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The Best YouTube TV Alternatives for Sports Fans

Written by John O'Connor

Last updated on

Having reviewed both extensively, we love YouTube TV, and YouTube TV 4K Plus for sports fans. Their real time stats feature, called “Stats view,” as well as the option to catch up on games with Key Plays, are two of the best live TV streaming features we have seen this year, but Mountain View, we have a problem.

YouTube TV announced publicly that disagreements over rates caused the streaming service to drop ESPN, plus the Disney owned channels. That dispute has since been resolved, and YouTube TV currently carries ESPN.

What are the next best streaming options?

If you are shopping for streaming alternatives to YouTube TV, these are your next best alternatives.

In the table below, I have listed each channel you would lose if YouTube TV drops Disney content, and which competing streaming services carry those channels.

Channel Sling TV Orange + Blue Fubo TV Hulu live TV
Local ABC affiliateNo YesYes
ABC News LiveYesNoNo
Disney Channel YesYesYes
Disney XDNoYesNo
Freeform YesYesYes
FXMNoYes (+ $8 per month)No
National Geographic YesYesNo
National Geographic Wild NoYes (+ $8 per month)No
ESPN NEWSYes (with Sports Extra $11)NoYes
ESPNUYes (with Sports Extra $11)Yes (+ $8 per month)Yes
SEC Network Yes (with Sports Extra $11)YesYes
ACC Network Yes (with Sports Extra $11)YesYes

Option #1 – Sling Orange (Budget Pick)

Sling TV Orange gets you ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3 by default, but requires a separate HD antenna to stream your local ABC affiliate.

The good news is that Sling Orange, at $35 per month, is quite a bit cheaper than YouTube TV, even after accounting for YouTube TV’s planned price drop should the Disney contract fall through.

Adding the Sports Extra package, which costs $11 per month, will get you ACC Network, ESPNU, ESPN News, MLB Network, NBA TV, NHL Network, SEC Network, among some other, lesser known sports channels.

The major drawback with Sling TV Orange is the lack of any local channels. Adding Orange + Blue, for $49.99 per month, will get you Fox and NBC local in select markets only.

This leaves NFL fans out in the cold as Fox and CBS aren’t available by default with Sling.

Option #2 – Fubo TV

A Fubo TV subscription brings with it almost all of the channels you miss if YouTube TV drops Disney content, plus, unlike Sling TV, all of the local channels you may want. This is a bonus for in-market NFL fans, as well as college football fans.

Although the service is pricier than YouTube TV would be if Disney content leaves, the Fubo base DVR is reasonable at 250 hours of storage, and Fubo has a lot to offer for sports fans, especially international sports fans.

Option #3 – Hulu live TV

Hulu, a popular live TV and on-demand streaming service, is owned by Disney. Although Hulu has recently raised prices to $69.99 per month (an increase of $5 per month) the app has a lot to offer sports fans.

The new Hulu pricing will include Hulu live TV, Disney+, and ESPN+, all for $70 per month. Plus, a Hulu live TV account also gives you the channels you lose if YouTube TV scales back its offering.

When we tested Hulu live TV, one of the features we enjoyed most was the integration of ESPN+ direct into the Hulu app, so both content libraries can be viewed from the same interface. ESPN+ is ESPN’s streaming platform, and new content is being rolled out all the time. Just recently, ESPN+ became the home of over 1,000 out of market NHL games.

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