Best streaming deals: Sling TV, Hulu, Peacock, and more

The Netflix home screen.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

Whether you’re moving away from a cable or satellite subscription or simply want a way to access some unique content only available through a streaming subscription, there are a lot of ways to save in doing so. Many of the best live TV streaming services regularly have deals taking place, and several of them even offer ways to watch for free. With so many streaming platforms out there right now, it can be difficult to make sense of which is which and how you can save with a subscription. We’ve organized all of that below to help you land some ample streaming savings. And if you don’t yet have a great way to take in all of that content, consider even more savings by shopping the best TV deals, or get more brand-specific and shop the current LG TV deals, Samsung TV deals, Sony TV deals, and TCL TV deals.

Amazon Prime Video

Getting right into it, Amazon Prime Video, specifically, does not have a free trial. However, Amazon Prime subscribers do get access to Prime Video with their retail subscription, and that has a free trial. There’s a catch, though. If you signed up for an Amazon Prime free trial before, or have had Prime, either as a trial or paid membership, any time in the last 12 months the trial isn’t available. If you haven’t, and you meet the eligibility, you can sign up for a Prime free trial for up to a month.

The monthly membership for Prime costs $180 per year, at $15 per month for 12 months, but an annual Prime membership is cheaper at $139. The average cost of the annual fee is about $11.60 per month, saving you $41. There is also Amazon Freevee, which is a free, with ads, service that allows you to watch select original content, live TV, movies, and shows for free, just like cable TV.

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Home to fan-favorites like The Walking Dead, Mad Men, Hell on Wheels, Mayfair Witches, Dark Winds, and more original shows, AMC+ takes the channel online. The AMC+ free trial gives you seven days to stream content on the service for free, as long as you’re a new customer. After those seven days are up, you’ll have to pay $5 per month for the basic plan with ads, or $9 per month for the ad-free plan.

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You won’t find a better library of reality TV, documentaries, and beyond. Discovery+ even has its own library of original content and can’t-miss shows. With shows from HGTV, Food Network, TLC, A&E, OWN, Lifetime, History, Sci, and more, there’s something for everyone. Now, there are some deals available through other providers, like Sling which allows you to access up to seven days free. But there’s a Discovery+ free trial directly available to new customers, as well. After the trial, the basic plan is $5 per month with ads, or $9 per month without ads. The ad-free tier also allows you to watch offline with mobile downloads.

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Disney Plus

Disney+ plans start at $10 per month, which sees it bundled with Hulu, and $15 per month, which sees it bundled with Hulu and ESPN+. Since Hulu is usually $8 per month, $80 per year, and ESPN+ is $11 per month, $110 per year, you’re saving quite a bit with the bundle offers. Considering you’re getting three excellent services for one low price, you won’t find a better deal on anything that’s included.

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ESPN+ is your place to watch live sports, but also to access an on-demand library of sports related content and originals like the 30 for 30 Library, documentaries like Bullies of Baltimore, The Minister of Defense, The Return, and more. Unfortunately, there is no ESPN+ free trial so if you want to watch, you’ll have to pay. But don’t let that get you upset because there are some fantastic ESPN+ deals available, mostly thanks to Disney. You can sign up to ESPN+ through one of the Disney bundles, allowing you access to three difference services for one low price — Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu.

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Once FuboTV, now rebranded to just Fubo, the titular cable-tv-like streaming service allows you to watch live cable TV channels online, from anywhere. Before we talk about pricing, you’ll want to know that Fubo has one of the best free trials for live sports fans. You can stream for up to a week without paying a dime, and that includes any broadcasts available during your trial week, live sports included. That means, if you sign up before your favorite sports game you’ll be able to watch, for free. After that week is up, you’ll need to pony up some cash. Outside of the trial, there aren’t any noteworthy deals. A standard subscription is $75 per month, for the Fubo Pro plan, with over 180 channels, 1000 hours of Cloud DVR, and the option to watch on up to 10 screens simultaneously.

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Hulu, you may or may not know, has two services. There’s the Hulu you likely know, with tons of on-demand movies, shows, and original content, that’s also available as part of the Disney bundle. But there’s also another Hulu with Live TV option that includes access to live cable TV content and channels. That’s important to differentiate because there is a Hulu free trial available, but no Hulu with Live TV free trial. A great way to understand these is to compare it to YouTube and YouTube TV — both under the same umbrella but two very different services.

