groups similar types of content, but I found the navigation speed varied according to platform. I used the interface on the most popular devices including Roku, Fire TV Stick, Apple TV ($179 at Apple), iOS and the Chrome browser. I found that while the mobile and browser versions worked as expected, the TV iterations varied, and some were slicker than others.

If you’re using the Apple TV, for example, the top navigation menu is hidden and requires an upwards swipe, but this looks more elegant than the Roku version which has a visible menu on all content pages. I liked Roku best for browsing — it was responsive and let me use the fast-forward key to zip through the thumbnails. 

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My least favorite Fubo platform was the standard Amazon Fire TV Stick, and this is likely due to the hardware itself — the first clue was the lack of a fast-forward capability that Roku offers. Scrolling, whether it was up, down, left or right, was laggy with a noticeable stutter, and each thumbnail would take a couple of seconds to appear. The newer Fire TV 4K was better, but it still lacks Alexa integration for quick voice searches.

Should you get it?

Even compared with a month ago, FuboTV is more enjoyable than ever, thanks to some interface upgrades. Further, it offers the second-most “must-have” channels behind YouTube TV. If you’re a hardcore sports fan, or simply want one of the most diverse range of channels, it’s worthwhile signing up for a week to try it out. If you want the best value at this level, though, it’s Hulu where your money is best spent.

Top 100 channels compared

Channel

Hulu with Live TV ($55)

AT&T TV Now ($55)

Fubo TV ($60)

YouTube TV ($65)

Total channels:

60

45

65

75

ABC

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

CBS

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Fox

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

NBC

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

PBS

No

No

No

Yes

CW

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

MyNetworkTV

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Channel

Hulu with Live TV ($55)

AT&T TV Now ($55)

Fubo TV ($60)

YouTube TV ($65)

A&E

Yes

$

Yes

No

ACC Network

Yes

No

$

Yes

AMC

No

$

Yes

Yes

Animal Planet

Yes

$

Yes

Yes

BBC America

No

$

Yes

Yes

BBC World News

No

$

$

Yes

BET

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Big Ten Network

Yes

$

Yes

Yes

Bloomberg TV

Yes

$

No

No

Boomerang

Yes

Yes

No

No

Bravo

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Channel

Hulu with Live TV ($55)

AT&T TV Now ($55)

Fubo TV ($60)

YouTube TV ($65)

Cartoon Network

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

CBS Sports Network

Yes

$

Yes

Yes

Cheddar

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Cinemax

$

$

No

$

CMT

No

$

Yes

Yes

CNBC

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

CNN

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Comedy Central

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Cooking Channel

$

$

$

No

Destination America

$

$

$

No

Discovery Channel

Yes

$

Yes

Yes

Disney Channel

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Disney Junior

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Disney XD

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

DIY

$

$

$

No

E!

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

EPIX

No

$

No

$

ESPN

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

ESPN 2

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

ESPNEWS

Yes

$

$

Yes

ESPNU

Yes

$

$

Yes

Channel

Hulu with Live TV ($55)

AT&T TV Now ($55)

Fubo TV ($60)

YouTube TV ($65)

Food Network

Yes

$

Yes

Yes

Fox Business

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Fox News

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Fox Sports 1

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Fox Sports 2

Yes

$

Yes

Yes

Freeform

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

FX

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

FX Movies

Yes

Yes

$

Yes

FXX

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

FYI

$

$

Yes

No

Golf Channel

Yes

$

Yes

Yes

Hallmark

No

Yes

Yes

No

HBO

$

$

No

$

HGTV

Yes

$

Yes

Yes

History

Yes

$

Yes

No

HLN

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

IFC

No

$

Yes

Yes

Investigation Discovery

Yes

$

Yes

Yes

Lifetime

Yes

$

Yes

No

Lifetime Movie Network

$

$

Yes

No

Channel

Hulu with Live TV ($55)

AT&T TV Now ($55)

Fubo TV ($60)

YouTube TV ($65)

MLB Network

No

$

$

Yes

Motor Trend

Yes

$

Yes

Yes

MSNBC

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

MTV

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

MTV2

No

$

$

No

National Geographic

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Nat Geo Wild

Yes

Yes

$

Yes

NBA TV

No

$

$

Yes

NBC Sports Network

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Newsy

No

No

$

Yes

NFL Network

No

No

Yes

No

NFL Red Zone

No

No

$

No

NHL Network

No

$

$

No

Nickelodeon

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Nick Jr.

No

Yes

Yes

No

Nicktoons

No

$

$

No

OWN

No

$

Yes

Yes

Oxygen

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Paramount Network

No

$

Yes

Yes

Channel

Hulu with Live TV ($55)

AT&T TV Now ($55)

Fubo TV ($60)

YouTube TV ($65)

Science

$

$

$

No

SEC Network

Yes

$

$

Yes

Showtime

$

$

$

$

Smithsonian

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Starz

$

$

No

$

Sundance TV

No

$

Yes

Yes

Syfy

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Tastemade

No

$

Yes

Yes

TBS

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

TCM

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Telemundo

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Tennis Channel

No

$

$

Yes

TLC

Yes

$

Yes

Yes

TNT

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Travel Channel

Yes

$

Yes

Yes

TruTV

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

TV Land

No

$

Yes

Yes

USA Network

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

VH1

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Viceland

Yes

$

Yes

No

Weather Channel

No

$

Yes

No

WE tv

No

$

Yes

Yes

Viceland

Yes

$

Yes

No

Weather Channel

No

$

Yes

No

WE tv

No

$

Yes

Yes

Channel

Hulu with Live TV ($55)

AT&T TV Now ($55)

Fubo TV ($60)

YouTube TV ($65)


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