USTVGO, once a popular free streaming site for live US TV channels, has been permanently shut down. This guide will cover everything you need to know about the shutdown and legal alternative streaming services to replace USTVGO.
What Exactly Was USTVGO?
Launched in 2017, USTVGO offered cord-cutters free live streams of major US cable channels spanning categories like news, sports, shows, movies, and more.
With over 100 channels across entertainment, documentary, shopping, music, kids, and Latino programming, the site aimed to replicate the cable TV experience through free online streaming.
USTVGO‘s library included popular networks like NBC, FOX, CBS, TNT, ESPN, AMC, HGTV, and more. Navigation was simple with categories and an integrated TV guide to easily flip through channels.
As a free site requiring no registration or login, USTVGO gained significant popularity over the years. By 2022, it had become a go-to streaming source for hundreds of thousands of visitors per month.
Why Did USTVGO Get Shut Down?
In September 2022, the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) seized control of the USTVGO.tv domain along with other associated streaming sites owned by the same operator.
ACE is a coalition of prominent media and entertainment companies aimed at combating streaming piracy. With live TV streaming growing exponentially, ACE has cracked down on sites distributing copyrighted content without proper licensing.
While the exact details are unknown, it appears USTVGO was unlicensed and operating illegally according to ACE standards. When a site offers free access to so much premium content, it raises piracy red flags unless official distribution deals are confirmed.
By clawing back the USTVGO domain, ACE has permanently shuttered a popular source of streaming piracy affecting media business revenues. However, USTVGO‘s devoted user base is now searching for alternatives to replace their go-to cord-cutting resource.
USTVGO Usage Over the Years
Launched in 2017, USTVGO saw steady growth in visitors over the years as cord-cutting picked up speed:
2017 – Launched in May, USTVGO sees initial interest in the free streaming model.
2018 – Site visitors grow as word spreads among deal-seeking streamers.
2019 – USTVGO establishes itself as a popular destination with continued expanding users.
2020 – Pandemic lockdowns accelerate cord-cutting, bringing a surge in site visitors.
2021 – USTVGO hits peak mainstream popularity with millions of monthly visitors reported.
2022 – ACE crackdown shuts site down permanently in September 2022.
At its peak, USTVGO attracted over 5 million visitors per month searching for free access to live sports, news, and entertainment.
The year-to-year growth highlights the demand for free streaming solutions as cable TV viewership declined. But while convenient, unauthorized streaming has consequences.
What are the Best Legal Alternatives?
Losing USTVGO leaves a gap for many streamers. However, plenty of legal options exist without resorting to piracy risks. Consider the following alternatives:
Free Streaming Services
|Pluto TV||250+ free live channels across categories like movies, news, sports, and more. Ad-supported.|
|Tubi||Massive on-demand library of free movies and shows. More content than many paid services.|
|The Roku Channel||Roku‘s free streaming platform with 100s of free movies, TV shows, and live news.|
|IMDb TV||Amazon‘s free service with on-demand movies and shows.|
Paid Live TV Streaming
|Service||Starting Price||Notable Channels||Free Trial|
|YouTube TV||$64.99/month||ESPN, TNT, TBS, CNN, MSNBC, FOX, and more. Local channels based on zip code.||Yes|
|Hulu + Live TV||$69.99/month||ESPN, TBS, TNT, ABC, NBC plus full Hulu on-demand library. Local channels based on zip code.||Yes|
|Sling TV||$35/month||CNN, TBS, TNT, ESPN, AMC, A&E, History. Add-on packages available.||Yes|
|fuboTV||$69.99/month||TNT, TBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN, NFL Network, MLB Network, and more.||Yes|
|Philo||$25/month||A&E, Lifetime, Hallmark, Discovery, VH1, AMC, Comedy Central, and more.||Yes|
Based on your channel needs, these legal options give you back the live streaming experience without piracy risks. Take advantage of the free trials to test them out.
