Update: Please see our new fuboTV review.
It’s never been easy to be a sports-loving cord cutter, but things are getting a little better every year. With clever use of streaming packages and over-the-air broadcasts, it’s still possible to enjoy a bunch of your favorite American sports. But there still weren’t a ton of great solutions for fans of foreign soccer leagues – until FuboTV came along.
The New York City-based FuboTV offers live streaming of matches from a ton of different foreign leagues, including Spain’s La Liga, France’s Ligue 1, and Mexico’s Liga MX. It’s not available in Europe, but it’s an option for American fans. Is it worth your money? Here’s our complete review.
Content and Channels
FuboTV’s claim to fame is its live match offerings, which include matches from the following leagues:
- Spain’s LFP (including La Liga)
- Italy’s Serie A
- France’s Ligue 1
- Portugal’s Primeira Liga
- Mexico’s Liga MX
The service also offers a bunch of international games. The English Premier League and Germany’s Bundesliga are the most notable absent leagues, but it’s worth noting that you’ll still get news and recaps related to those leagues on FuboTV’s streaming channels.
Yes, we said streaming channels. FuboTV offers on-demand content, but it’s really set up around 24-hour streaming channels, making it a bit more like Sling TV and a little less like MLB.TV, NBA League Pass, and the rest of the sports streaming services. If you’re a huge fan of a particular league or team, it’s worth checking the channel list in the next section and cross-referencing it with your team’s TV schedule to see exactly what’s on. For instance, FuboTV doesn’t advertise that it has MLS games, but it does have a few games a year (including knockout round playoff games), because it has UniMás.
About those channels: you’ll get a selection of 14 24-hour streaming networks, many of which are familiar channels that are exactly same as their television equivalents. Here is a full list of the channels you’ll get on FuboTV:
- beIN Sports English
- beIN Sports Spanish
- Univision Deportes
- GolTV English
- GolTV Spanish
- El Rey
- Benfica TV
- FuboTV Network
- Football Report TV
You can also add SportTV Americas for $9.99 extra per month.
Despite the channel-based setup, FuboTV doesn’t really feel like Sling TV when you use it. Instead, the interface is based around live matches. When you open FuboTV, you’ll be greeted with a list of upcoming matches. You can click for details (like lineups), DVR the matches, or watch them live if they’re currently playing. This is true on every app we tried except, curiously, the Android one. The format is really useful for keeping track of what you want to watch and for weeding out the re-runs, which are plentiful on some of the channels.
Below the upcoming matches is a list of streaming channels, which you can scroll through (in different ways, depending on the app you’re using). You can click in and out of individual channels, but there’s not really a way to flip between them on any of the apps. This is one place where FuboTV could learn from Sling TV, where the “on now” menu allows you to channel surf. With FuboTV, you have to exit the channel you’re watching before you can see what’s on other channels. It’s another way in which FuboTV seems focused on appointment viewing rather than casual channel flipping.
Below the channels is a kind of neat thing: team-by-team scrolls. You can watch matches and recap programs on-demand on FuboTV, and there are some teams for which the content is particularly robust. FuboTV surfaces these teams and gives them their own video stream below the channels. This is a really nice touch if you’re a fan of one of these teams, though it’s kind of useless if you’re not. Ajax, BVB, and Everton are the three teams that seem to always have their own stream.
Last but not least, FuboTV offers a couple of scrolling video menus for soccer news shows and highlight shows. This is nice, and again reflects the focus on on-demand content rather than channel surfing. FuboTV is a video streaming service that is best used in a kind of deliberate, planned way.
As we’ve mentioned elsewhere, we were pretty impressed with the streaming quality of FuboTV. It definitely bests Sling TV, and it measures up pretty well to American league streaming services like NHL GameCenter Live. It’s very smooth on all platforms, though picture occasionally dips. In our trials, things got a blurry a touch more often on Chromecast (we experienced this when using an Android device to cast) and the web app than they do on Roku or iOS. Loading times exist on all of the platforms, but are generally very short. You may not always have HD picture, but you’ll have a reliable and consistent stream, which is key for a sports streaming service.
FuboTV has pretty extensive cross-platform support. There’s browser-based app, an iOS app, an Android app, a Roku channel, and an Amazon Fire TV app. You can also cast it to Chromecast from the mobile apps and web app. We tried the service on iOS, Android, Roku, and Chromecast, and we got solid streaming on each of them.
It’s hardly worth mentioning, but the Roku channel required a manual login rather than the activation key that most streaming services use.
The price might be the best thing about FuboTV. It’ll only set you back $6.99, which makes it by far the cheapest way to get most of this content. Some of these channels are available on Sling TV’s basic package ($20/month) and Sports Extra package ($5/month), but FuboTV is cheaper and Sling TV doesn’t stream as well as FuboTV does.
There’s also an annual option, which costs $66/year ($5.50/month, about 20% less than the monthly plan). Given soccer’s relatively short offseason, this is a solid option.
FuboTV is a pretty impressive service for the price. It streams quite reliably, better than competitors like Sling TV. We wish we’d been able to channel surf more easily, especially since some of the channels (like Univision) offer non-sports programming that can be fun to check out on a whim, but ultimately FuboTV delivers exactly what it says it will: quality streaming of live soccer matches from a ton of different leagues. If you’re a fan of the leagues it offers, this service is for you.
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