It's time to cut the cord (the cable cord, that is). The world of online streaming is positively teeming with services that offer everything from anime (see Crunchyroll) to zombies (see Shudder). However, outside of the standard TV and movie fare that you find on the likes of Netflix and Hulu, what most of us really want is stuff to keep our kids entertained, our sports cravings satisfied, and our thirst for news quenched. Here you'll find lists of streaming services that cover all of these bases.

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Streaming stuff for kids

Most big-time streaming services have some content that’s great for kids, and lots of these services also offer parental controls so that you can ensure that Junior doesn’t watch anything unsuitable. That said, some services are more kid-friendly than others, so if you’re looking for a service that will offer great shows for your kids, these are the best:

  • Amazon Prime Video: Besides offering an impressive menu of child-centric shows, Amazon Prime Video is a winner with parents because they can create a kid’s profile and apply a robust set of parental controls to restrict content based on age, and then apply those restrictions to specific devices. Plus it’s all protected by a PIN. Nice.
  • Disney+: Well, duh. This site is almost nothing but child-friendly shows, so what’s a parent not to like? You can create a separate profile for a kid, but it’s not PIN-protected, so most folks don’t bother. Hey, it’s Disney!
  • Hulu: You can create a kid-specific profile, which restricts the profile to shows appropriate up to age 12. Hulu also offers quite a bit of child-positive content, including the Disney Channel, Boomerang, and Universal Kids.
  • Netflix: You can specify that a profile is for a kid and Netflix will automatically restrict that profile to child-friendly shows. Parents can also restrict the profile to a particular rating and specify shows that are off-limits. A PIN is required to override these settings.
  • Sling TV: This service provides tons of kid-focused channels, including Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Nick Jr., Boomerang, and Cartoon Network. You can also restrict show ratings with a PIN.

Getting your sports fix

Watching sports after you’ve cut the cord isn’t easy because the leagues and broadcasters would prefer that you pay them large amounts of money directly for the privilege. That said, there are some cheap ways to get your sports fix. The cheapest is to get an antenna and watch live sports over-the-air. Alternatively, try one of the live TV streaming services, such as Locast (if you can get it in your area), Pluto TV, or Hulu + Live TV.

Otherwise, if your budget can afford it, plenty of streaming services offer live events, sports news, and other sports-related content. Here are four to check out:

  • ESPN+: You might think this service is the way to go to get all things ESPN, but I’m afraid not. You get lots of live sports (particularly college games) and a few niche ESPN shows, but little in the way of major league sports and none of ESPN’s flagship shows. If you really want the full ESPN experience, you need to use one of the other services in this list.
  • fuboTV: Your fuboTV subscription includes access to beIN Sports, Big Ten Network, Eleven Sports, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, Fox Soccer Plus, MSG, MSG2, NBCSN, NFL Network, Pac-12 Network, and SEC Network.
  • Sling TV: The Sling Blue package is aimed at sports fans and includes ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, MotorTrend, and Stadium. For an extra $11.00 per month, you can tack on the Sports Extra bundle, which offers ACC Network, ACC Network Extra, beIN Sports, Big Ten Network, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPNU, ESPNews, Longhorn Network, Motorsport TV, NBA TV, NHL Network, Outside Television, Pac-12 Network, SEC Network, SEC Network+, and Tennis Channel.
  • YouTube TV: The basic subscription includes channels such as Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network, NBC Sports, ESPN and ESPN2, Fox Sports, Fox Deportes, MLB Network, NBA TV, NFL Network, and the Olympics. Add-on channels include MLB.tv ($24.99 a month), NBA League Pass ($40.00 per month or $119.99 a year), and the Sports Plus bundle ($10.99 a month, which gets you Fox College Sports, Fox Soccer Plus, MAVTV Motorsports Network, NFL Red Zone, Stadium, TVG, and GOLTV).

About This Article

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Paul McFedries is a true renaissance geek. He has been a programmer, consultant, database developer, and website builder. He's also the author of more than 90 books, including top sellers covering Windows, Office, and macOS.

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