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Live TV Streaming Customer Satisfaction Survey 2023

How 6,000 US live TV streaming customers’ opinions stack up against those of CableTV.com’s experts (hint: pretty close).

On-demand: For rankings on services like Netflix, Disney+, and HBO Max, check out CableTV.com’s On-Demand TV Streaming Customer Satisfaction Survey 2023.

Live streaming TV, the internet-based alternative to cable and satellite television, isn’t as massive a field as on-demand streaming. Including Netflix and Disney+, there are hundreds of on-demand services; there are fewer than 10 live TV streaming services available in the US.

Of those, Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV are the top dogs in our 2023 live TV streaming customer satisfaction survey, which asked 6,900 current subscribers, “How’s your stream?” We queried about user experience, pricing, the likelihood of sticking with their service, and more.

As in 2022, the results mostly mirror the editorial rankings of our own Best Live TV Streaming Services. We’re into that kind of validation.

Live TV streaming trends for 2023

Vidgo is on the rise, besting Hulu Live and YouTube TV in value and user experience

The relatively new live TV streaming service Vidgo made a strong showing this year, topping categories in user experience, reliability, and pricing (for reference, Vidgo didn’t even show up in our 2022 survey). Considering Vidgo doesn’t carry many of the popular channels that other live TV streamers do, that’s not bad.

Service Best user experience (Completely or very satisfied) Most reliable (Completely or very satisfied) Best bang for your buck (Completely or very satisfied)
Vidgo 83% 83% 77%
Hulu + Live TV 82% 77% 72%
YouTube TV 78% 77% 74%

YouTube TV is the add-on king—not even counting NFL Sunday Ticket

YouTube TV offers over 40 add-on channel packages, and our survey respondents appreciate the options, placing it above Hulu + Live TV and Sling TV, neither of which are exactly lacking in add-on choices. Keep in mind, our survey was taken before YouTube TV secured the rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket from DIRECTV.

Service How satisfied are you with your add-on channels? (Completely or very satisfied)
YouTube TV 76%
Hulu + Live TV 75%
Sling TV 65%

Despite price hikes, Hulu + Live TV customers are loyal

Unlike 2022, Hulu + Live TV edged out YouTube TV in most of our survey categories, including brand loyalty: 79% said they’d recommend Hulu + Live TV to a friend, as opposed to 78% for YouTube TV.

Service How likely are you to recommend your service to a friend? (Completely or very likely)
Hulu + Live TV 79%
YouTube TV 78%
Philo 75%

Highest overall satisfaction

What is your overall satisfaction with your live TV streaming service?

Hulu + Live TV has the highest overall satisfaction for Live TV Streaming

One percentage point put Hulu + Live TV over YouTube TV in overall satisfaction this year, and fuboTV, Philo, and Sling TV improved their standings by 10 to 20 points from 2022. In CableTV.com’s editorial opinion, YouTube TV still offers a superior live TV streaming experience to Hulu + Live TV, but it’s a close race.

DIRECTV STREAM and Vidgo didn’t show up in our 2022 survey results, so their low rankings this time around are at least somewhat of an improvement.

Service Completely or very satisfied
Hulu + Live TV 81%
YouTube TV 80%
fuboTV 76%
Philo 73%
Sling TV 71%
DIRECTV STREAM 64%
Vidgo 62%

Hear from real Hulu + Live TV customers

“I like Hulu + Live TV. I’ve used their streaming service for years, and they’ve always been great.”

How well did your experience compare with your ideal of how a live TV streaming service should be?

Percentage of customers responding “Extremely close to the ideal”:

  1. Hulu + Live TV (79%)
  2. YouTube TV (78%)
  3. Vidgo (77%)

Another squeaker for Hulu + Live TV in a tight race, and it looks like most of the competition is living up to live TV streaming expectations. Vidgo scored nicely here, beating out longer-established player Philo by a point.

On the other hand, the low numbers for fuboTV, Sling TV, and DIRECTV STREAM show they might need to step up their respective games.

Service Extremely close to the ideal
Hulu + Live TV 79%
YouTube TV 78%
Vidgo 77%
Philo 76%
fuboTV 70%
Sling TV 65%
DIRECTV STREAM 61%

Hear from real DIRECTV STREAM customers

“[DIRECTV STREAM] meets its purpose, but it’s expensive and the selection is terrible. They need to do better.”

Best user experience

How satisfied are you with your user experience?

Best user experience for Live TV Streaming is Vidgo

A big win for Vidgo in overall user experience, coming out of left field with an 83% approval rating and besting Hulu + Live TV by a point. One reason Vidgo is seen as simpler to use is that it has far fewer bells, whistles, and features than Hulu + Live TV or YouTube TV.

YouTube TV, Philo, fuboTV, and Sling TV ranked closely in the middle and, as is the case for most of this survey, DIRECTV STREAM is at the bottom.

Service Completely or very satisfied
Vidgo 83%
Hulu + Live TV 82%
YouTube TV 78%
Philo 74%
fuboTV 72%
Sling TV 71%
DIRECTV STREAM 66%

Hear from real YouTube TV customers

“YouTube TV has been the best TV service I’ve ever had. It’s reliable, and I’ve never had problems.”

