Q. What is fuboTV? A friend of mine told me to check it out and he said he thinks it has something to do with soccer and streaming. Can you explain? — Tony, Boston, Massachusetts.
Tony, it’s understandable that you might think fuboTV is an online soccer channel. The company started a few years ago as a live streaming service specializing in channels that aired U.S. and international soccer games.
However, fuboTV today is competing with DIRECTV Now, Sling TV, PlayStation Vue and other live streamers for consumers looking for an alternative to traditional pay TV service from cable and satellite operators.
FuboTV offers more than 80 live channels for $44.99 a month, with the first month for $39.99. (There is also a seven-day free trial, and a 30-hour ‘cloud DVR’ service is included for no extra charge once you subscribe.)
While fuboTV’s lineup features more sports channels than its rivals, it also includes such cable basics as the USA Network, the Food Network, National Geographic, FX, CNBC, Fox News and HGTV.
The streamer also offers local broadcast affiliates and regional sports channels in most markets. (By the way, Tony of Boston, fuboTV carries NESN, the TV home of the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins.)
The list of national sports channels includes NBA TV, the NFL Network, the Olympic Channel and the Big Ten Network. For an extra $8.99 a month, you can add fubo’s ‘Sports Plus’ plan which has 20 more sports channels, including six feeds from the Pac 12 Network.
(However, worth noting: fubo does not carry ESPN in the basic plan, or any add-on package.)
You can see a complete list of fubo’s channels here.
FuboTV is available on Roku, Apple TV (4th and 5th generation devices), Amazon’s Fire TV and Android TV 4.4 or higher. You can also access fubo on computers at fubo.tv.
So how does fuboTV perform, you ask?
As you probably know, the live streaming category has been plagued somewhat by technical snafus, particularly during events with a large audience.
But DownDetector.com, which tracks online outages, has recorded relatively few complaints about fubo via social media posts.
That might be in part because fubo has far fewer subscribers than its rivals. (fubo said it hit the 150,000 mark before the 2018 Super Bowl; Sling TV, the live streaming leader, has more than 2.4 million customers.)
But whatever the reason, it appears that fubo is encountering fewer picture issues than some live streamers.
Last note: fubo recently began offering programming in 4K although the selection is a bit sparse after its 4K coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. But fubo is the first live streaming service to offer anything in the new picture format.
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— Phillip Swann