Historically, sports streaming has been tough for cord-cutters. But as more people cut the cord on cable, sports streaming services are popping up to air football, soccer, baseball, hockey, and most other sports.
If you’ve ditched your pricey cable subscription and are looking for an alternative for live sports streaming, you’re in the right place. Check out this complete list of sports streaming services and find the one that’s right for you!
- 1 “Skinny Bundle” Internet TV Services
- 2 Standalone Sports Streaming Services
- 3 League-Based Sports Streaming Services
- 4 Other Sports Streaming Services
“Skinny Bundle” Internet TV Services
First, we’re going to go over the “Skinny Bundle” internet TV services which offer sports coverage. These bundles include a number of traditional cable entertainment channels, and also offer local broadcast networks and sports coverage.
If you’re a soccer fan, fuboTV is, by far, the best choice for a sports streaming service. It’s not cheap, coming in at about $45 per month for a base-tier subscription, and $50/month for the fubo Extra package, which includes additional channels.
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But you get a lot for your money, particularly if you like soccer. You’ll get sports channels like beIN Sports, NBCSN, Fox Sports, NBA TV, PAC-12 Networks, NFL Network, CBS Sports Network, the Golf Channel, and more. The only missing piece of the puzzle is ESPN, which means fuboTV is the best choice if you follow most American major league sports closely.
Regardless, this service provides a ton of sports content alongside news, entertainment, and more, and has great features and channels for the price. You can give it a try with a free 7-day trial now.
Sling TV is the oldest “skinny bundle”, and the most popular. Owned by DISH Network, it was launched in 2014. Today, it’s still a good option for sports fans.
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There are two different packages for Sling TV, both coming in at $25.
The Sling Orange package comes with ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3, as well as ACC Network Extra. You’ll also get TBS and TNT, which frequently air MLB and NBA games, respectively.
You can combine the two packages for $40 if you’d like both Fox Sports and ESPN. And you can add even more sports content with add-on packages like the Sports Package and International Package, available for an extra monthly fee.
You can try the service for free for a week, to see if it’s right for you.
Hulu With Live TV is a newer entrant into the world of sports streaming services – and it’s a great value. Hulu With Live TV offers 50+ channels of news and entertainment, but excels at sports coverage.
You’ll be able to watch sports content on your local ABC/CBS/FOX/NBC affiliates (depending on region), as well as on BTN, CBS Sports Network, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, and ESPNU. ESPN Goal Line and ESPN Bases Loaded are also standard, as is Fox Sports 1 and 2. Furthermore, you get TBS and TNT, as well as the SEC Network and the Olympic Channel, and NBCSN.
Suffice it to say, Hulu With Live TV has great sports coverage, and at $40/month (with a free Hulu on-demand subscription included) it’s a fantastic deal.
PlayStation Vue offers four streaming packages, ranging from the $45/month “Access” package, to the $80/month “Ultra” package. Each of these packages comes with a reasonable number of channels.
The base-tier package comes with ESPN and ESPN2, as well as Fox Sports 1 and 2, and local broadcast networks in some areas. If you upgrade, you can get channels like CBS Sports and ESPNU/ESPNews, as well as local Fox Sports affiliates, the SEC Network, MLB Network, and a number of other channels.
Additionally, you can add a $10 month “Sports Extra” package to your Core, Elite, or Ultra plan. This package gives you a dozen extra channels, including ESPN Bases Loaded, Eleven Sports, LHN, NBC Sports, and ESPN Classic.
PlayStation Vue is expensive. But if you can pay up, you’ll get plenty of sports content, as well as 5-device simultaneous streaming and and unlimited DVR.
DirecTV Now is another reasonable choice for sports streaming services. It comes in 4 tiers, from the $40/month Live A Little package to the $75/month Gotta Have It package.
You don’t have to cough up for a more expensive plan to get sports coverage, though. The $40//month package comes with Fox Sports, ESPN and ESPN2, NBCSN, TBS and TNT, and local broadcast affiliate networks in most regions.
If you pay extra for a more expensive plan, you can unlock channels like ESPNews and ESPNU, as well as CBS Sports, BTN, Fox Sports 2, SEC Network, and more.
YouTube TV is one of the newest streaming services from Google, and it distinguishes itself by providing great features like 6 profiles per account and a 9-month unlimited DVR to users.
It also has great sports coverage. For $40/month, you get ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, Big Ten Network, NBC Sports, CBS Sports, FS1 and FS2, The Golf Channel, Fox Sports, MLB Network, NBA TV, Tennis Channel, TNT and TBS, and NESN. To top it off, you also get NBC/CBS/ABC/FOX affiliates if they’re available in your area.
You can even add additional sports coverage from Fox Soccer Plus, though you’ll pay an extra $15/month for the privilege of doing so.
Given the sheer number of sports channels and great features, as well as the reasonable price of YouTube TV, it’s a great choice if you need a sports streaming service.
Standalone Sports Streaming Services
Now that we’ve discussed each available streaming service “skinny bundle” with sports coverage, let’s move on to some standalone sports streaming services.
Typically, these services will cover a smaller variety of sports, but they’re usually much more affordable than a cable subscription or most “skinny bundles” that carries sports. Let’s get started.