Best customer experience

How easy was it to use your live TV streaming service?

Percentage of customers responding “Extremely or very easy”:

  1. Hulu + Live TV (80%)
  2. YouTube TV (80%)
  3. Philo (75%)

Both Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV are a breeze to navigate, so their neck-and-neck showing here is no surprise.

But, Vidgo also has one of the simplest interfaces in live TV streaming, so it’s odd to see it down near last place.

Service Extremely + very easy
Hulu + Live TV 80%
YouTube TV 80%
Philo 75%
fuboTV 74%
Sling TV 73%
Vidgo 69%
DIRECTV STREAM 62%

How effective was your live TV streaming service at meeting your needs?

Percentage of customers responding “Extremely or very effective”:

  • Vidgo (85%)
  • YouTube TV (83%)
  • Hulu + Live TV (80%)

We think of live TV streaming needs as a decent array of channels, a cloud DVR, and minimal outages—Vidgo checks all three boxes with customers.

We aren’t too surprised by the consistent middle-of-the-pack showings for fuboTV and Sling TV, as both fall behind Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV in CableTV.com’s own editorial rankings.

Service Extremely or very effective
Vidgo 85%
YouTube TV 83%
Hulu + Live TV 80%
Philo 76%
Sling TV 72%
fuboTV 72%
DIRECTV STREAM 65%

Hear from real Sling TV customers

“[Sling TV] is a cheap service with a lot of options to watch. Great customer service.”

How enjoyable were your interactions with your streaming service?

Percentage of customers responding “Extremely or very enjoyable”:

  1. Hulu + Live TV (82%)
  2. YouTube TV (81%)
  3. Philo (73%)

Hulu + Live TV is easy to sign up for, offering several subscription options, and its troubleshooting FAQ section is one of the most thorough we’ve seen in streaming. If something goes wrong with Hulu + Live TV, it’s usually a quick fix.

The same could be said of YouTube TV, which is quick to respond on its social media accounts with solutions to public complaints (we know, we’ve done it).

Service Extremely or very enjoyable
Hulu + Live TV 82%
YouTube TV 81%
Philo 73%
Sling TV 70%
fuboTV 70%
Vidgo 69%
DIRECTV STREAM 63%

Most reliable

How reliable is your live TV streaming service?

Vidgo is the most reliable Live TV Streaming service

This is one of Philo’s highest rankings, just below Vidgo in reliability. In our reviews and experience, all of the live TV streaming services in this survey are reliable to a point. Glitches and outages happen, but live TV streaming suffers them less often than cable or satellite services.

Service Completely or very satisfied
Vidgo 83%
Philo 78%
Hulu + Live TV 77%
YouTube TV 77%
fuboTV 69%
Sling TV 65%
DIRECTV STREAM 64%

Best bang for your buck

Considering the quality of your live TV streaming service, how would you rate the price you pay for it?

Vidgo Live TV Streaming offers the best value

Another Philo silver medal. It’s worth noting that Philo is the cheapest live TV streaming service with over 60 popular channels—at $25 a month, it costs about half of most of the competition.

While we do think that Vidgo is a good value, our editorial choice for best value still goes to Hulu + Live TV, thanks to its Disney+/ESPN+ bundle inclusion, unlimited cloud DVR space, and built-in Hulu library of movies and TV shows.

Service Completely or very satisfied
Vidgo 77%
Philo 75%
YouTube TV 74%
Hulu + Live TV 72%
Sling TV 69%
fuboTV 61%
DIRECTV STREAM 60%

Considering your expectations for your live TV streaming service, how would you rate the price you pay?

Percentage of customers responding “Excellent or good given the quality”:

  1. Philo (75%)
  2. Hulu + Live TV (74%)
  3. YouTube TV (71%)

Like we said, Philo gives you plenty of channels for just $25 a month. Subscribers don’t seem to mind that Philo doesn’t carry any sports or local channels.

Vidgo’s dead-last showing here is probably due to a lack of channels—it costs nearly as much as Hulu + Live TV or YouTube TV, but it’s lacking several popular channels in its lineup (including TBS, TNT, and CNN).

Service Excellent or good given the quality
Philo 75%
Hulu + Live TV 74%
YouTube TV 71%
Sling TV 69%
DIRECTV STREAM 60%
fuboTV 58%
Vidgo 54%

Hear from real Philo customers

“[Philo] is especially fair in pricing, and if you can’t make the payment right on time, they give you a grace period.”

How happy are you with the price you pay for your live TV streaming service?

Percentage of customers responding “Excellent or good given the quality”:

  1. Vidgo (77%)
  2. Philo (75%)
  3. YouTube TV (74%)

Vidgo’s back on top. Subscribers may not get all of the channels of other services, but they do get the ones they want, like ESPN, Hallmark, and A&E. Vidgo’s focus on sports and family programming has paid off.

