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How To Watch Live Sports Without Cable

by David Miklos Hazi
Watch Live Sports Online

Wondering how to stream live sports without cable? Then you are in the right place. In this sports streaming cord-cutting guide we will cover all of the most popular and legal ways to watch your favorite sports teams and leagues.

Several affordable live television streaming service options are available that offer sporting events from the leagues such as MLB, NFL, NHL, NCAA, NBA, UFC, and more. These options on how to watch sports without cable include AT&T TV, ESPN+, fuboTV, Hulu With Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV. These tv services do not require installation, nor do they require a contract like a cable tv and satellite tv provider does. Sports fans can cut the cord by subscribing to one of these streaming providers.

All of these live tv streaming providers can be accessed at home or on the go. Sports fans can watch the big game on popular streaming devices such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, laptops, computers, and gaming consoles. Most services also offer simultaneous streaming and DVR so you can record or watch the game while someone else in your household watches something different.

Which channels stream live sports?

Live sports are streamed on several different types of channels. These types of channels are local channels, regionals sports networks (RSNs), major cable networks, college sports channels, and pro sports channels. Depending on the type of channel you may need to live in-market while other types of channels are accessible out-of-market.

Local Channels

Live Stream Local Streaming Sports Channels

Local channels are broadcast channels from networks such as ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC. These channels are carried by most live sport streaming providers. Sports cord-cutters typically have to live in-market, meaning the geographical viewing boundaries, to access the local channels. The NBA, NFL, NCAAB, NCAAF, golf, and more are available on these channels.

Another great option for people is a tv antenna. Digital over-the-air antennas are a cost-effective way to cancel your cable subscription and still receive tv shows and sporting events from your local networks.

Regional Sports Networks

Watch regional sports networks
Regional Sports Networks or RSNs are networks such as Ballys Sports Network (formerly Fox Sports Networks), NBC Sports Networks, YES Network, MASN, and others. MLB, NBA, and NHL teams have broadcast agreements with these networks and these networks have agreements with different tv streaming services. Currently, the majority of RSNs can only be found on AT&T TV; however, some can be found on fuboTV, Hulu With Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV.

Major Cable Sports Networks

Watch national sports channels
Major cable networks such as ESPN, FS1, TBS, TNT, and others that nationally televise individual games and major live sporting events. For example, ESPN will nationally televise major PGA events or Monday Night Football. TNT will nationally televise the best NBA match-ups for that week. Major cable networks are available on every major streaming provider. TBS and TNT are not available on fuboTV.

College Sports Channels

Stream College Sports Networks
College sports channels are networks dedicated to a specific team or NCAA conference. These channels include ACC Network, ACC Network Extra, Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network, ESPNU, Fox College Sports, Longhorn Network, Pac-12 Network, and SEC Network. These networks primarily broadcast live NCAA basketball and football events. Some streaming providers offer these channels as part of their base package and some offer them as additional package bundles.

Professional Sports Channels

Watch professional sports networks
Pro sports channels such as MLB Network, NHL Network, NBA TV, NFL Network, and others are channels dedicated to their respective sporting leagues. Other channels include beIN Sports, Eleven Sports, Fox Soccer Plus, Golf Channels, Olympic Channel, and Tennis Channel. These channels will broadcast out-of-market games, highlights, and analyses about that particular sport. Typically, these channels are available as part of an add-on bundle and can be found on all of the major streaming services with the exception of Hulu With Live TV.

Live Sports Streaming Services

watching live sports services
The best streaming provider for the sports fan depends on your personal viewing needs such as where you live or which teams and sports you want to watch. The top live streaming services are AT&T TV, fuboTV, Hulu With Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV. Each of these services offers a slightly different channel lineup and pricing. We will cover a high-level overview of each service. Please visit our individual streaming service guides for a more in-depth overview.

AT&T TV

How to watch live sports on AT&T TV

AT&T TV is currently the best choice for watching live sports games for MLB, NBA, and NHL. This is the only provider with an agreement with Ballys Sports Networks (formerly Fox Sports Networks). The live streaming provider also offers NBC Sports Networks. RSNs can be found on the Choice package and higher.

AT&T TV also offers national cable channels such as ESPN, ESPN2, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, TBS, and TNT. You can also find MLB Network, NBA TV, NHL Network, ACC Network, Big Ten Network, ESPNU, SEC Network, and more. The provider also carries all four major local networks which are great for the NFL season.

To learn more about this service please read our AT&T TV streaming service guide. If you’d like to sign-up for this service please visit AT&T TV’s website.

