YouTube TV vs Hulu Live: Comparing Two Top Streaming Services
Cord cutting is your best chance of saving money while still enjoying your favorite TV entertainment!
It’s easy to find a streaming service once you’ve decided to cut the cord. The trick is finding the right service for you. Ultimately, you want to find a live streaming service that offers the channels you want, the features you’re interested in, and at a price you can afford. How do you know which service is going to give you the cable-experience you want, at a fair price? The easiest way to narrow the field, is to compare the top services and that’s what we’re about to do!
YouTube TV and Hulu Live are two of the most popular live streaming services currently available. Both services are feature-rich and offer large channel lineups with plenty of sports channels. Which service is right for you? Keep reading to find out!
What is YouTube TV?
YouTube TV is a live streaming service that offers a cheaper alternative to cable service. Unlike cable you won’t experience added fees or contracts. Instead, you’ll get 85+ channels, an on-demand library, a cloud-DVR, and other special features. Your package is contract-free, so you’re free to cancel YouTube TV whenever you want. YouTube TV works with most streaming devices including Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, mobile devices, computers, and more.
Local channels are included in most areas, so you’ll have access to ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX with YouTube TV. Some of the sports lineup includes ESPN, FS1, NFL Network, NBA TV, and more. You can find out more information in our full YouTube TV review.
YouTube TV even offers a free 7-day trial!
What is Hulu Live?
Hulu with Live TV is one of the other top live streaming options. With Hulu Live you’ll get 85+ channels for $70 per month. It’s like YouTube TV in that you don’t have to sign any contracts and you can cancel when you want. The major difference is that signing up for Hulu Live, gives you access to three separate streaming services for the $70/month price tag. Hulu Live also comes with Disney+ and ESPN+ subscriptions!
Hulu Live comes with access to local channels in most areas. As far as sports coverage goes, you’ll also have access to ESPN, NFL Network, SECN, TNT, BTN, FS1, and others. You can stream Hulu Live on Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, mobile devices, and more. Our Hulu with Live TV full review has even more details.
Try Hulu Live free for 7-days!
Pricing Options: YouTube TV vs Hulu Live
YouTube TV is available for $65 per month after a free 7-day trial. This service only offers one plan, with additional add-ons, so if you sign up, your base package will be $65 a month. You can cancel your plan anytime you want. Unlike cable, you won’t find any hidden fees here, so if you’re happy with the basic package you won’t pay anymore than the listed price.
Hulu Live costs a few dollars more than YouTube TV. The monthly cost is $70 after the free weeklong trial. Like YouTube TV, you’re free to cancel on your terms. There is only one live TV package available with Hulu Live, so the $70 per month package offers access to 85+ channels, and much more. With Hulu Live, you also get subscriptions to ESPN+ and Disney+!
Winner: Tie (YouTube TV is technically cheaper, but Hulu Live gives you three services for one price!)
Channel Selection: YouTube TV vs Hulu Live
As a sports site, we know how important it is for you to find a lineup that includes plenty of live sporting events. Of course, you might want to watch some other things, too. In this section, we’re going to compare the non-sports lineup, but in the next section it’s all about the available sports channels.
YouTube TV and Hulu Live are similar in terms of price and lineup. Both plans offer over 80 channels of live TV. So, it’s going to come down to the lineup if you’re basing your decision just on channel selection and cost.
Here’s some of the best that YouTube TV’s channel lineup offers:
Local channels (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC), AMC, Animal Planet, BBC America, BET, Cartoon Network, Discovery, Disney, Freeform, FX, HGTV, MTV, National Geographic, Nickelodeon, OWN, Sundance TV, TBS, TNT, truTV, USA, and more!
Now let’s look at the best channel offerings from Hulu Live:
Local channels (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC), A&E, BET, Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CMT, CW, Discovery, Disney, E!, History, ID, Lifetime, MTV, Nickelodeon, Oxygen, Paramount Network, Syfy, TBS, TCM, TNT, USA, and more!
With such good lineups, it can be hard to know what’s missing. In the case of YouTube TV, you’ll be without networks like A&E, Destination America, History, and Lifetime. With Hulu Live, you will miss out on AMC and Hallmark.
Winner: Tie (Both networks are missing a few key networks, but they both offer some of the top networks in TV plus access to local channels in most areas).
