19 Best Streaming Alternatives to Cable TV 

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Written By Charlie Sipe

 

Last Updated on December 9, 2022

While many people still choose cable TV to watch shows and live broadcasts, a growing number are switching to streaming services for the cost savings of selecting content they are interested in. With the increased number of streaming services, price hikes on some, and content competition, it’s confusing knowing what to subscribe to. Here are the best 20 streaming alternatives to cable. 

1. Netflix

Netflix is a streaming platform with thousands of movies and TV shows that varies between countries and phase out as new content releases. Netflix can be streamed on all devices, such as smartphones, smart TVs, Xbox, PlayStation, and the internet browser on a PC, and it has a better viewer experience than other services from an app point of view. 

Netflix is the most user-friendly streaming platform on all devices the way it categorizes your preferences. Viewers enjoy the experience of a tailor-made streaming experience.

  • Owner: Consists of several shareholders like Reed Hastings (founder), The Vanguard Group, Inc., Niel Hunt, Ted Sarandos, and Capital Group. 
  • Types of Content: Exclusive Netflix originals and outsourced old and new movies, TV shows, documentaries, and reality shows. 
  • Live Broadcasts: No 
  • Price: Basic $9.99/month; Standard $15.49/month; Premium $19.99/month

2. Disney+

Disney+ is one of the leading streaming services for fan-favorite movies and TV shows. The platform continues to grow as a close competitor of Netflix. Viewers can stream Disney+ from smartphones, smart TVs, web browsers, and game consoles. Disney+ does not have a free trial. 

The platform is a go-to for all Disney favorites, from old to new, and the increasing content for all ages is appealing to more and more people worldwide, creating more competition for other streaming services.

  • Owner: Media and Entertainment Distribution division of The Walt Disney Company 
  • Types of Content: New and classic movies and TV shows for all ages and original content from Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, and National Geographic 
  • Live Broadcasts: No, but they can be accessed via Hulu and ESPN+ plans 
  • Price: $7.99/month 

3. Apple TV

Apple TV is an app by Apple. It contains exclusively original content and can be viewed via television or electronic devices. Apple TV will only work on devices that are compatible with the app. The streaming service regularly comes out with fresh content and offers a free 7-day trial or a 30-day trial when purchasing an Apple device.

  • Owner: Apple Inc. 
  • Types of Content: Exclusive Apple originals include series, dramas, comedies, documentaries, and kid’s entertainment. 
  • Live Broadcasts: Available on some Apple TV apps for news and sports in selected regions 
  • Price: $6.99/month 

4. HBO Max

HBO Max, unlike many platforms, is a standalone streaming service and includes all of HBO content with additional viewer favorites. The platform has more content than many other streaming services and popular, big-name shows. There is no free trial with HBO Max. 

  • Owner: Warner Bros. Discovery 
  • Types of Content: All HBO’s content, a range of blockbusters, TV favorites, and Max originals
  • Live Broadcasts: No 
  • Price: $9.99/month 

5. Hulu

Hulu is another top streaming platform owned by Disney, but it offers unique original content and is only available in the US. The platform provides a 30-day free trial or a special bundle with Disney+ and ESPN and features ads in their content which helps keeps their cost low. An upgrade is required for ad-free content. 

  • Owner: The Walt Disney Company 
  • Types of Content: Exclusive series, hit movies, Hulu originals, and kid’s entertainment 
  • Live Broadcasts: Yes, with Hulu Plus Live TV 
  • Price: $7.99/month  

6. Paramount+

Paramount+ is for viewers who are fans of old-school media shows from CBS, MTV, Nickelodeon, etc. The platform offers live TV in addition to on-demand shows and their originals. The streaming service has a 7-day free trial and can be accessed as an Amazon Prime member. 

  • Owner: Paramount Global 
  • Types of Content: Episodes and movies from BET, CBS, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr, Comedy Central, Paramount Pictures, and Smithsonian Channel. Live sports, news, family programming, local CBS station, and exclusive originals are also available. 
  • Live Broadcasts: Yes, with supported devices 
  • Price: $4.99/month – $9.99/month  

7. Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video is a benefit Amazon Prime members have with their subscriptions. It is, however, available for non-prime members. The streaming platform allows you access to other streaming services like Paramount+ and offers thousands of titles – original and outsourced. Amazon Prime has 4K and HDR streaming and provides a 30-day free trial. 

  • Owner: Amazon (Jeff Bezos – founder) 
  • Types of Content: Amazon originals, live sports, new releases, classic movies and tv shows, documentaries, and kids’ entertainment 
  • Live Broadcasts: Yes 
  • Price: $14.99/month 

8. Peacock

Peacock is a streaming service that has a free ad-supported version unless you upgrade to the premium version. The free version has limited content, and the platform focuses on featuring movies and series from NBCUniversal studios with some third-party content. Peacock is one of the cheapest streaming services available. 

  • Owner: Television and Streaming division of NBCUniversal 
  • Types of Content: Peacock originals, megahit movies, iconic TV shows, Telemundo hits, NBC and Bravo content, and news, sports, and pop culture 
  • Live Broadcasts: Yes, on the premium version 
  • Price: $4.99/month 

9. AMC+

AMC+ is a streaming platform offering thousands of hours of content with full access to shudder and other channels. You get to stream content from all AMC brands. It hosts award-winning shows and films. The service is available for a 7-day free trial with Amazon Prime; if you subscribe independently, you get a 30-day free trial. 

  • Owner: AMC Networks 
  • Types of Content: On-demand content, live TV, BBC America, IFC, and Sundance TV 
  • Live Broadcasts: Yes 
  • Price: $8.99/month

10. YouTube TV

YouTube TV is one of the more popular streaming channels, specifically in the US, and one of the most expensive platforms. It hosts a number of live sports, news, and entertainment, carrying more than 100 channels. YouTube TV is ideal if you want to cut cable and stream from multiple platforms, but it is primarily beneficial to US-based viewers. 

