First, let me state that I don't need or use a live streaming service most of the time. My viewing habits are such that if someone gave me free cable, I wouldn't watch it. I'm not exaggerating. I have had cable available free for extended periods of time and didn't watch it. But, those are my viewing habits. When I started streaming, I found a whole new world of content, and found that I didn't need a cable service at all. But that's me. However, I do mention it just in case it's something you haven't thought about.
But, what if your situation is that you have cable, want to cut the cord, but haven't because you want the ability to watch the channels cable offers. And you're not comfortable with finding alternate content without those specific cable channels? What do you do then?
I suggest an online tool called Suppose.TV. Now, I am not affiliated with them in any way. I simply find the tool useful. Very useful, in fact. If someone asks me how they can watch certain channels streaming, this is my go-to tool.
So, to use the tool, go to https://suppose.tv
Next, pick your TV market. Enter your ZIP code, or the nearest TV market, if you already know that. If you use your ZIP code, it will pick the appropriate market. Savannah is my closest. I could pick Jacksonville, which is the next nearest large market, but it's not really accurate. My ZIP code will choose Savannah, which is where the local channels will actually originate if I choose a live streaming service. So, ZIP code will pick the appropriate market.
Next, enter the channel you want. For example, if you want ESPN, enter that.
From the available list, pick the correct channel. A listing of various services will display, but it might not be right.
Next, pick the device you'll be using. If you want to use Roku, pick Roku. If you want Fire TV, pick Fire TV. You can pick more than one.
If you do, you'll get services that work on at least one of the devices you picked. Since most apps and services work on most platforms, this won't make a huge difference. But, if you recall when YouTube TV wasn't available on Roku, it would not have appeared if you picked only Roku. But if you added Fire TV, it would have shown up, because it would have been on one of the devices.
You can continue to pick more channels. However, if you pick a channel that one of the services doesn't support, then it will either go away, or move to the far right of the list of services.
Note you can make a channel a "must have" by clicking the heart icon.
Doing this actually removes any service that doesn't carry all of the "must have" channels.
This is where you have to actually think about if you really need the channel. How bad do you really want it? You may find similar content on other channels, some free in other apps. But whatever it is you want, this tool is useful for helping you find it.
Oh, one other thing. Don't trust the pricings listed. They are, for the most part, correct. But they seem to get the price of DirecTV Stream wrong. I don't know why. So, once you get it narrowed down to a few services, go to the actual services pages and verify the information and the pricing.
This tool isn't perfect, but it puts you in the right direction to find what you want. And for people new to streaming, direction can be a huge help. This has been a very helpful tool in my Streaming Life, and I think it could be helpful to you as well.