TV Answer Man, I am thinking of cutting the cord from cable TV. But sports is very important to me. If you had to pick, which streaming outfit has more sports? DIRECTV Stream? Or Hulu? Or YouTube TV? Your answer will determine which one I pick so please respond soon! — Aaron, Marina Del Rey, California.
Aaron, this will determine your decision? No pressure, huh? Well, let me get right to it.
The answer is: DIRECTV Stream.
In fact, it’s not even close. DIRECTV Stream, which was renamed last month from AT&T TV, carries numerous sports channels that are not available on Hulu, YouTube TV, or FuboTV and Sling TV. For instance, DIRECTV Stream has SportsNet LA, the TV home of the Los Angeles Dodgers in your market, as well as Altitude (Denver Nuggets, Colorado Rockies), MASN (Baltimore Orioles, Washington Nationals) and the 19 Sinclair-owned Bally Sports regional sports networks.
The DIRECTV-owned streamer also has AT&T Sportsnet Pittsburgh (Pirates, Penguins ) Root Sports Northwest (Mariners), AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain (Rockies), AT&T SportsNet Southwest (Astros), NESN (Red Sox), Yes Network (Yankees), the NBC Sports regionals, and the Marquee Sports Network (Cubs).
You might find a few of those on DIRECTV Stream’s rivals, but not all of them. The other streaming services have decided, at least for now, that it doesn’t make economic sense to carry all, or even most of them. The carriage fees are relatively high by industry standards, but the interest is relatively small among subscribers. The streamers try to keep their monthly subscription fees lower than cable and satellite, but they would have more difficulty doing that if they added the sports channels.
But there is a catch to DIRECTV Stream. The service’s plans that include regional sports channels start at $84.99 a month, which is roughly $20 more per month than Hulu Live, YouTube TV and FuboTV, and $50 more a month than Sling TV.
DIRECTV Stream is basically paying the price to carry the regionals and passing it along to sports fans. But the good news is that there’s no regional sports fee.
Aaron, hope that answers your question. Happy viewing, and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann