Streaming live sports without cable has never been easier. In 2018, there are options available for everyone regardless of whether you are a sports fanatic or casual fan and it doesn’t matter which sport or team you watch and cheer for either. The quality has also increased over the past few years as streaming providers have improved their streams and as streaming devices have become more powerful.
Today’s cord cutters can watch almost every out of market NFL, NHL, MLB, and NBA game. Cord cutters can also find access to several college conferences on TV networks such as SEC, B1G 10, ACC, PAC-12, and others. You can get access to other sports such as golf and tennis too. If you cheer for international teams you can find streaming packages that include fútbol, cricket, and other international sports.
Blackout restrictions can still be an issue for many cord cutters. We suggest you double check this information with providers before purchasing any plan.
Live Sports Streaming Channel List
Here is a breakdown of which sports channels are offered by each streaming service.
|BIG Ten Network|
|CBS Sports Network|
|Fox College Sports|
|Fox Soccer Plus|
|Fox Sports 1|
|Fox Sports 2|
|NBC Sports Network|
|Region Sports Networks|
Live Sports Streaming Services
The different sports streaming services available are all very different and it is important to pay attention to their differences. Some of the services offer sports channels as part of a streaming plan with other non-sports channels. One important thing to check is if ESPN is included in the plan. On some services, sports packages are available as add-ons to base plans. Other options could include a subscription to a particular sports league or team.
Best Streaming Sports Plan
Hands down the best value for live sports is fuboTV. This service offers a 7-day free trial. The one major drawback of this service is that ESPN and ABC are not available; however, almost every other sporting network is. Subscribers get access to NBC, NBCSN, CBS, CBS Sports Network, FOX, FOX regional sports networks, all beIN CONNECT channels, FS1, FS2, Stadium, Big Ten Networks, PAC-12 Networks, NFL Network, NBA TV, NBC Golf, and more.
There are 76+ channels available, a 500-hour cloud DVR add-on, and several “a-la-carte” add-ons for even more sports coverage.
fuboTV also offers more specialized add-on packages. These add-ons include fubo Cycling, International Sports Plus, Sports Plus, Adventure Plus, Portuguese Plus, Mundo Plus, and fubo Latino. Some of the channels included in these packages are Chelsea TV, FOX Soccer Plus, FOX Deportes, GOLTV English and Spanish, NFL RedZone, World Fishing Network, Sportsman Channel, Outside TV, TyC Sports, and more.
Please read our comprehensive review of fuboTV’s pricing plans and features.
Best All Around Sports Streaming
Sling TV is the best option available for those looking to get ESPN at the least expensive price. It also gives access to a broad spectrum of sports including pro and college football, pro and college basketball, baseball, hockey, golf, and more.
The base Sling Orange costs $20/month and includes ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, and other non-sports channels. The Sling Blue package costs $25/month and does not include ESPN, but does include regional FOX Sports Networks, FS1, FS2, NBCSN, NFL Network, and other non-sports channels. There is also the option to purchase the Orange + Blue package for $40 and includes the sports channels mentioned in both packages.
Sling offers subscribers the option to purchase the Sports Extra add-on. This add-on costs an extra $5/month for Blue subscribers and $10/month for Blue subscribers. Orange subscribers get ESPNU, ESPNEWS, SEC network, NHL network, NBA TV, Outside TV, and soccer on beIN Sports & Univision Deportes. The Blue subscribers get access to NFL RedZone, NBA TV, NHL Network, NBC Golf, beIN Sports, Stadium, and others.
Please read our comprehensive review of Sling TV’s pricing plans and features.
Other Streaming Sports Services
DIRECTV NOW: If you are an AT&T customer this might be the best service for you. AT&T regularly offers promotions for certain cell phone customers to DIRECTV NOW for as little as $10/month. For non-cell phone customers, the starting price is $35/month which includes FS1 and ESPN. If you bump to the next package you can get BTN, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPN-U, FS1, MLB Network NBC Sports, SEC Network, and Tennis Channel for $50/month. This service is also good if you are looking for local channels. Most regional viewing areas will have all four major broadcast channels ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC too.
Please read our comprehensive review of DIRECTV NOW’s pricing plans and features.
Hulu: Hulu was notoriously horrible for sports but have recently rolled out 60fps for many channels. This means that sports such as basketball will be very smooth and less choppy. The price is $39.99/month and offers a one-week free trial. Some of the channels that have sports are ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, BTN, CBS Sports Network, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, FS1, NBC Golf, NBCSN, ESPN SEC Network, and TNT.
Please read our comprehensive review of Hulu’s pricing plans and features.
YouTube TV: For $35 per month, YouTube TV will include all four major broadcast networks ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC, ESPN channels, regional Fox Sports networks, and regional Comcast sports networks. YouTube TV also includes CBS Sports Network, NBC’s Golf Channel, and Fox’s FS1 and FS2. This bundle is not a bad option but TNT, TBS, NFL RedZone, and NFL Network are not available.
Please read our comprehensive review of YouTube TV’s pricing plans and features.
Which Sports Can I Stream Online?
There are so many different sports that are available through streaming services. You can watch pro sports or college sports. You can watch American sports or international sports. For some cord cutters getting a streaming service that has a bundle of sports and non-sports channels is the best option. For others, it may be better to get a subscription to that particular sports league’s own streaming service. Let’s examine the different options available.
How To Watch Baseball Without Cable?
There are a few different ways to stream baseball. You can choose a service that carries your team’s regional network. Over 20 Major League Baseball teams air their games on FOX Regional Sports Networks and NBC regional sports networks. Other channels that carry MLB games include ESPN, TBS, FOX Sports 1, FOX, and MLB Network. You can sign up for MLB’s streaming service called MLB.TV. Whether you root for the New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, LA Dodgers, or any other team there is a solution for you.
If you are looking for an inexpensive plan for baseball then Sling Blue might be for you. Sling has rights to Fox Regional Sports Networks and NBC regional sports networks. This includes the New York Yankees YES Network. It’s very hard to beat for $25/month and is a great option for cord cutters primarily looking for just baseball. Get started with Sling TV’s 7-day free trial.
Another similar option is fuboTV but is a little more expensive at $44.99/month. fuboTV would be a great option for cord cutters looking for baseball + other sports. Get started with fuboTV’s 7-day free trial.
If you are looking for MLB Network, you can find this channel only on DIRECTV NOW, PS Vue, or YouTube TV. Twitter and Facebook will also be broadcasting games for free in 2018.
If you are an MLB junkie then you will definitely want to check out the official MLB streaming service MLB.TV. You can watch every out-of-market regular season game live or on demand in HD for an annual ($115.99/Yearly) or monthly plans ($24.99/Monthly). There are also plans just for your favorite MLB team only. MLB.TV only offers yearly plans for single team streams for a price of $89.99/Yearly. This is definitely for hardcore MLB fans. Please note that blackout restrictions can apply (but there is a legal workaround).
How To Watch National Football League Without Cable?
The NFL is one of the most cord cutter friendly sports out there right now. The majority of professional football games can be found on 4 of the major broadcast stations: ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC. All of these channels can be acquired for free with an over-the-air antenna. Antennas are great because you only have to buy them once and can receive the signal in high quality and high definition. If you do not live within range of an OTA antenna do not worry because there are several streaming services that carry local channels.
You may also be wondering about NFL games that do not appear on local channels. NFL games can also be found on ESPN, NFL RedZone, and NFL Network. These channels can be found on different streaming services such as fuboTV, Hulu, Sling TV, DIRECTV NOW, PS Vue, and others. Amazon Prime carries every single Thursday night game during the entire season. fuboTV and Sling TV both have 7-day free trials.
If signing up for a traditional streaming service isn’t for you, then we recommend the NFL Game Pass. With NFL Game Pass you can watch all 256 regular season NFL games for only $99 per season. This means you can watch NFL teams such as the Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, and New England Patriots. The only downside to this service is games are unavailable to stream until after the game has been completed. NFL Game Pass does include live preseason games at no additional cost.
How To Watch NBA Without Cable?
In market NBA games are aired on regional sports networks and out-of-market games are aired on only three networks: ABC, ESPN, and TNT. Some of the best streaming services that include these channels are Sling TV, DIRECTV NOW, Hulu, and PS Vue. Sling TV offers a 7-day free trial. Please note that ABC may only be available in select markets. Additionally, ABC can be viewed using an over-the-air antenna which includes 15 regular season games and the NBA Finals.
Another great way to watch your favorite teams such as the Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers, or Houston Rockets is TNT Overtime. TNT Overtime does not broadcast live streams but allows you to watch NBA games that TNT shows for free. This service allows you to choose from four different camera angles or you can view them all at once using split-screen windows.
One of the best ways to watch the NBA for cord cutting, NBA diehards is to purchase NBA League Pass. There are three tiers of service. The NBA Team Pass allows you to watch live broadcasts of only one team. This costs $119.99 per season or $17.99/month. Then there is NBA League Pass which allows live broadcasts of every game for every basketball team. This costs $199.99 per season or $28.99/month. Lastly, there is NBA League Pass Premium which is the commercial-free version of NBA League Pass. You will receive a live stadium feed instead. This costs $249.99 per season.
How To Watch NHL Without Cable?
One of the least expensive ways to watch NHL games is an over-the-air antenna. You will be able to watch regional NHL games that are playing your area and you will be able to catch national games that are broadcast on NBC.
If you are looking for a streaming service the key channels you want to look out for are NHL Network, NBCSN, NBC, USA, CNBC, and regional FOX Sports networks. fuboTV is an excellent choice for several NHL teams because they include all of the regions FOX Sports networks. Get started with fuboTV’s 7-day free trial. Other really good options include Sling TV and DIRECTV NOW because they both offer NBCSN and NHL Network. Get started with Sling TV’s 7-day free trial.
NHL.tv is a must for hardcore hockey cord cutters. The NHL TV Playoff and Off Season Pass is one of the best deals available in sports. The service charges a one time fee of $9.99. Watch the Stanley Cup Playoffs® on-demand after they air. Also, watch any game from the 2017-2018 regular season. Access ends on 8/31/18. Please note that blackout restrictions apply.
How To Watch College Football Without Cable?
NCAA College Football airs on several different channels and conference networks. The majority of NCAA football games air on one of the following channels and conference networks: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, FS1, FS2, FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS Sports Network, BTN, Pac-12 Network, ACC Network, and SEC Network. Cord cutters can subscribe to a streaming service that contains these channels, use an OTA antenna for local channels, or sign up for conference networks.
The two most complete streaming services for watching college football are Sling TV and Hulu. Sling TV offers a 7-day free trial. These two services include almost all of the different channels and networks. The next best service is fuboTV but this service does not include any of the ESPN/ABC network channels. Get started with fuboTV’s 7-day free trial. Other good streaming options include DIRECTV NOW and PlayStation Vue.
Another great option can be College Sports Live. College Sports Live is an online streaming service that has agreements with 50 universities. This service only costs $10/month but if the game is on ESPN then it will be unavailable on College Sports Live.
How To Watch Soccer Without Cable?
If you are a soccer fan you are well aware that there is no shortage of clubs, leagues, tournaments, and championships. The complete opposite can be said about the choices to watch soccer; however, the choices that exist are really good. Those options are Sling TV, fuboTV, MLS Live, and FOX Soccer 2 Go.
The service you choose will depend upon what you are looking to watch. If you are looking to watch the Barclay’s Premier League (English Premier League) then you can watch the entire season with the Sling Blue + Premier League Pass. The Premier League Pass costs $49.99 per season and will air every match not aired on TV. Sling TV also gives access to Chelsea TV, Arsenal TV, Bayern Munich TV, NASL, J-League, Copa America, La Liga, Serie A, Ligue Un, Africa Cup of Nations qualification, Championship, League Cup, Coppa Italia, Copa del Rey, and more. Sling TV offers a 7-day free trial.
fuboTV is basically a service created specifically for soccer diehards. This service has soccer matches in both English and Spanish. fuboTV cord cutters can get access to La Liga, Serie A, MLS, Liga MZ, Ligue 1, Primeira Liga, and Brazilian Serie A. You will also have access to Championships like Copa America, Copa America Centenario, CONMEBOL, English League Championship, English League Cup, and Swiss Super League. Get started with fuboTV’s 7-day free trial.
How To Watch Cricket Without Cable?
The best and pretty much the only option to watch cricket is Sling TV International or the Sling TV “World Cricket” package. Sling TV International packages all include Willow HD. The World Cricket package can be added to any Sling TV package and it only costs $10/month and if you are an annual subscriber it is only $5/month making it one of the least expensive out of any sports package.
Cord cutters will get access to several world tours and will also broadcast matches from the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the ICC Champions Trophy. Sling TV offers a 7-day free trial.
How To Watch Mixed-Martial Arts Without Cable?
UFC fans can get access to MMA television with the UFC Fight Pass. This service costs $9.99/month but reduces to $7.99/month for annual subscribers. Cord cutters can get UFC live streams and on-demand content such as UFC Unleashed, Best of PRIDE, and The Ultimate Fighter. This option does not give access to pay-per-views. For pay-per-views, MMA fans can purchase PPVs directly from the UFC as a one-time transaction.
Other options to watch UFC without cable include Sling TV, fuboTV, DIRECTV NOW, and PlayStation Vue. These services carry channels such as FS1, FS2, FOX, and Spike which show a lot of UFC action. That means you will get MMA live streams for UFC Fight Night and more. Services with Spike will also get direct access to Bellator streaming. Check out the different 2018 streaming services deals.
How To Watch Golf Without Cable?
Streaming live PGA Tour Golf events is easy to do. The majority of the early rounds for most events will air on The Golf Channel and the weekend rounds will air on CBS or NBC. The early rounds of majors are different. The US Open generally appears on FS1 and FOX, The Masters on ESPN, and the PGA Championship on TNT. The top live TV streaming services that carry these networks is DIRECTV NOW, fuboTV, Hulu, and YouTube TV. Start watching golf with fuboTV’s 7-day free trial.
How To Watch Tennis Without Cable?
Tennis is a niche sport that can be very difficult to find with or without cable but that is starting to change. The best option to watch tennis would the Tennis Channel. There are currently two services that offer this channel: DIRECTV NOW and YouTube TV. These services will give you access to the Tennis Channel App which has a lot of tennis content and videos.
The Tennis Channel has launched a new app this year too. You can purchase a package directly from them without a streaming service. They offer an upgraded package called Tennis Channel Plus. This plan features live tournaments, encores, extended live coverage, and even multi-court coverage. The new app is called “The T”. Please note that many cord cutters have experience issues with the app and this channel as a stand-alone.
How To Watch NASCAR Without Cable?
Trying to watch Kyle Bush, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and other popular NASCAR drivers every week? NASCAR is aired on FOX and NBC. Some races will also appear on their sister networks FS1 and NBCSN. The easiest and least expensive way to get FOX and NBC is an over-the-air antenna; however, you cannot get FS1 and NBCSN without paying for a streaming service. The good news is there are several streaming providers that carry these channels. DIRECTV NOW, fuboTV, Hulu, Sling TV, and PlayStation Vue all give you access to these channels. Sling TV is the least expensive plan available. Watching races such as the Daytona 500 has never been easier. Start watching NASCAR with Sling TV’s 7-day free trial.
How To Watch WWE Without Cable?
Okay, this isn’t really a “sport” but it is sports entertainment and it has been super entertaining for decades. A great choice for many wrestling fan cord cutters is to go with either DIRECTV NOW, fuboTV, Hulu, Sling TV, and PlayStation Vue because events like Monday Night Raw and SmackDown are on USA Network. Start watching WWE with this 7-day free trial.
The other option is the WWE Network. This is the official streaming network owned by WWE. There is over 9,000 hours of on-demand video and has WWE pay-per-views like Wrestlemania, SummerSlam, etc. The first month is free and is only $9.99/month after your free-trial.
Which Streaming Devices Have Sports?
Streaming sports is incredibly easy and it can be streamed on just about every single device or application available. The most popular choice for streaming sports is using a streaming device connected to a TV or a SMART TV that has streaming app functionality already programmed in. This is not the only way to stream. You can also stream on smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops.
Here is a list of devices and platforms commonly used to stream sports:
- Xbox One
- Apple TV
- iPod Touch
- Windows 10
- Amazon Fire TV
- Nexus Player
Streaming sports can have one major drawback and that is black-out restrictions. Black-out restrictions are rules regarding the non-airing of television or radio programming in a certain media market. Simply put it means not being able to watch the games you want to watch. This occurs because of licensing of sports in the U.S. This will affect services such as MLB.TV, NHL GameCenter, or NBA League Pass.
There are two ways to work around these restrictions: Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) or SMART DNS. A Smart DNS routes your internet traffic through a DNS proxy which makes it look like you are in a different location. A VPN, on the other hand, masks your IP address to make it appear as if you accessed the site in another location. VPNs also are secure and encrypted connections. If you don’t understand what these means don’t worry, simply put it tricks the geoblocking on these services into thinking you are not watching sports within the blackout area.
To get a VPN or Smart DNS you can subscribe to a service. There are countless amounts of both available on the market and can cost as little as $5/month.