FXNow is an impressive streaming service that offers most FX shows on-demand. But it requires an expensive cable subscription. So, how can you get FXNow cheaper? Subscribe to a less-expensive streaming TV service.
Before we get into it, let’s clarify something. Streaming TV services are live, with commercials and all. But the streaming TV services listed in this article also offer access to FXNow, a streaming website that gives you FX shows on-demand (for no additional charge). You can’t get FXNow without some sort of TV service, even if it’s just live TV streamed over the internet.
The thing is, streaming TV services are expensive. So, let’s see what each of them brings to the table and whether they’re worth the money. And we’ll cover some cheaper FX-viewing options, in case you’re not into the whole streaming TV thing.
The Best Service: YouTube TV ($50/Month)
If you’re going to subscribe to a streaming TV service for FXNow, you should look at YouTube TV first. Our testers over at Review Geek found that YouTube TV is by far the best streaming TV service. It’s a bit expensive, but it’s packed with 60 network channels (including some local channels), unlimited DVR recording (you can keep recordings for nine months), and it has a great interface, to boot.
The only obvious downside is that YouTube TV doesn’t have an HBO add-on (it has Showtime and Starz). That’s not an issue for everyone, but it’s worth keeping in mind.
The Cheap Option: Sling Blue ($25/Month)
The cheapest way to get FXNow without cable is to subscribe to Sling TV’s Blue plan. With the Blue plan, you get access to FX and 43 other channels. For $25 a month, Sling’s a serious contender.
But you get what you pay for. The Sling interface is (subjectively) awful when compared to any other streaming TV service, and you have to pay extra to get DVR functionality and additional channels.
Great for On-Demand Exclusives: Hulu with Live TV ($45/Month)
Hulu with Live TV is, in many ways, comparable to YouTube TV. It’s got a good interface and a variety of channels. It also comes with some on-demand streaming options, in case the FXNow access isn’t enough for you.
The only serious downside of Hulu with Live TV is that it caps your DVR time at 50 hours. The recordings don’t expire, though, and you can drop some extra cash to expand your DVR size.
Tons of Channels: Fubo TV ($55/Month)
If you want a ridiculous number of channels alongside access to FXNow, then check out Fubo TV. Its $55 plan comes with 95 channels, including a pretty decent selection of sports and children’s networks.
But, like Sling, the Fubo TV interface is a bit strange. Additionally, its channel upgrades (sports plus, AMC, NBA pass, etc.) are pretty dang expensive. And to top it off, the Fubo TV DVR is capped at 30 hours (you can get 500 hours with a $10 upgrade), although it does keep recordings forever.
For Sports Fans: DirecTV NOW ($50/Month)
If you like sports channels, HBO, and FX, then you should consider subscribing to DirecTV NOW. It’s not the absolute best service, but it might be worth $50 for the channels alone.
DirecTV NOW’s basic $50 plan includes a ton of sports channels, HBO, FX, FXX, and a handful of other popular networks. But, its DVR caps at 20 hours (recordings last for 30 days), its interface is kind of funky, and its programming tiers and upgrades are complicated to understand (DirecTV is a cable company, after all).
Works with the PS4: PlayStation Vue ($50/Month)
For $50, you get 50 channels, along with access to FXNow, HBO NOW, WATCH ESPN, and FOX Sports GO. That’s PlayStation Vue in a nutshell.
The Vue interface is pretty decent, especially on a PS4. According to the Vue website, subscribers get “lots of [DVR] storage space.” More specifically, they get to record 500 episodes of shows and can keep their recordings for 28 days. Compared to other services, that’s not too bad.
FX Shows Without a Streaming TV Subscription
If you aren’t willing to spend around $50 to get your FX fix, you might want to look at some basic streaming services. All the major ones have at least a few FX shows (none have all as that would defeat the purpose of FXNow).
Here are the primary subscription-based streaming services and some of the FX shows they offer subscribers:
- Hulu (Without Live TV): Of all the basic streaming services, Hulu has the most FX shows. Hulu subscribers can watch Atlanta, Snowfall, American Horror Story, The Shield, Rescue Me, Baskets, Sons of Anarchy, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and a bunch of other shows. Also, Disney (which owns FX) plans to add more FX shows to Hulu soon.
- Netflix: There aren’t too many FX shows on Netflix. You get American Crime Story, American Horror Story, and this is the only basic streaming service that has POSE.
- Amazon Prime Video (Free With Prime): You get a decent number of FX shows. Namely American Horror Story, Sons of Anarchy, Legion, The Americans, and Justified.
- Disney+ (Nov 2019): It owns FX, but not all FX shows will be on Disney+. Supposedly, it plans to push most of its FX content to Hulu (which it also owns). The Simpsons will be on Disney+ when the service starts in November, though.
If one of your favorite FX shows isn’t available on the subscription-based streaming services, you might have to pay for each episode. Here are your options:
- Google Play: It has a strong collection of FX shows, like American Horror Story, American Crime Story, Snowfall, Archer, Baskets, Louie, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, POSE, and Atlanta.
- VUDU: There’s a decent collection of FX shows here. You can buy POSE, American Horror Story, Snowfall, Archer, Atlanta, Sons of Anarchy, The Simpsons (a few seasons), It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and a few others (VUDU doesn’t have a comprehensive list of its FX offerings).
- iTunes: Sadly, there’s a pretty slim collection of FX shows here. Namely, American Horror Story and Sons of Anarchy.
- Amazon Video: You can buy a bunch of FX shows, like Atlanta, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Archer, Justified, and Snowfall.
Of course, these purchase-based streaming services can get extremely expensive. Each season of The Simpsons costs $20 on VUDU, for example. So, if you’re tempted to buy a ton of FX shows on Google Play, a live TV subscription with FXNow access might be the better deal.