ESPN+

Watch Live Sports On ESPN+

ESPN+ does not air ESPN or ESPN2, but it does offer a plethora of on-demand and live sports content. On-demand content includes tv programs such as E:60 and 30 for 30. Live coverage includes daily out-of-market games from MLB and NHL. You will also get the entire MLS Live out-of-market schedule with exclusive local-market coverage of the Chicago Fire. In addition to this, you also get tremendous coverage of soccer leagues including Serie A, FA Cup, UEFA Nations League, EFL Championship, EFL Carabao Cup, Eredivisie, and more.

NCAA sports fans can access thousands of games and events from a variety of sports such as baseball, basketball, football, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, soccer, softball, wrestling, and more.

One of the biggest draws to ESPN+ is Top Rank boxing and UFC. ESPN+ is the exclusive home for UFC pay-per-views and fight nights. To learn more about this provider please read our ESPN+ streaming service guide. If you’d like to sign-up for this service please visit ESPN+’s website.

fuboTV

Watch live sports on fuboTV

fuboTV is a fantastic sports streaming service; however, it has taken a hit in recent times by losing Ballys regional sports networks. This provider does offer NBC regional sports networks, select AT&T regional sports networks, Marquee, MSG, NESN, and SportsNet NY. If you are in-market for these RSNs then fuboTV is tough to beat for MLB, NBA, and NHL games.

fuboTV is one of our top choices for watching NFL games because the provider offers all four major local broad channels and NFL Network and NFL RedZone. Other professional sports channels include MLB Network, NBA, and NHL Network.

One of the negatives about fuboTV for a long time was the absence of ESPN and ESPN2 but these channels are now offered. Other popular national cable channels include Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, and NBC Sports Network.

fuboTV is also a great way to watch NCAA networks. The platform carries ACC Network, Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network, ESPNU, Fox College Sports, Pac-12 Network, and SEC Network.

Soccer is still fuboTV’s bread and butter as it offers beIN Sports and Fox Soccer Plus.

To learn more about this service please read our fuboTV streaming service guide. If you’d like to sign-up for this service please visit fuboTV’s website.

Hulu With Live TV

Watch live sports on Hulu With Live TV

Hulu With Live TV does have live sports but has become a lot less attractive with the absence of Ballys Sports Networks. The provider does offer all of the NBC regional sports networks and SportsNet NY. Another negative is this platform does not offer any of the professional sports networks such as MLB Network, NFL Network, etc.

Hulu With Live TV carries all of the national cable networks such as ESPN, ESPN2, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, NBC Sports Network, TBS, and TNT. Also available are all four major local broadcast channels making it a viable option for NFL season.

Hulu also carries a variety of NCAA channels such as ACC Network, ACC Network Extra, Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network, ESPNU, and SEC Network.

To learn more about this service please read our Hulu With Live TV streaming service guide. If you’d like to sign-up for this service please visit Hulu With Live TV’s website.

Sling TV

Watch live sports on Sling TV

Sling TV has rapidly become one of the least attractive streaming service options for watching live sports without cable. This service does not carry a single RSN anymore and does not offer ABC or CBS. Sling TV offers 3 packages with sporting coverage, Sling Blue, Sling Orange, and Sling Orange Blue.

Sling TV does carry all of the professional sports channels such as MLB Network, NBA TV, NFL Network, NFL RedZone, and NHL Network. This provider is also a great way to watch NCAA sports by carrying ACC Network, ACC Network Extra, Big Ten Network, ESPNU, Longhorn Network, Pac-12 Network, and SEC Network. Other channels include beIN Sports, ESPNEWS, Golf Channel, Olympic Channel, and Tennis Channel.

To learn more about this service please read our Sling TV streaming service guide. If you’d like to sign-up for this service please visit Sling TV’s website.

YouTube TV

Watch live sports on YouTube TV

YouTube TV has a well-rounded channel offering. Much like most of the other streaming services YouTube TV does not offer Ballys Sports Networks but does offer NBC RSNs and is the only service to carry LA FC Sports Network.

YouTube TV carries all of the major national sports cable channels such as ESPN, ESPN2, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, NBC Sports Network, TBS, and TNT. The streaming provider also carries all four major local broadcast channels.

Also available are most professional sports channels such as MLB Network, NBA, NFL Network, and NFL RedZone. YouTube TV is also a good way to watch most NCAA networks such as ACC Network, ACC Network Extra, Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network, ESPNU, Fox College Sports, and SEC Network. Additional sports channels include ESPNEWS, Fox Soccer Plus, Golf Channel, and Olympic Channel.

