You now have another option besides PlayStation Vue to cut the cord and stream local sporting events.
The paid streaming service fuboTV announced Thursday that it had signed a deal with NBCUniversal to add all the network’s national and local channels to its online offering. The deal includes Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia and the Comcast Network.
This gives local sports fans an option besides Comcast’s, Verizon FiOS’, and RCN’s cable packages for watching games that CSN and TCN televise. In addition to the Phillies, Flyers, and 76ers, CSN and TCN broadcast Union soccer games and a wide range of local college football and basketball.
A monthly subscription to fuboTV will cost $34.99 during an introductory period. That’s the same price as the lowest-price PlayStation Vue tier that offers CSN and TCN.
After the introductory period, the length of which has not been officially set, fuboTV’s monthly rate will rise to $49.99.
PlayStation Vue’s cheapest offering is $29.99 per month, and most expensive $54.99 per month. Rivals SlingTV and DirecTV Now do not offer CSN and TCN.
Both Sling TV and DirectTV Now look promising but are essentially non-starters because they don’t include CSN Philly (yet).
Fobu TV is intriguing as it started out as a soccer streaming service – hence the name – but is now dipping its toe into major American sports. In addition to CSN, it will also carry all of the FOX sports networks, the Big Ten Network, local FOX and NBC stations, and the FOX (Fox News, FX, etc.) and NBC (CNBC, MSNBC) cable channels. It will also offer cloud DVR.
Is it a viable option? I think so. But what we’re seeing – and what I’ve predicted all along – is that narrow services are growing and incorporating more channels and are looking a lot like your current cable bundle, at a slightly lower price point and with a streaming focus. My chief issue with Vue was that it only streams in 720, which I’m guessing is the case for Fobu as well. So that’s a consideration if you want to cut the cord– you have to be willing to put up with quality issues and some of the quirks of streaming technology, which will obviously improve.
Compared to PlayStation Vue, Fobu is lacking a bit. Vue carries all of the local broadcast networks, which removes the need for a tuner if you want to watch CBS or ABC. Fobu also doesn’t offer Red Zone (as of now). Or ESPN. And it’s not really any cheaper once the introductory offer runs out.
But, you will now have another option if you want to cut the cord and still watch local sports.