YouTube TV vs Hulu: Battle of the live TV streamers

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

If you’re considering cutting the rope but still want to catch up on your favorite shows or sporting events while they’re live, you have options. Two of the biggest players in the live TV game are YouTube TV and Hulu Plus Live TV. So, who’s on top in the YouTube TV vs Hulu match?

It will depend on what you’re looking for specifically, as the two services offer slightly different options. Read everything you need to know about the two before making your choice.

Live TV vs. Library Content and Assets

YouTube TV stock image 2

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

The biggest difference between YouTube TV and Hulu is the type of content offered on the two services.

In fact, we can’t really compare Hulu as a whole to YouTube TV, because the Disney-owned streaming device has an entire back catalog of series and movies, as well as original Hulu assets, to complement its streaming offerings.

Read: Can Live Broadcasting Replace Cable TV?

On the other hand, YouTube TV is an alternative to cable, allowing viewers to access live channels via their internet connections. You can access on-demand movies and shows, but they’re not part of the subscription as they are on Hulu. They pay to watch. YouTube TV is mostly for live TV only, though some original shows too.

So, what are we really comparing?

In short, the real battle is between YouTube TV and Hulu Plus Live TV, narrowing the field to two options for people who want a streaming service that still lets them watch their favorite shows and live events while streaming.

What is YouTube TV?

YouTube TV is a streaming service that includes live channels. This means that you can watch things like live sports and hit series as they air on broadcast and cable channels. The service can be used on a phone, tablet, computer or TV.

It also includes YouTube Originals, although the service has been largely stripped of its original production and now features mostly children’s programming that is not written in small numbers.

What is Hulu Plus Live TV?

Hulu Plus Live TV similarly offers live streaming channels, including sports channels, popular broadcasts, and cable stations. It can also be used on a variety of devices.

The main differentiating feature is that Hulu Plus Live TV automatically includes the standard Hulu streaming service (at different price points depending on whether you want ads or not). This means that in addition to live TV, you get access to Hulu originals like The Handmaid’s Tale and Only Murders in the Building, along with all the third-party series and movies available to Hulu subscribers.

channels

YouTube TV image on Google Pixel.

The live channels included on YouTube TV and Hulu Plus Live TV are quite similar, with YouTube TV offering over 85 channels and Hulu just over 75. Both provide access to well-known channels such as ABC, NBC, Fox News, BET, TNT, Discovery, Cartoon Network, and more.

These two services are very similar in terms of channel offerings, although you should check both, including your local offerings, before making a decision. PBS, for example, is part of your YouTube TV subscription, but it’s not Hulu.

paying off: Every channel is available on YouTube TV

Both services also allow you to sign up for additional premium channels at an additional cost, neither of them have an advantage here, as the premium channels are priced the same in either service. They include HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, and Starz, and are available on both YouTube TV and Hulu Plus Live TV. Only YouTube offers Epix, though.

Live sports channels are where YouTube TV shines, as they predate Hulu with three additional channels: NFL Network, MLB Network, and NBA TV. Otherwise, their sports offerings are about the same.

Sports channels on YouTube TV are as follows:

  • ACC Network (ACCN)
  • CBS Sports Network
  • ESPN and ESPN2
  • ESPNews
  • Spino
  • FS1 and FS2
  • golf channel
  • MLB . Network
  • NBA TV
  • NBC Sports
  • NBC Sports Network
  • NFL network
  • Olympic Channel
  • SEC . network

Hulu Plus Live TV sports channels are as follows:

  • ACC Network (ACCN)
  • Big Ten . network
  • CBS Sports Network
  • ESPN and ESPN2
  • ESPNews
  • Spino
  • ESPN Extra College
  • FS1 and FS2
  • golf channel
  • Olympic Channel
  • SEC . network

Pricing

Hulu Kids Movies Photo Album 2

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

At first glance, YouTube TV and Hulu Plus Live TV are available at the same price, which makes Hulu look like a clear winner with a library of major titles outside of its live channels. But it’s a little more complicated than that.

A basic subscription to either comes at $64.99 per month. With Hulu, that gives you the lowest level ad serving you support. You can go ad-free for $70.99, but that doesn’t affect your direct channels.

Read: Can Netflix stay on top of the streaming wars?

The big difference comes with the add-ons. YouTube TV remains at $64.99 per month regardless. This includes everything available, including unlimited DVR storage, which allows you to quickly advance through ads when watching saved shows.

On Hulu, you get 50 hours of DVR included with your subscription, and you can’t skip the ads. To increase that duration to up to 200 hours and fast-forward capabilities, you’ll need to add $9.99 per month to your bill, which makes it significantly more expensive than YouTube.

Availability

Hulu Science Fiction section appears on smartphone

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

While some live TV streaming services are available outside the US, this is not a factor when considering YouTube TV vs Hulu.

Both services are exclusively for Americans. If you’ve been anywhere else in the world, well, no luck. Or rather, you lose both services. You’ll have to check with local internet providers for live TV, or subscribe to a service like Fubo TV (available in Canada and Spain), for example.

So, this is a strict comparison for US customers.

YouTube TV vs. Hulu: The Verdict

YouTube TV stock image 1

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Hulu Plus Live TV is the clear winner in the YouTube TV vs Hulu battle if you are looking to get the most out of the money you pay. Hulu’s standard library is huge, and you can access it on top of your direct channels, at no additional cost beyond YouTube anyway.

There is a big caveat here. If your main interests are live TV, YouTube TV has more channels. More than that, it gives you unlimited DVR storage space at no additional cost. With Hulu, you’ll have to pay an extra $9.99 per month to get more DVR space, and you’ll still get fewer channels.

If you’re a sports fan, YouTube also offers more access to sports, along with a few other channels that you can’t get from Hulu.

The best way to break it down is to say Hulu Plus Live TV is the obvious choice if you want a more rounded service, including the standard streaming fare, but still want to watch some shows while they’re streaming. Meanwhile, YouTube TV is more for hardcore cable fans who want to cut the cord without losing the basic cable experience and don’t care too much about other streaming features.

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