Cord Cutting Guide

How to Cut the Cord in 2018 (Stream your favorite TV & Sports without Cable)

Watching television is an American tradition and has continued to evolve into new networks, thousands of new shows and more series than I can even keep track of.  With such an array of networks/shows available to viewers, the demand for cable-alternative streaming options has skyrocketed and this write-up will help to guide you on how you can cut the cord today!

How to Choose a Streaming Service

First of all, it’s important to understand that by cutting the cord you won’t sacrifice your ability to stream your favorite series, television shows or live sporting events.  However, there are some streaming services that cater to the needs of different viewers as not all will provide the same amenities (or networks rather).

fuboTV

Cost: 19.99$ for the first month than 34.99$ per month thereafter
Free trial: 7-day free trial
Best for: Sports viewers
Packages included: Premier, 34.99$ per month, Latino, 14.99$ per month, Português, 19.99$ per month

Cord cutting has become a popular trend among sports enthusiasts since the premiums for access to sports networks broadcasted by traditional cable providers have continued to increase.

With such a demand for access to daily sports and the need for an affordable streaming solution came along what I believe to be the best streaming option for sports fans.

Initially launched in 2015 as the go-to platform for live coverage of soccer games/events, fuboTV has since expanded and provides network channels covering all of the in-demand games for all sports including Soccer, NHL, NFL, NBA, MLB, Golf, as well as niche sports such as horse racing and cycling.

fuboTV starts off at 19.99$ for the first month than 35$ per month with no subscription so you are not locked into any contract.

  • Includes national networks such as FS1, FS2, NBCSN, FOX as well as many others
  • Over 60 channels so you will always have something to watch
  • Cloud DVR allows you to record matches so you can watch it anytime, anywhere on any device
  • Have friends or family who prefer news or entertainment channels? fuboTV packages include a lot of popular news and entertainment channels some of which include USA, FX, FOX News, Fuse and many others

    Channels included in the fuboTV Premier Package

Add-ons with fuboTV (Optional):

Premier Package add-ons

  • Portuguese Plus +14.99$/per month. Includes Benfica TV, GolTV Spanish and RTP International
  • Latino +12.99$/per month. Includes Baby TV Español, beIN Sports, beIN Sports Espanol, Cine Sony Television, FOX Deportes, FOX Life, Galavision, GolTV Spanish, Nat Geo Mundo, TyC Sports, Unimas, Univision, Unvision Deportes Network
  • Showtime +10.99$/per month. Includes Showtime East, Showtime West, Showtime 2, Showcase, Showtime Extreme, Showtime Beyond, Showtime Next, Showtime Women and Showtime Family
  • Cycling Plus +8.99$/per month. Includes fuboTV’s channel dedicated for Cycling, fuboTV Cycling
  • Sports Plus +5.99$/per month. Includes GOLTV English, Spanish, Fantasy Sports Network, Fight Network, FOX College Sports Atlantic , FOX College Sports Central, FOX College Sports Pacific, NFL RedZone and TyC Sports
  • Mundo Plus +5.99$/per month. Includes Cine Sony Television, FOX Life, Gol TV Spanish, Net Geo Mundo and TyC Sports
  • The Blues +5.99$/per month. Includes ChelseaTV
  • Kids Plus +2.99$/per month. Includes BabyTV

fubo Latino package add-ons

  • Entretenimiento Plus +4.99$/per month.
  • Portuguese +14.99$/per month.

 

DIRECTV NOW

Cost: 35$ per month
Free trial: 7-day free trial
Best for: Long term cable viewers (fantastic option for new cord cutters)
Packages included: Live a Little, 35$ per month, Just Right, 50$ per month, Go Big, 60$ per month, Gotta Have it!, 70$ per month

DIRECTV NOW is one of the most popular streaming option for those seeking to “cut the cord” as they provide a reliable streaming service with tons of great channels including ESPN, AMC, CNN, Disney Channel, TNT, TBS, Fox News, the weather channel and man more (60+ channels included total).