NBC Sports Gold is a standalone service that allows you to watch a number of different sports live and on-demand. When you subscribe to NBC Sports Gold, you can choose between 6 different yearly subscription packages:
- Premier League Pass ($50) – You can watch 150+ live matches during the Premier League season, both live and as replays.
- Cycling Pass ($50) – You’ll get coverage of major cycling races like the Le Tour de France and La Vuelta a España.
- Pro Motocross Pass ($55) – This package includes commercial-free coverage of the entire 2018-2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.
- Track and Field Pass ($70) – Love track and field? This package provides exclusive coverage of marathons worldwide, as well as track and field competitions and relays.
- Figure Skating Pass ($60) – This package gives you access to the ISU Grand Prix, ISU World Championships, US Championships, and more.
- Speed Skating Pass ($20) – You’ll be able to watch ISU World Cup events, ISU Allround Championships, and more.
This service is a decent value if you are a fan of one of these particular sports – otherwise, it’s not a great sports streaming service for you.
If you love soccer (okay, football if you’re a real fan), Fox Soccer Match Pass may be right for you.
With Fox Soccer Match Pass, you can watch major competitions like the Bundesliga, CONMEBOL competitions, MLS, CONCACAF, Super League, and more. You can even watch the Australian Football League and National Rugby League.
The price is a bit more steep, though. You’ll pay $140 for a yearly, auto-renewing subscription.
ESPN+, the first standalone streaming service from ESPN, arrived earlier this year with a clang when cord-cutters realized that it wouldn’t include any coverage of sports that were being shown on any other ESPN Network – like the NBA, MLB, NHL, or NFL.
However, it is quite inexpensive at only $5/month, and programming includes some college sports, combat sports like MMA, soccer (including out-of-market MLS matches), and tennis. Fans of international sports will also appreciate rugby union and cricket coverage.
If you love combat sports like MMA and boxing, DAZN is for you. This $10 per month service launches in the US in September and offers cord-cutters a way to watch MMA and combat sports without a cable subscription. It even provides pay-per view so you don’t have to hop through multiple services to find different pay-per-view events.
It includes coverage of Bellator MMA, Matchroom Boxing, and the World Boxing Super Series. Check out their website for a list of upcoming fights.
If you are a big cricket fan, Willow TV is the best standalone streaming service for you. Willow TV is available as an add-on for Sling TV, but you can also subscribe to it via their website for $10/month.
In return, you’ll get 24/7 cricket coverage from Willow TV, as well as highlights and replays from past matches, and plenty of other original content – all based around cricket!
League-Based Sports Streaming Services
If you’re looking for coverage of a particular major sport from the “Big 4” in the US – the MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL – you’re in the right place.
It’s not cheap, but all four of these leagues now have a way you can watch live or on-demand games. Here is what you need to know about the top league-based sports streaming services in the US.
If you’re a big basketball fan, NBA League Pass is going to prove essential if you’re a cord-cutter.
With NBA League Pass, you can watch out-of-market games from outside of your area, watch full-length replays of regular season games, and follow your favorite players – even if you don’t live near your favorite team.
There are some limitations – you can’t watch local games broadcast on cable or OTA networks – but if you love the NBA, League Pass is still a good option. Last year it was $200 and we expect it will be around the same price when it goes on sale again at the start of the 2018 NBA season.
To be honest, NFL Game Pass is probably not worth what you have to pay for it, unless you’re a superfan.
With NFL Game Pass, the only live games you get are out-of-market preseason games for this NFL season. Beyond that, you’ll just get replays of all the other games played this year, and some archived NFL content. It costs $100 for a one-time payment, or $30 per month for 4 months.
MLB TV allows you to choose between an All Teams and Single Team out-of-market package.
Depending on which one you choose, you’ll be able to watch your chosen team during out-of-market games, or all out-of-market regular season games live, in full HD.
The All Teams package costs $116/year, but is discounted as the season progresses. Likewise, the regular price of the Single Team package is $90/year, but it’s cheaper later in the year, when there are fewer games left in the season.
NHL.TV provides users with the ability to watch out-of-market games from all teams for $50/year. You can also choose to follow just one team for $40.
You’ll be able to watch all of these games live, and choose between “Home” and “Away” broadcasts. You won’t be able to watch local in-market games, but if you’re a huge NHL fan, you can keep track of hockey matches all around the US.
Other Sports Streaming Services
Beyond what we mentioned above, there are a few other sports streaming services that didn’t quite fit into the above categories. Here they are!
Amazon Prime Video airs Thursday Night Football matches in the US, and will continue to do so through 2020. If you’re a Prime subscriber, you can watch these games free of charge. You can also watch them on the Amazon-owned Twitch streaming platform.
Twitter also offers free streaming of some major sports events. In 2018, Twitter is simulcasting one MLB day game per week, and is also streaming 24 MLS games each year for the next 3 years.
Twitter isn’t the only social media titan investing in live sporting events. Facebook is in on the action, too. This year, Facebook is streaming 25 exclusive MLB games, and could end up spending “a few billion dollars” on sports streaming rights in the future, according to sources from Sports Business Journal.