Do you live in San Diego and watch NFL football? Are you also thinking of “cutting the cord” and cancelling your overly expensive cable TV or satellite package and subscribing to a streaming TV service? There are several choices of streaming services with different price points.
Update September 2018:
The good news is that FOX 5 San Diego is finally available on YouTube TV according to their website. With everything else I wrote in the original article being the same (Hulu still has difficulties streaming live TV), I’m switching back to YouTube TV for live TV and probably keep Hulu for on-demand commercial-free viewing, because you still can’t get the best of everything in one service. However, it’s still better overall than Cable TV!
I’ve tried most of the online streaming services over the last 3 years, and some of them are pretty good. Of course they all have different channel packages and extras, like DVR, etc. Unfortunately none of them is the “perfect” package of channels, features and price. I recently switched from YouTube TV back to Hulu with Live TV. While YouTube TV is a great service overall, I switched before the NFL preseason starts, basically for one simple reason.
No Local FOX5 San Diego
While YouTube TV has the national FOX network and many local FOX affiliate channels in other cities, it doesn’t have have San Diego FOX 5 yet, and YouTube TV support doesn’t know if or when they’ll get it. Why is this important? Because all of the FOX Sunday NFL games are broadcast on the local affiliate channels, not the national network. Luckily because we have Verizon wireless, I was able to watch the FOX Sunday games on my phone last season, but that’s definitely not the best way to watch football from home.
I could have switched back to Hulu last season, but at the time they weren’t very good at streaming live sports. They would always seem to have errors and other issues during games. Even though you can authenticate with the FOX Sports Go app and website on YouTube TV, you still can’t watch the FOX Sunday games on the FOX app or website because YouTube TV doesn’t have the local FOX in San Diego. The streaming rights are apparently complicated, and looking back on it I probably would have been better off to switch back to Hulu then. I was just too annoyed with them at the time, and while YouTube TV is not perfect either, it was good for the most part.
As good as YouTube TV is at streaming live TV (at least in my experience in San Diego) and all the other good features they have like unlimited DVR, etc., not being able to watch NFL Sunday on FOX is a deal killer for now. I suppose if you’re in an area where you can get the local FOX channel on an antenna it would be ok, but since we don’t it’s not an option for us.
Luckily all of the streaming services have free trials though, so if you still want to try it you can do so without committing to a whole month. Just make sure they have all the local channels you need for sports!