To learn more about this service please read our YouTube TV streaming service guide. If you’d like to sign-up for this provider please visit YouTube TV’s website.

Watch Major League Baseball

How to Live Stream MLB Games

Major League Baseball fans can watch live and on-demand MLB games without a cable tv or satellite tv subscription in a variety of different ways.

The most popular way to watch in-market MLB games is by using a live tv streaming provider that carries your favorite MLB team’s regional sports network. The top services available to watch MLB games are AT&T TV, fuboTV, Hulu With Live TV, and YouTube TV. Most of these services offer cloud-based DVR so you can record games too.

Another great option is MLB.TV. MLB.TV offers access to live and on-demand out-of-market Major League Baseball games. ESPN+ is also another to catch games because they air one MLB game every day.

Visit our MLB cord-cutting guide to learn more about how to watch Major League Baseball games without cable.

Watch National Basketball Association

How to live stream NBA games

National Basketball Association games are available on regional sports networks. The top services available to watch MLB games are AT&T TV, fuboTV, Hulu With Live TV, and YouTube TV. Most of these services offer cloud-based DVR so you can record games too.

Another great option is NBA League Pass. NBA League Pass offers access to live and on-demand out-of-market National Basketball Association games. To learn more about NBA League Pass visit our guide on how to watch NBA League Pass.

Visit our NBA cord-cutting guide to learn more about how to watch National Basketball Association games without cable.

Watch National Football League

How to Live Stream NFL Games

National Football League fans can watch live and on-demand MLB games without a cable tv or satellite tv subscription in a variety of different ways too.

The most popular way to watch in-market NFL games is by using a live tv streaming provider that carries local broadcast channels such as CBS and FOX. NFL games are also broadcast on NBC, NFL Network, and ESPN. The top providers available to watch NFL games are AT&T TV, fuboTV, Hulu With Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV. Most of these services offer cloud-based DVR so you can record games too. fuboTV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV offer NFL Network and NFL RedZone too.

NFL cord-cutters can also use an over-the-air digital antenna to watch National Football League games broadcast on CBS, FOX, and NBC. You must be within range of your local broadcast towers.

Another great option is NFL GamePass. NFL GamePass offers access to on-demand out-of-market Major League Baseball games. Paramount+ is also a fantastic and affordable cord-cutting option for fans of NFL teams that air on CBS.

Visit our NFL cord-cutting guide to learn more about how to watch National Football League games without cable.

Watch NCAA Sports

How to live stream NCAA games

NCAA games are available on regional sports networks. The top providers available to watch NCAA games are AT&T TV, fuboTV, Hulu With Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV. Most of these services offer cloud DVR so you can record games too.

These tv services offer college sports networks such as ACC, ACC Network, Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network, ESPNU, Fox College Sports, Longhorn Network, Pac-12 Network, and SEC Network. ESPN+ is the best way to watch games from the Big 12 conference. These channels are very popular for watching NCAA football and NCAA basketball games. Some services include these as part of their base streaming plans and others offer them as an add-on for an additional price.

Watch National Hockey League

How to Live Stream NHL Games

National Hockey League games are available on regional sports networks. The top providers available to watch MLB games are AT&T TV, fuboTV, Hulu With Live TV, and YouTube TV. Most of these platforms offer cloud DVR so you can record games too.

Another great option is NHL.TV. NHL.TV offers access to live and on-demand out-of-market National Hockey League games. ESPN+ is also another to catch games because they air one NHL game every day.

Visit our NHL cord-cutting guide to learn more about how to watch National Hockey League games without cable.

Watch Ultimate Fighting Championship

How to live stream Ultimate Fighting Championship UFC

The Ultimate Fighting Championship or UFC has two main types of events, UFC Fight Night and UFC pay-per-views. UFC Fight Nights are typically lower-ranked fighters trying to work their way the ladder for a chance at a title fight on a pay-per-view. Both types of UFC events are broken down into early preliminaries, preliminaries, and the main headline card.

Early preliminaries are usually aired on ESPN. ESPN is carried by AT&T TV, fuboTV, Hulu With Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV. When the early preliminaries are completed the streaming coverage will move over to ESPN+, a stand-alone subscription provider from ESPN. UFC Fight Nights are streamed for free but you will need to purchase the pay-per-view. ESPN+ can be accessed at home on the go on virtually every streaming device such as Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, smartphones, smart TVs, tablets, internet browsers, and more.

To learn more about UFC please read our cord-cutting guide on how to watch UFC without cable and our ESPN+ guide. If you’d like to sign-up for ESPN+ please visit ESPN+’s website.

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