As we’ve mentioned several times in this overview, you can’t beat Philo’s price for what you get, especially if you’re a fan of reality shows and lifestyle entertainment.

Service Excellent or good given the quality
Vidgo 77%
Philo 75%
YouTube TV 74%
Hulu + Live TV 72%
Sling TV 69%
fuboTV 61%
DIRECTV STREAM 60%

How satisfied are you with your add-on channels?

Percentage of customers responding “Completely or very satisfied”:

  1. YouTube TV (76%)
  2. Hulu + Live TV (75%)
  3. Vidgo (75%)

It’s tough to beat YouTube TV’s add-on channel game, and the recently announced acquisition of the NFL Sunday Ticket from DIRECTV easily seals the deal.

The one live TV streaming service that can almost challenge YouTube TV in add-ons volume is Sling TV, but it sits down at just 65%.

Service Completely or very satisfied
YouTube TV 76%
Hulu + Live TV 75%
Vidgo 75%
fuboTV 71%
Philo 71%
Sling TV 65%
DIRECTV STREAM 61%

Hear from real fuboTV customers

“fuboTV doesn’t have TBS, and we’re having buffering problems. I’m not very happy with the service lately.”

Highest customer loyalty

How likely are you to recommend your live TV streaming service to a friend?

Hulu + Live TV has the highest customer loyalty for Live TV Streaming services

A curious second-place drop for YouTube TV from last year, especially considering that the service will literally give you money for referring a friend. As suspected, Hulu + Live TV fans are ride-or-die.

DIRECTV STREAM at 55% loyalty? Ouch. It’s probably less a question of quality than money: DIRECTV STREAM’s more channel-loaded plans, the ones that compare favorably to YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV, cost more than either of those services but provide none of the extras (like unlimited cloud DVR space and Hulu’s on-demand library).

Service Completely or very likely
Hulu + Live TV 79%
YouTube TV 78%
Philo 75%
Sling TV 73%
Vidgo 69%
fuboTV 67%
DIRECTV STREAM 55%

How likely are you to continue to subscribe to your live TV streaming service?

Percentage of customers responding “Completely or very likely”:

  1. YouTube TV (78%)
  2. Hulu + Live TV (77%)
  3. Philo (75%)

YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV offer the most complete channel lineups, well-rounded arrays that include popular entertainment, sports, and news programming, as well as local channels. Why wouldn’t subscribers stick with them?

Philo’s ongoing low price is the reason for its third-place showing here—it has no sports or local channels, but it’s still cheap.

Service Completely or very likely
YouTube TV 78%
Hulu + Live TV 77%
Philo 75%
Sling TV 71%
DIRECTV STREAM 65%
fuboTV 62%
Vidgo 46%

How likely are you to increase the amount you pay for your live TV streaming service?

Percentage of customers responding “Completely or very likely”:

  1. Vidgo (54%)
  2. YouTube TV (50%)
  3. Hulu + Live TV (45%)

Subscription price increases are inevitable, but some are coming sooner than others. It’s been a couple of years since YouTube TV raised its rate, and we think 2023 will see it go up.

On the other hand, we don’t predict any price hikes for the rest of the pack this year—except maybe Philo, which has been holding steady at $25 a month since 2021.

Service Completely or very likely
Vidgo 54%
YouTube TV 50%
Hulu + Live TV 45%
DIRECTV STREAM 44%
Philo 42%
fuboTV 42%
Sling TV 37%

Final take

Hulu + Live TV got more expensive in 2022, but it also added some substantial value by upping its cloud DVR storage space to unlimited and including the Disney+/ESPN+ bundle with its live TV plans. It’s easy to understand why it came out on top with customers over YouTube TV this year.

Not that YouTube TV should be counted out: It’s still CableTV.com’s editorial pick for best live TV streaming service, and it scored almost evenly with Hulu + Live TV throughout this customer satisfaction survey. Now that YouTube TV is the new home for the NFL Sunday Ticket, we expect more converts in 2023 (and, unfortunately, a probable price hike).

Vidgo, which didn’t show up in our survey last year, came in hot this time around—if it can add some more popular channels, it might become a serious contender. DIRECTV STREAM also entered our survey for the first time, but its numbers aren’t all that impressive—it seems that customers aren’t so much enjoying DTV as tolerating it.

Sling TV, Philo, and fuboTV remain in the middle of the pack, despite being solid live TV streaming services with their own strengths:

  • Sling TV is super-customizable with dozens of available add-on packages.
  • Philo gives you a great array of entertainment channels at a low price.
  • fuboTV is loaded with international sports channels, especially for soccer fans.

Lastly, we found that live TV streaming service subscribers are wary of their monthly bill going up—not that a survey was necessary to determine that, because who isn’t?

Past customer satisfaction surveys

Methodology

We surveyed 6,900 people across the US to measure satisfaction with their on-demand streaming service. Our sample represented broader US demographics (e.g., gender, race, age, etc.) and was analyzed using prevailing industry standards by our data experts. If you’re a member of the media and have follow-up questions, feel free to contact us at pr@cabletv.com.

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