Sports Coverage: YouTube TV vs Hulu Live
Both YouTube TV and Hulu Live offer extensive sports coverage. If you don’t see all the channels you want in the basic lineup, you can check out the added sports package that is available on both services.
The sports lineup for YouTube TV: Local channels, Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews, FS1, FS2, Golf, Los Angeles Football Club, MLB Game of the Week, MLB Network, MotorTrend, NBA TV, NBC Sports Network regional channels, NFL Network, Olympic Channel, SEC Network, and SNY.
That’s more than 20 sports channels! If you need more, YouTube TV also offers add-ons including NBA League Pass ($40/month) or the Sports Plus bundle ($11/mo.), which includes FOX College Sports, FOX Soccer Plus, Gol TV, MAVTV, NFL Red Zone, Stadium, and TVG.
Hulu Live’s sports lineup includes: Local channels, ACC Network, Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, ESPNU, ESPN College Extra, FS1, FS2, Golf, MotorTrend, NBC regional Sports Networks, NFL Network, Olympic Channel, and SEC Network.
Hulu Live also includes more than 20 channels dedicated to sports. Should you want more, the Sports Add-on is available for $10 per month and includes NFL RedZone, MAVTV, TVG, TVG2, Outdoor Channel, and Sportsman Channel.
Winner: YouTube TV (Both services offer great sports lineups. However, YouTube TV offers baseball fans access to MLB Network and Hulu Live doesn’t.)
Package Features: YouTube TV vs Hulu Live
Channels and price are two of the most important topics when it comes to choosing a live streaming service, but beyond that, the number of additional features and special perks can make all the difference.
YouTube TV offers a fairly standard lineup of features for subscribers to enjoy. Features include an unlimited cloud-DVR, the ability to watch three screens at one time, the use of 6 accounts per household, and access to TV Everywhere apps.
Hulu Live offers an unlimited cloud-based DVR, a live guide (which allows you to plan programming weeks in advance), the ability to watch two screens at one time, the use of 5 accounts per household, and access to a variety of TV Everywhere apps.
Winner: Tie (YouTube TV will let you stream on more devices simultaneously and you get an extra profile for your account, but most of the features are similar, and the live guide and additional streaming subscriptions offered by Hulu Live is a nice benefit.)
Pros & Cons: YouTube TV
Every service is going to have some pros and cons. The good news is that YouTube TV has more pros than cons to the subscription service. Let’s look at reasons to join (or avoid) this popular streaming service:
- Over 20 sports channels including access to local channels
- Many popular non-sports networks, ensuring something for everyone
- The price is cheaper than cable and on par with services of its kind
- Decent features including an unlimited DVR (cloud-based) and multiple profiles
- Available on most streaming devices including computer, mobile devices, and more
- YouTube Originals are included
- YouTube TV comes with a free 7-day trial
- Some popular channels are missing (Lifetime, A&E, History, Boomerang)
- Bally Sports Network regionals aren’t available so regional sports coverage is more limited
As you can see, there are a lot of reasons to love YouTube TV. Now let’s check out Hulu Live.
Pros & Cons: Hulu Live
You might be thinking that YouTube TV has a lot of great reasons to signup, and that’s true. Of course, Hulu Live has been around for a while, and as such, they also have quite a bit to offer.
- Over 20 sports channels including access to local and regional channels
- A good mix of news, general entertainment, movies, and more
- Price is like other services of its kind
- Added (free) features including an unlimited cloud-DVR and the Live Guide
- Access to all Hulu on-demand Originals and the entire on-demand Hulu service
- Each membership includes a subscription to both ESPN+ and Disney+
- Hulu Live includes a free 7-day trial
- Some popular channels are missing (AMC, Hallmark, MLB Network)
- Simultaneous streaming is only available on 2 devices at once
Winner: Tie (Both services offer plenty of reasons to consider signing up. In the end it will depend on personal preference more than anything else.)
Conclusion: What’s Better? YouTube TV or Hulu Live?
Not to be unhelpful, but in the question of YouTube TV vs Hulu Live, the answer is to choose the one that’s right for you. These services are incredibly similar in a lot of ways. They both offer dozens of award-winning networks and over 20 sports channels per service. If you’re picking a streaming service based solely off sports, either one of these services could be right for you, based on the sports you watch. Luckily, both of these services offer free trials, so you can try one and if it doesn’t work for you, switch to the other!