And for on-demand shows and movies, combine free services like Tubi with paid alternatives like Hulu or Amazon Prime Video. This mixes the best of both worlds to maximize your entertainment.
How Do These Services Compare?
|Streaming Service||Price||# of Channels||Notable Channels||DVR||Simultaneous Streams||Offline Viewing|
|YouTube TV||$64.99/month||Over 100+||ESPN, TNT, TBS, FOX, CNN, MSNBC, Disney||Unlimited||3||Yes|
|Hulu + Live TV||$69.99/month||75+||ESPN, TBS, FOX, Disney, full Hulu on-demand||50 hours||2 (+1 more for ad-supported plan)||No|
|Sling TV||$35+/month||30+ (varies by package)||ESPN, TNT, CNN, AMC, A&E, History||50 hours ($5 DVR upgrade available)||1-4 (varies by package)||No|
|fuboTV||$69.99/month||124||NBC, FOX, ESPN, NFL Network, beIN Sports||1000 hours||Unlimited at home. 10 outside home||Yes (most channels)|
|Philo||$25/month||60+||Discovery, A&E, Lifetime, AMC, BBC America, VH1||Unlimited||3||Yes|
Use this side-by-side comparison to evaluate which free trial makes most sense based on your must-have channels, screens, and features.
No single service offers every channel, so you may need multiple subscriptions depending on your needs. That‘s where combining free options like Pluto TV into the mix helps limit the number of paid add-ons.
How Much Can You Save by Cutting the Cord?
Many turned to USTVGO because of the high cost of traditional cable bills. Streaming provides massive savings, for example:
- Average cable TV bill: $217.42/month according to Consumer Reports in 2022
- YouTube TV: $64.99/month
- Potential savings: $152.43/month or $1,829.16/year
Even adding multiple streaming sources can represent substantial annual savings over inflated cable prices.
And don‘t forget to utilize free trials, which allow you to stream for a week or more without paying. This helps confirm which services make the cut before spending any cash.
How to Install Streaming Apps on Popular Devices
Once you select your new streaming services, next comes accessing them on your devices:
Fire TV Stick, Fire TV, Fire Tablets:
- Open the Fire TV home screen
- Select "Find"
- Search for the app you want like "Pluto TV"
- Select the app and choose "Download"
- Once downloaded, select to open the app
- Sign in or select channels to start streaming
- From the Roku home screen, go to Streaming Channels
- Search for the app you want to add
- Select the app icon
- Choose "Add Channel" and the app will download to your Roku
- Open the newly installed app to begin viewing
- Open the App Store from your Apple TV home screen
- Search for the app you want
- Download and install the streaming app
- You can now launch the app and start watching shows & movies
- Go to the app store on your smart TV
- Search for and select the app
- Choose download/install
- Once installed, open the app to sign in and stream
With just a few clicks, you can be up and running with new streaming sources. Explore all the options to patch together your ideal bundle.
Extra Tips for Replacing USTVGO
If you relied on USTVGO for certain programming, keep these tips in mind:
Local channels – Services like YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV include local ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and more based on your zip code. An antenna is also an option for picking up free over-the-air locals.
Sports – fuboTV and YouTube TV offer the most comprehensive sports coverage. NFL RedZone and MLB.TV are also great season pass options.
News – Many above services provide major cable news stations. Locast (where available) is a free option for local news.
Kids shows – Free options like PBS Kids provide quality children‘s programming without subscription fees.
Latino programming – fubo Latino and Pantaya are low-cost options for Spanish language shows, movies, and news.
Strong internet – Faster home internet speeds enhance streaming, so upgrade your WiFi if needed.
Cutting the cord can feel daunting, especially when a favorite source disappears. But by mixing free services, paid subscriptions, on-demand sources, and over-the-air TV, you can recreate the experience without breaking the bank or straying into piracy.
Which alternatives do you plan to test out first? Let me know if you have any other questions!