Cable is expensive, and cable and satellite TV companies are difficult to deal with. Bill upcharges, hidden fees, and cancellation fees are common when you’re trying to switch cable or satellite TV providers, so it’s no wonder that more people than ever are ditching cable altogether.
Today, many Americans are turning to internet TV services like fuboTV and PlayStation Vue. These services allow consumers to get their favorite live TV channels, without the headache of a cable subscription.
In this article, we’ll take a look at these two competing “skinny bundle” internet TV services, and discuss which one may be right for you. Let’s begin.
Both fuboTV and PlayStation Vue are part of a new kind of TV service, often called a “skinny bundle.” Skinny bundle internet TV services allow consumers to purchase access to a select number of cable channels.
These cable channels are delivered directly to the customer through the internet. You don’t need an antenna, a satellite, a cable connection, or any rented cable boxes. As long as you’re connected to your home internet network, you can use an internet TV service right from your computer, mobile phone, smart TV, or TV streaming device.
While each internet TV service is slightly different, they all have common attributes. First, they are only a fraction of the cost of cable. fuboTV costs $45/month for the base package, as does PlayStation Vue. That’s quite a big savings compared to the average $100/month cable bill.
In addition, all internet TV services bill on a month-by-month basis, and do not have any cancellation fees or other hidden costs. You pay exactly what is advertised—no more, and no less.
Now that you understand how internet TV “skinny bundles” work, let’s discuss fuboTV and PlayStation Vue in further detail.
The fuboTV service began with an almost-exclusive focus on international sports, such as soccer, rugby, and cricket. However, since its founding in January 2015, it has expanded to include cable news coverage, entertainment channels, and much more.
The fubo subscription recently rose in price, and costs $45/month. This package gives you access to around 80 channels, depending on your geographic location. While most of these channels are still dedicated to sports, you can also get quite a few other cable channels like Fox News, E!, The Food Network, and FX.
You can also opt for the fubo Extra subscription for $50/month, and get about 20 more channels, including Stadium and the Cooking Channel.
Take a look at the full channel lineup for more details.
fuboTV has some good features for cord-cutters. One of the most useful features is the 72-hour “look back” feature. This lets you view most TV programs within 72 hours of their airing, even if you forgot to record them on your DVR.
The service also does include a cloud DVR for no extra charge. You can record up to 30 hours of television with fuboTV.
fuboTV is great for sports fans because it has a huge number of “Big 4” partnerships with local NBC, Fox, CBS, and ABC affiliates. This means you can watch most local sports without an OTA antenna.
You also get great coverage of international sports and American sports from channels like Fox Sports, beIN Sports, The Olympic Channel, and Univision Deportes.
The service also has good device support, so you can watch on almost any mobile device or at-home streaming device.
The fuboTV DVR is quite small, compared to some other cloud DVRs being offered by other internet TV services. You can pay to upgrade it, though. A $10/month upgrade gets you 500 hours of storage.
In addition, you can only stream on 2 devices at once with fuboTV. Again, you can add a third stream if you want, but you’ll pay extra to do so — a $6/month fee.
Finally, there are some significant coverage gaps in fuboTV’s lineup. Major networks like TNT, TBS, and quite a few others are absent from fuboTV. This means you may miss out on some of your favorite shows, and some live sports coverage of baseball and basketball.
It’s estimated that fuboTV had around 100,000 subscribers as of October, 2017.
Despite what you may think, you don’t actually need a PlayStation to subscribe to PlayStation Vue.
This internet TV service offers a ton of great features with a reasonably good channel lineup, but its unfortunate name may be the reason that it is still struggling to get a large subscriber base.
You can choose between 4 different channel packages with PlayStation Vue, including:
- Access – 45+ channels, $45/month
- Core – 60+ channels, $50/month
- Elite – 84+ channels, $65/month
- Ultra – All Elite channels plus HBO/Showtime, $80/month
The number of channels may vary slightly, depending on your geographic location. Overall, PlayStation Vue gives you a lot for your money, even with the cheapest $45/month “Access” subscription.
You’ll get major entertainment networks like FX, IFC, TBS, TNT, and USA, as well as news coverage from CNN and Fox News, and sports coverage from ESPN, Fox Sports, and NBCSN.
PlayStation Vue has some of the best features of any internet TV service. You get a cloud DVR for free with your subscription. Using the DVR, you can record unlimited shows for up to 28 days, so you won’t have to worry about running out of space.
You can also stream on up to 5 devices at once on your home WiFi network, depending on what devices you’re using, for no extra fee. This is, by far, the largest number of simultaneous streams available at no extra charge from any internet TV provider.
PlayStation Vue doesn’t have much on-demand content, so you’re pretty much out of luck if you don’t remember to record an episode of your favorite show. Some users also report issues when fast-forwarding or rewinding with the DVR.
Industry insiders have estimated that, as of December 2017, PlayStation Vue had around 670,000 users.
Fact 1: PlayStation Vue Has Better Features Than fuboTV
Compared to PlayStation Vue, fuboTV has a pretty sub-par set of features. You only get 30 hours of DVR storage, and 2 simultaneous streams. If you choose to upgrade to the 500 hour DVR and 3-stream package, you’ll be paying an extra $16/month, for a total of $61 for the fubo subscription, or $66/month for fubo Extra.
As a comparison, you could get PlayStation Vue’s “Elite” package—which has more channels than fuboTV and would still have better features—for $60/month.
If you need to watch TV on a lot of different devices, and need a spacious DVR, PlayStation Vue is going to be better for your needs. It’s not even close.
Fact 2: fuboTV Doesn’t Have ESPN—But Has Plenty of Other Sports Channels
fuboTV, though it’s marketed as a package for “true sports fans,” lacks the most important cable sports network of all—ESPN. You can’t get ESPN with any fuboTV package, although you do get more than two dozen other sports-centric networks.
PlayStation Vue has ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, and ESPNU, and you can also add ESPN Goal Line and ESPN Classic if you purchase the $10/month “Sports Pack” add-on.
Fact 3: fuboTV Has a Much Bigger Lineup of Channels (But Vue’s Channels Are Better)
fuboTV has up to 100 channels with the $50/month fubo Extra package. Vue, in comparison, gets you only about 80 with the $80/month Elite package.
However, fuboTV has a lot of channels that you may not normally watch — such as 8 channels from beIN Sports, and channels like Stadium and Cheddar Business, which are a bit more niche, compared to the channels offered by PlayStation Vue.
Another benefit of Vue is that, because you can choose between the Access, Core, Elite, and Ultra bundles, you’ll be able to get the right number of channels for your particular needs.
Fact 4: fuboTV Has Spanish and Portuguese Packages Available
Technically, fuboTV offers four different channel packages. If you only speak English, only fubo and the fubo Extra subscription will be of interest to you.
However, if you speak Spanish or Portuguese, you have the option of subscribing to fubo Latino for $18/month, or fubo Português for $20/month. These channel packages include some very hard-to-find networks, like BTV, and RTP Internacional.
If you are interested in Spanish or Portuguese-language programming, fuboTV is definitely the better choice over PlayStation Vue.
Fact 5: fuboTV Offers More Customization Options Than PlayStation Vue
PlayStation Vue lets you choose from three add-ons if you have a Core or higher subscription package.
- Sports Pack ($10/month) – Includes ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Bases Loaded, Eleven Sports, and up to 8 other sports channels
- Epix ($4/month) – Automatically included in Elite and higher subscriptions
- Español Pack ($5/month) – Includes CNN Latino, Nat Geo Mundo, Fox Deportes, and several other spanish-language channels
In addition, you can add six other standalone channels packages.
- HBO + Cinemax
- Epix Hits+ Showtime
- Fox Soccer Plus
This brings it close to fuboTV, but fubo still wins for overall customization options, with add-ons including:
- fubo Cycling
- International Sports Plus
- Sports Plus
- Adventure Plus
- Portuguese Plus
- Mundo Plus
- fubo Latino
- Kids Plus
Take a look at their website to learn more about what’s included in each add-on.
If you want premium channels like Epix or HBO, you’re out of luck if you choose fuboTV. fuboTV only provides access to SHOWTIME, for a $10/month fee.
Playstation Vue has SHOWTIME ($11/month), HBO, ($15/month), and Epix Hits ($4/month), as well as Cinemax ($15/month) and Fox Soccer Plus ($15/month). You can get each premium network separately, or bundle them together in the Ultra package, which includes HBO and Showtime.
Fact 7: Both Services Have Nearly Identical Device Support
If you like to watch TV on multiple devices, you’ll be in good shape with both PlayStation Vue and fuboTV. Both services allow you to watch TV on the following devices:
- Apple TV
- Amazon Fire TV
- Android TV
- Android & iOS phones and tablets
- Supported web browsers
PlayStation Vue supports a slightly higher number of devices, though. You can also watch the service on your PlayStation 3/4 console, or on select Sony Smart TVs which run Android TV.
Fact 8: You Can Try PlayStation Vue and fuboTV For Free
Both PlayStation Vue and fuboTV allow you to give their service a try for free. If you are interested in a free 5 day trial of PlayStation Vue, you can head to their website now and get signed up.
If the sports-focused approach of fuboTV is more appealing to you, you can also get a free 7-day trial on their website and see if this service is right for your needs. If you like the service, you can usually get a discount on the first month of your subscription.
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fuboTV Vs. PlayStation Vue: Which Is Better?
When comparing fuboTV to PlayStation Vue, there’s really no clear-cut winner. It all depends on what you’re looking for in your internet TV service. If you’re having trouble deciding, here are a few questions to ask yourself.
If you’re interested in HBO, SHOWTIME, and Epix, as well as other premium channels, PlayStation Vue is a better choice. You can save quite a bit of money by getting the Ultra package and bundling all of these channels together. But with fuboTV, you can only get SHOWTIME.
Do you want Spanish or Portuguese channels?
PlayStation Vue offers a few Spanish channels in the Espanol pack, but not nearly as many as fuboTV. If you speak Spanish or you’re part of a Spanish-speaking household, fuboTV is probably better for you.
Are you a soccer fan?
You can get a few soccer channels like Eleven Sports and Fox Sports Plus for an additional fee with PlayStation Vue. However, the service doesn’t have nearly as many soccer-focused channels as fuboTV.
If you are a soccer fan, and you want coverage of just about every major international competition, fuboTV is a great choice.
Do you need a large channel lineup?
fuboTV has quite a few channels, but lacks the diversity of PlayStation Vue. If you just watch a few specific networks, this is not a problem.
But if you tend to browse through a lot of channels, and you have quite a few favorite shows spread across different networks, PlayStation Vue is probably a better choice for you. fuboTV simply does not offer as many diverse channels as PlayStation Vue.