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Cheapest streaming services for cord-cutters

By Kaitlyn Farley

Long gone are the days of running to the bathroom or for a snack between commercial breaks. With so many streaming services out there, cable feels like an obsolete inconvenience as more people cut the cord to save money, watch TV whenever they want and ditch ad breaks. Don’t want to wait until next week to watch that season finale? Well, for most streaming shows, you don’t have to! Stuck on the couch after slipping on ice on a wintry day? Why not binge-watch that new show everyone’s talking about? 

 

But that begs the question: What are the best and cheapest streaming services for cord-cutters? You didn’t get rid of cable just to have to subscribe to each and every streaming service out there, so we’ve found some of the cheapest TV streaming services you can subscribe to without having to get a side hustle just to be able to afford! 

 

Note that prices and availability may vary by location and are accurate as of writing.

 

Related: The worst Hallmark Christmas movies of all time

 

  1. Peacock – Free for some content, $4.99/month+
  • Best for: Fans of current & classic NBC shows, original movies
  • What you’ll get: The free version of Peacock will only get you a couple movies and TV shows. But the $4.99 plan includes live TV like Sunday Night Football, Premier League and WWE. Plus, you’ll be able to watch new episodes of your favorite shows the day after they air. 
  • Discounts available: None available at this time
  • Add-ons: You can pay $10.99 a month to watch content ad-free and be able to download and watch TV shows and movies offline. 

 

  1. Hulu – $6.99/month+
  • Best for: Fans of Hulu original content, CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, FX, ESPN, AMC, as well as other networks and movie studios
  • What you’ll get: Access to most shows from partner networks listed above the day after airing, original Hulu content
  • Discounts available: You’ll pay $69.99 for a year of its basic plan if you pay upfront, as opposed to $83.88. Students are also eligible for a $1.99/month program. If you want Disney+ as well, you can get both for $13.99.
  • Add-ons: Hulu has loads of bundles and add-ons you can choose from, ranging from live TV to adding SHOWTIME or STARZ. You can also bundle Hulu, Disney and ESPN at a discounted rate, which will depend on which options you choose (such as ad-free viewing).

 

  1. Disney+ – $7.99/month+
  • Best for: Fans of Disney, Marvel, National Geographic, Star Wars and Pixar
  • What you’ll get: Access to Disney original movies and TV shows, both classic and new
  • Discounts available: None available at this time
  • Add-ons: As stated above, you can bundle Hulu, Disney and ESPN at a discounted rate

 

  1. Netflix – $8.99/month+
  • Best for: Netflix original content, international TV shows and movies, short films and partner channels (will vary by country)
  • What you’ll get: Watch on one screen at a time and download content on one device
  • Discounts available: None available at this time
  • Add-ons: You can add multiple users, download content to watch offline on multiple devices, as well as stream in HD and Ultra HD for $13.99-$17.99, depending on your needs.

 

  1. Amazon Prime Video – $8.99/month+
  • Best for: Amazon Prime users, fans of Amazon Prime original content, watching new shows and movies from various networks and studios
  • What you’ll get: IMDB TV shows (free with ads), Amazon original content, content from partner networks and studios (may vary by region) and one free subscription to a Twitch streamer (you can change who you subscribe to month-by-month)
  • Discounts available: Prime Video is free for anyone who already has Amazon Prime ($13 a month or $119 a year). Students are eligible for a six-month free trial and student discounts after that will change based on which options you chose (such as add-ons or paying for a year upfront).
  • Add-ons: You can add BritBox, STARZ, SHOWTIME, epix and more.You can also rent some movies that are still in theaters. 

 

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6 HBO Max – $9.99/month+

  • Best for: Fans of HBO content
  • What you’ll get: Access to HBO originals, although you’ll have to watch with ads
  • Discounts available: No discounts, but they do offer a one-month free trial 
  • Add-ons: For $14.99 a month, you can watch ad-free and gain access to Warner Bros. 2021 movie premieres the same day they’re released in theaters at no additional cost. 

 

  1. SHOWTIME -$9.99/month+
  • Best for: Fans of SHOWTIME content
  • What you’ll get: Access to SHOWTIME originals
  • Discounts available: You can save by paying upfront for a year at $99 instead of 10 bucks a month. They also offer a one-month trial period. Sam’s Club members may also be eligible for a discount depending on their membership plan.  
  • Add-ons: SHOWTIME has a ton of bundles and add-ons to choose from, such as student plans and add-ons for Spotify and Paramount. 

 

  1. Philo – $25/month+
  • Best for: Fans of major TV networks, such as Food Network, A&E, BET, CMT and AMC who want to record live TV to watch later or stream online
  • What you’ll get: The ability to record an unlimited number of live TV programs and store on your DVR for 12 months or stream shows online
  • Discounts available: No discounts currently available
  • Add-ons: You can add on a number of movie networks, epix or STARZ at a premium rate.

 

  1. Sling TV Blue – $35/month+
  • Best for: Fans of major TV networks, such as Cartoon Network, TBS, HGTV and CNN
  • What you’ll get: 50+ channels to watch live or on-demand later
  • Discounts available: $25 off your first month
  • Add-ons: You can add premium channels, such as Disney XD or FXX, as well as SHOWTIME, ESPN U and more for an added cost. They also have a number of bundles available, such as bundles for lifestyle or sports channels. 

 

  1. YouTube TV – $64.99/month+
  • Best for: Fans of YouTube and those looking for access to most live cable channels without having to lock into a contract 
  • What you’ll get: 85+ channels live or on demand, unlimited recording storage and six users
  • Discounts available: Free trial and $14.99 for your first month for new users
  • Add-ons: You can add HBO MAX, epic, SHOWTIME, NFL RedZone and over 20 other channels for a premium. You can also add 4K viewing, unlimited streaming and recordings for offline viewing for extra costs.

 

Related: 35 of your favorite old TV shows worth watching again

 

  1. DirecTV – $69.99/month+
  • Best for: Anyone looking for access to most live cable channels 
  • What you’ll get: 65+ channels live or on demand and over 40,000 TV shows and movies
  • Discounts available: SHOWTIME, STARZ, epix and Cinemax free for three months
  • Add-ons: DirecTV has a number of plans tailored to your viewing needs, such as basics and sports for $84.99/month and a “Premier” plan that includes everything in their lower-tiered plans, plus HBO Max, SHOWTIME, STARZ and Cinemax for $139.99/month.

 

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