If you want to use the free trial, you’ll get access to Hulu only, with ads, for up to 30 days. After that, it will cost $8 per month. Or again, you can spring for one of the Disney bundles. The Disney Bundle Duo Basic includes Hulu and Disney+, with ads, for $10 per month. The Trio Basic, which also includes ESPN+ with ads, is $15 per month. The Disney Bundle Trio Premium, which removes ads from all three services, is $25 per month.

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HBO’s Max combines not just HBO’s incredible library of movies and shows, but also much of what you know from Discovery. As far as we know, there is no free trial, but there are three premium tiers to choose from. Starting with basic at $10 per month, it’s ad-supported, and streams top out at 1080P HD quality. You can expect about four minutes of ads per hour. Max without ads is $16 per month or $150 per year. Max Ultimate Ad Free is $20 per month or $200 per year and boosts resolution to 4K.

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Netflix needs no introduction but with a string of price increases and tier changes, the cost is a bit more nebulous than it once was. It begs the question how much does Netflix cost? There are no deals available, at least not currently, so that’s a good place to start. Also, you’re out of luck if you’re hoping to capitalize on a Netflix free trial, because one doesn’t exist. Although, T-Mobile's Go5G plans do include Netflix standard with ads, starting at $150 per month for three phone lines.

Back to Netflix pricing, with no deals, the Standard plan with ads is going to set you back $7 per month in the U.S., and $6 per month in Canada. The next tier up, Standard with no ads, is $15.50 per month, while the highest tier, Premium, is $23 per month. Standard gets you access to full HD 1080P streams, on two screens at once, while Premium offers HD+Ultra HD content on up to four screens at once.

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Paramount Plus

As an outlier, Paramount Plus includes a litany of content from CBS, Comedy Central, BET, Nickelodeon and Nick Jr., MTV, and live sports. You’ll be pleased to know there is a Paramount Plus free trial, so you can watch for up to a week free. After that, the normal price kicks in at $6 per month for Essential, and $12 per month with SHOWTIME. The SHOWTIME bundle includes originals, movies, and shows from the popular premium network channel like Dexter New Blood, Billions, Yellowjackets, George & Tammy, and more. Don’t worry, if you spring for Essential there are a ton of great shows and movies to watch from Paramount, too. Other than the free trial, there aren’t any big deals available right now, unfortunately.

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NBCUniversal now has Peacock with a lot of good content, but most importantly, a competitive price, and that’s without any deals or discounts. Since Peacock does not have a free trial it makes sense why the prices are more accessible. The lowest tier, Peacock Premium, is $6 per month with 50 always-on channels, live sports, and tons of on-demand content. The downside to the basic plan is that you will see ads. The Premium Plus plan, at $12 per month, ditches those ads and allows you to download and watch select content offline — that’s not available on the basic tier.

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Sling TV

Sling TV takes live cable TV content and broadcasts and makes it available to everyone online. Sling TV does not have a free trial, at least at the time of this writing, but there are a ton of deals available — you’ll first have to enter your local zip code. That’s because Sling TV is owned by DISH Network and it’s family of brands. With your Sling service, you can try Discovery+ for up to seven days free, or AMC+ for just $5 per month.

As for Sling, there are two primary plans available, Sling Orange and Sling Blue. Both are $40 per month, or half off right now for your first month — so one month for $20 then $40 thereafter. Orange comes with 32 live cable channels with the option to stream on one device at a time. Blue has 39 cable channels and you can stream on up to three devices at a time. Or, you can add both and get Blue and Orange for just $55 per month normally, or $28 for your first month with the half off deal.

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YouTube TV

YouTube TV is the brand’s live TV streaming service, think live cable channels online and through YouTube’s platform and apps. You can access channels like ABC, CBS, Food Network, NBC, MSNBC, NFL Network, Comedy Central, and many more. But also live sports are available on YouTube TV, including the NFL Sunday Ticket. Normally, it’s $73 per month for the base plan, but they’re offering a deal right now that saves you $45 on your first three months. That price is reduced to $58 for your first three months then returns to $73 after. You can also try without paying thanks to the YouTube TV free trial. With that trial you get ten days free but it’s for new customers only.

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