Americans are dumping cable in record numbers. More of us have Netflix than we do cable subscriptions, cord-cutting is picking up speed as cable bills rise, and generally, live TV is struggling to stay relevant. The most recent attempt to get you to watch live TV is AT&T’s new service, which gives their unlimited data subscribers what amounts to cable TV without the sports. The plan joins a crowded field, and if you’re sick of your cable plan, but don’t want to forgo some networks, a live TV streaming plan might be a good option. But what’s out there, what do you get, and is it worth it? Here are all the options currently running, from most expensive to least.
Before we begin, there are a few things worth noting that apply to all these services. Despite what you’d think, local affiliates are not guaranteed to be on the dial; rights to stream networks vary from affiliate to affiliate, so check the site of any service you’re considering. Local news junkies especially should keep this in mind. Also, sports tend to be the most isolated and locked off on these services; for example, if you can’t stream your local affiliate for a broadcast network, instead you’ll get an “on demand” version that blacks out sports games. Sports fans may be better off looking into the streaming service run by the league of their choice, or for broadcast games, just buying an antenna. And finally: Sorry, ads are included and you can’t opt-out. With that in mind, onward!