  • Owner: Google 
  • Types of Content: Live and local TV shows from ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, HGTV, TNT, and Univision 
  • Live Broadcasts: Yes 
  • Price: $64.99/month  

11. ESPN+

ESPN+ is a sports fanatic’s dream come true. It is a platform streaming sports, original programs, live games, and more. You can get it with a Hulu and Disney+ bundle for a few more bucks per month and have access to thousands of hours of a broader range of content. There is no free trial for ESPN+. Viewers can access the service on all devices like mobiles, tablets, smart TVs, consoles, etc. 

  • Owner: ESPN Ince (Joint with The Walt Disney Company) and Hearst Communications 
  • Types of Content: Live events, acclaimed series, original studio shows, and an on-demand library 
  • Live Broadcasts: Yes 
  • Price: $9.99/month 

12. FuboTV

FuboTV is another sports lover’s dream service. It is the world’s only sports-focused streaming platform featuring top leagues and teams, but it also has content for the entire household. It serves viewers in the US, Canada, and Spain. The streaming service offers a free 30-day trial. The service works on all devices like mobiles, browsers, tablets, smart TVs, etc. 

  • Owner: John C. Textor and various shareholders 
  • Types of Content: Sports, news, and top on-demand shows 
  • Live Broadcasts: Yes 
  • Price: Pro $69.99/month; Elite $79.99/month; $99.99/month 

13. Sling TV

Sling TV is a streaming platform and the first app-based service where viewers can stream live television and on-demand content from the internet. It offers popular US TV channels for a lower price than other platforms in its category and supports recording for watching later. Sling TV offers a 7–14-day free trial depending on the subscription. 

  • Owner: Dish Network Corporation 
  • Types of Content: Live television and on-demand content from NBC, Fox, Disney, and ESPN channels 
  • Live Broadcasts: Yes 
  • Price: $40 – $55/m  

14. STARZ

Starz TV is a premium, all-inclusive streaming platform that impressively offers a rotating library of new-release and feature films, Starz originals, and well-known, popular series. You can get Starz through s satellite or cable provider or stream it through the standalone app. Starz has a 7-day free trial. Starz TV works on all devices and can work on up to 5 devices with one account. 

  • Owner: Lionsgate Entertainment 
  • Types of Content: All types of new, classic, and original movies, TV shows, and documentaries 
  • Live Broadcasts: Yes, on supported devices for Hulu subscribers 
  • Price: $8.99/month

15. Tubi TV

Tubi is an on-demand free video streaming app and a leading premium platform with the most extensive library of content. With over 40000 television shows and movies, you can watch everything you would ever want. The app maintains its cost-free availability through broadcasting ads. Tubi TV is the ideal alternative to any paid streaming service if viewers can handle the ads. 

  • Owner: Fox Corporation 
  • Types of Content: MGM, Lionsgate, NBC, Fox, Paramount channels, and more 
  • Live Broadcasts: Yes, from over 55 premium outlets 
  • Price: Free with ads 

16. Philo

Philo is a streaming service for lifestyle and entertainment channels at an affordable price. The platform offers unlimited recording, so viewers never miss any favorite shows. Philo TV is another excellent option for anyone who wants to cut cable, stream their favorite shows from their devices, and have content to watch on the go. 

  • Owner: AMC Networks, A+E Networks, Paramount Global, Warner Bros. Discovery 
  • Types of Content: Channels from its owners, including popular networks like AMC, Comedy Central, Food Network, Discovery Channel, HGTV, MTV, Nickelodeon, BBC America, VH1, and more. 
  • Live Broadcasts: Yes 
  • Price: $25/month 

17. Crunchyroll

This streaming service is for anime fans. It is a platform focusing on everything anime, manga, and the like. With more than 1200 shows, anime fans can find everything they need and more on Crunchyroll. The streaming service offers a 14-day trial before paid subscription, and the costs are highly affordable for viewers the content appeals to. 

  • Owner: Sony Pictures 
  • Types of Content: Anime shows, east Asian dramas, and manga, including documentaries, video essays, and behind-the-scenes anime content 
  • Live Broadcasts: Yes 
  • Price: Fan plan $7.99; Mega Fan plan $9.99; Ultimate fan plan $14.99  

18. Pluto TV

Free streaming services like Pluto TV appeal to viewers who don’t mind cable TV-style content but want to cut the cost. The service features the classic 30-minute shows with four ads. That is why it remains free and readily available – no need for creating accounts, logins, subscription details, etc. Viewers can stream Pluto TV content from a variety of devices. 

  • Owner: Paramount Streaming 
  • Types of Content: Home, food, lifestyle, sports, gaming, crime, reality, game shows, comedy, classic TV, anime, music, news, and more 
  • Live Broadcasts: Yes 
  • Price: Free with ads 

19. Amazon Freevee

Amazon Freevee is the new name for what was formerly known as IMDb TV. It is an ad-supported, therefore free platform with hundreds of series and movies to watch on-demand. It does not require any subscription and features over 60 channels for popular series and live episodes. With Freevee, you get what you see, and there are no upgrades for ad-free content or better features and content. 

To access Amazon Freevee, you need an Amazon account, but you do not need a prime subscription. The streaming service is supported on all devices that support amazon accounts, like Fire TV Stick, game consoles, smart TVs, mobile phones, and tablets. 

  • Owner: Amazon.com 
  • Types of Content: Drama, comedy, reality, hit movies, shows, and Freevee originals 
  • Live Broadcasts: Yes 
  • Price: Free 

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