Regional sports networks and premium channels are provided at an extra cost.

DIRECTV NOW starts at 35$ per month with the “Live a Little” package

  • Includes live sports, news and entertainment channels
  • Possibility to add more channels with add-ons (add HBO or Cinemax for 5$ per month)
  • Cloud DVR, allowing you to record any TV show and watch it later

    DIRECTV NOW Plans including channels/networks in each plan

Add-ons with DIRECTV NOW (Optional):

  • HBO + 5$/per month. Includes HBO East, HBO Family East, HBO Latino, HBO GO login details to access HBO’s on-demand library of content.
  • Cinemax +5$/per month. Includes Cinemax East, MAX GO access, as well as library of Cinemax movies and series.
  • Showtime +8$/per month. Includes Showtime East and SHOW TIME ON DEMAND, allowing you to watch Showtime videos as well as any sporting events on the channel.
  • STARZ +8$/ per month. This is only available on  Live a Little, Just Right or Go Big plans. Includes STARZ East, STARZ Kids & Family, STARZ Encore East and STARZ On-demand allowing you a library of content.

 

SlingTV

Cost: 20$ per month, will increase depending on package
Free trial: 7-day free trial
Best for: Cable cutters who are on a budget
Packages included: Sling Orange 20$ per month, Sling Blue 25$ per month, both Sling Orange and Blue packages together 40$ per month.

Sling TV is another popular choice as a cable alternative and will provide individuals with an affordable solution with streaming plans starting off at only $20 per month.  With have access to around 30 channels per month on their cheapest plan, Sling TV networks can be streamed across all devices including your TV (obviously), computer, phone or tablet.

Sling TV provides a host of networks for your viewing pleasure some of which including TBS, TNT, HGTV and ESPN.  However, for an additional surcharge, upon establishing a subscription to Sling TV you’ll have the option of adding additional channels to your bundle.

  • Ability to add specific channel packages onto your subscription for as little as 5$ per month. Packages include Sports, Entertainment, News, Kids and more.
  • Available on most if not all streaming devices including (Chromecast, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and many other).

Sling provides quite a few local channel coverage.  If you do not see your area than Sling has not added it yet.  We will be updating as Sling provide further announcements.

  • Mesa, AZ: FOX (KSAZ).
  • Fresno, CA: ABC (KFSN),
  • Los Angeles,, CA: ABC (KABC), FOX (KTTV), NBC (KNBC),
  • San Diego, CA: NBC (KNTV)
  • San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA: ABC (KGO), FOX (KTVU), NBC (KNTV)
  • Hartford-New Haven, CT: NBC (WRC)
  • Washington D.C: FOX (WTTG), NBC (WRC)
  • High Springs-Ocala-Gainesville, FL: FOX (WOGX)
  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL: NBC (WTVJ)
  • Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, FL: FOX (WOFL)
  • Petersburg-Tampa, FL: FOX (WTVT)
  • Atlanta, GA: FOX (WAGA)
  • Chicago, IL: ABC (WLS), FOX (WFLD), NBC (WMAQ)
  • Boston, MA: NBC (WBTS)
  • Detroit, MI: FOX (WJBK)
  • Paul, MN: FOX (KMSP)
  • Belmont-Charlotte, NC: FOX (WJZY)
  • Goldsboro-Raleigh-Durham-Fayetteville, NC: ABC (WTVD)
  • New York City, NY: ABC (WABC), FOX (WNYM), NBC (WNBC)
  • Philadelphia, PA: ABC (WPVI), FOX (WTXF), NBC (WCAU)
  • Austin, TX: FOX (KTBC)
  • Fort Worth-Dallas, TX: FOX (KDFW), NBC (KXAS)
  • Houston, TX: ABC (KTRK), CBS (KHOU)

Add-ons with Sling TV (Optional):

  • Sports Extra +10$/per month. Includes beIN Sports, ESPN, ESPNEWS, ESPN Goal Line, ESPNU, Motors TV North AM, NBATV, NFL RedZone, NHL Network, Pac-12 Network, SEC Network, SEC Network+,  Stadium, Univision Deportes
  • Kids Extra +5$/per month. Includes BabyTV, Boomerang, Disney XD, Duck TV, Nick Jr, Nicktoons, Sling Kids, TeenNick
  • HBO +15$/per month. Includes HBO’s on-demand library of content.
  • Showtime +10$/per month. Includes Showtime East, Showtime West, Showtime 2, Showcase, Showtime Extreme, Showtime Beyond, Showtime Next, Showtime Women
  • Cinemax +10$/per month. This add-on includes on-demand content.
  • STARZ +9$/per month. Includes, STARZ, STARZ Comedy, STARZ Edge, STARZ Encore, STARZ Kids & Family and STARZ West
  • Comedy Plus Extra +5$/per month.  Includes CMT, Game Show Network, Logo, MTV, MTV2, Spike and TV Land
  • Lifestyle Plus Extra +5$/per month. Includes, Cooking Channel, DIY Network, E!, FYI, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Lifetime Movie Network, Oxygen, VH1, Vibrant TV, WE tv and Z Living HD
  • Hollywood Extra +5$/per month. Includes, EPIX, EPIX2, EPIX Drive-In, EPIX Hits, HDNet Movies, Sundance TV and Turner Classic Movies
  • World News Extra +5$/per month. Includes, BBC World News, CCTV News, CNBC, Euro News, France 24, Fusion, HLN, MSNBC, NDTV 24/7, News 18 India, Russia Today and The Blaze
  • Best of Spanish TV +5$/per month. Includes, AZ Cinema, AZ Clic, AZ Corazon, Azteca, BabyTV, Bandamax, beIN Sports en Espanol, Cbeebies, Cinelatino, Cine Sony, De Pelicula, De Pelicula Clasico, ESPN Deportes, FOROtv, Galavision, NTN24, Pasiones, TeleFormula, Telehit, TeLe-Romantica, UniMas, Univision, Univision Deportes and Univision telenovelas.

 

PlayStation Vue

Cost: 30$ per month, will increase depending on package (going up to 74.99$ per month)
Free trial: 5-day free trial
Best for: Using with multiple viewers at once
Packages included: Access,39.99$ per month, Core 44.99$ per month, Elite 54.99$ per month, Ultra 74.99$ per month

Next up on our list, we arrive to the “Playstation Vue”; a versatile streaming service with channels the whole family can enjoy!  First and foremost, despite the fact that this streaming service is provided by Sony, you aren’t required to have a Playstation or a Sony device to utilize the service.

  • From news related channels such as Fox News/CNN to the Disney Channel and everything in between, PlayStation Vue is an excellent choice for families (especially with kids) since you’ll be able to stream channels on up to 5 devices simultaneously.
  • With tons of must-have channels, an in-cloud DVR that allows you to watch recorded shows anytime, and no annual contract, the Playstation Vue is definitely a great option to consider when cutting the cord!

Package Details:

  • Access Package: Includes 49  live channels, 34 On-demand channels, 45 Catch-up enabled channels. At a price of 39.99$/per month.
  • Core Package: Includes 67 live channels, 41 on-demand channels, 57 catch up enabled channels. At a price of 44.99$/per month.
  • Elite Package: Includes 93 live channels, 52 on-demand channels, and 77 catch-up enabled channels. At a price of 54.99$/per month.
  • Ultra Package: Includes 95 live channels, 54 on-demand channels, and 79 catch-up enabled channels. At a price of 74.99$/per month.

Add-ons with PlayStation Vue  (Optional):

  • HBO Max Pack (HBO+Cinemark) +21.99$/per month. Included in Ultra package)
  • FOX Soccer Plus +14.99$/per month. Includes soccer coverage and library of content.
  • HBO +15$/per month. Includes library of HBO content as well as HBO channel.
  • Cinemax +15$/per month. Includes on-demand library of content as well as Cinemax.
  • Premium Pack +13.99$/per month. Includes EPIX Hits and Showtime, can be added to Access or Core package.
  • Showtime +10.99$/per month. Includes on-demand Showtime content.
  • Sports Pack +10$/per month. This add-on can only be added on Core packages or above. Includes NFL RedZone, MLB Network Strike Zone, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Classic, FOX College Sports Atlantic, FOX College Sports Central, FOX College Sports Pacific, Longhorn Network, NESN, Outside TV, and several regional NBC Sports Networks.
  • EPIX Hits +3.99$/per month. Includes EPIX Hits Channel.
  • Español Pack +3.99$/per month. Includes Cine Sony Television, CNN en Espanol, Discovery Familia, Discovery en Espanol, Fox Deportes, Nat Geo Mundo, FOX Life and NBC Universo.
  • HI-YAH! +2.99$/per month. Includes Hi-Yah! channel (Included in Elite packages and above.
  • Machinima +1.99$/per month.

Hulu

Cost: 7.99$ per month, will increase depending on package
Free trial: 7-day free trial
Best for: Viewers who like to watch TV shows/series
Packages included: Hulu basic plan 7.99$/per month. no commercials plan for 11.99$/per month

Hulu was introduced in 2008 as a streaming service for US viewers only. It was mainly to deliver movies, on-demand series. However, from May 2017 they are now offering the Hulu Live TV service which includes quite a few popular channels such as ESPN, CNN, TBS, TNT and many others. They also offer DVR to allow recording of content, allowing it to become a cord cutting solution.

Add-ons with Hulu  (Optional):

Hulu do not offer any extra add-ons with their service.

YouTube TV

Cost: 35$ per month
Free trial: N/A
Best for: Youtube users who want to branch out to live content without cable
Packages included: One package with over 45 channels at 35$ per month

In 2017 Google announced they were going to release its own live streaming service via Youtube as a cable alternative.  Youtube TV have included a bucketload of popular channels to their service, all at a price of 35$ per month.

YouTube TV channel lineup:

  • Sports – ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, CSN (Regional Comcast Sportsnet stations), FOX regional sports networks, FS1, FS2, BTN (Big Ten Network), NBCSN, ESPN U, SEC Network, CBS Sports Network, ESPN News, Golf Channel
  • Entertainment – USA, FX, Freeform, Disney, E, Bravo, Oxygen, FX, Syfy, Disney Junior, Disney XD, National Geographic, FXM, Sprout, Universal, Nat Geo Wild, Chiller, Telemundo
  • News – MSNBC, FOX News, CNBC, FOX Business, Local Now
  • Spanish – Telemundo, NBC Universo

Overall, Youtube TV is a good option if you like sports and entertainment as a new cord cutter.

List of devices along with what streaming services are compatible:

  • Roku – Compatible with PS Vue, Sling TV, DIRECTV NOW, Hulu (in beta), Fubo TV, and Philo.
  • Fire TV – Compatible with PS Vue, Sling TV, DIRECTV NOW, Hulu (in beta), and Fubo TV.
  • Apple TV – Compatible with PS Vue, Sling TV, DIRECTV NOW, Hulu (in beta), and Fubo TV.
  • Chromecast – Compatible with PS Vue, Sling TV, DIRECTV NOW, YouTube Red, Hulu (in beta), and Fubo TV.
  • iOS – Compatible with PS Vue, Sling TV, DIRECTV NOW, YouTube Red, Hulu (in beta), Fubo TV, and Philo.
  • Android Phone/Tablet – Compatible with PS Vue, Sling TV, DIRECTV NOW, YouTube Red, Hulu (in beta), Fubo TV, and Philo.
  • Android TV – Compatible with PS Vue, Sling TV, YouTube Red, and Fubo TV.
  • Xbox One – Compatible with Sling TV, YouTube Red, and Hulu (in beta).
  • PlayStation 4 – Compatible only on the PlayStation 4

Written by Essa Sharif