Whether you call it football or soccer, “the beautiful game” is the most popular sport in the world for a very good reason. Almost every country in the world participates in the sport in some fashion, whether nationally through local soccer leagues, or internationally through organizations such as FIFA. Today, you can watch football/soccer without cable – for far less than you might expect!
This guide will show you how to watch soccer matches for FIFA, EPL, and MLS, without cable, and as cheaply as possible.
How to Watch Football/Soccer Without Cable: The Channels You Need
In the US, different broadcasters carry different streaming rights for FIFA, EPL and MLS. To help you better determine which services are right for you, here are how the broadcasting rights work for these sports in the US.
English Premier League (EPL)
In the US, broadcasting rights are owned by NBC Sports Network and Telemundo (which is also part of NBC).
Major League Soccer (MLS)
The MLS split the broadcasting rights to its games between ESPN and FOX Sports for English commentary, and Univision for Spanish commentary. Univision airs matches on Fridays, while ESPN and FOX Sports 1 broadcast games on Sundays. Playoffs are also shared and traded off. Additionally, Twitter is now a rights-holder for broadcasting Univision’s matches live online.
To add to the complexity, two regional clubs (Chicago Fire SC and Los Angeles FC) sold their rights exclusively to streaming services: ESPN+ and YouTube TV, respectively.
International Federation of Association Football (FIFA)
FOX Sports maintains the rights to FIFA matches, including the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. However, Telemundo also has rights to broadcast FIFA matches in Spanish.
With that in mind, we’ll focus specifically on the streaming services that will get you access to as many of the sports TV networks as possible.
Designed around international sports of all kinds, and soccer in particular, fuboTV is a great option with one key drawback: No ESPN.
You can get over 70 channels in most locations from fuboTV for $45 per month, which includes FOX Sports 1, NBC Sports Network, Telemundo, and Univision Deportes. That covers almost all of your soccer needs, with the exception of the MLS games contracted to ESPN – which you can still catch on Univision in Spanish.
fuboTV also offers a rather extensive “fubo Extra” package that also offers over 100 channels.
Additional fuboTV benefits and features
fuboTV is an interesting option for football/soccer fans. The lack of ESPN is a big issue. However, there’s also an added benefit to the service that you’ll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere: beIN Sports in every package, and FOX Soccer Plus as an add-on service.
beIN Sports is a key international broadcaster for soccer in the US, and has broadcasting rights for US fans that other services simply don’t offer. Through fuboTV and beIN, you’ll get Ligue 1, La Liga, Serie A, Russian Football Premier League, Football League Championship, EFL Cup, Coppa Italia, Ecuadorian Serie A, Copa del Rey, K-League Classic, and Copa América soccer matches. If you’re a hardcore soccer fan, fuboTV is your option to watch soccer matches from around the world, all year long.
Outside of that, fuboTV provides a high-quality cloud DVR. You can record 30 hours of streams that you can access from numerous devices. You can also share your account with friends or family and stream up to two devices at a time. If you want a third device, fuboTV offers a third stream for an additional fee.
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On Sling TV, you can find every soccer channel you need, except for Telemundo. Sling TV provides FOX Sports 1 and NBC Sports Network through its Sling Blue package ($25 per month), while ESPN and Univision/Univision Deportes can be accessed through Sling Orange ($25 per month). If you want all four of the soccer networks Sling has to offer, you can combine the two packages with their Sling Orange + Blue for $40 per month.
Free Roku Deal
Free Roku Express
1 simultaneous stream.
Free Roku Deal$25.00/ month
Free Roku Express
3 simultaneous streams
|Sling Orange + Blue|
Free Roku Deal
Free Roku Express
4* simultaneous streams
Additional Sling TV benefits and features
We’ll be the first to take a few jabs at Sling TV for its rather confusing pricing structures. Instead of having a tiered approach, where you unlock more channels until you get to the highest package, Sling TV has an odd mix and match with its three package options.
Still, this service is the household name among the other services, both because it’s been around longer and because it continues to add local streaming options for its customers.
Through Sling TV, you will get 1 stream if you choose Sling Orange, but 3 simultaneous streams if you choose Sling Blue. If you go for Sling Orange + Blue, you get a total of four streams, but you can’t stream channels outside of their respective package. For example, you can still only stream ESPN on 1 device, because it’s part of Sling Orange.
Sling TV offers users a 50-hour cloud DVR, but it will cost an additional $5/month fee.
Beyond that, Sling TV offers the most extensive streaming device discounts you’ll find of any internet TV service.
Rokus, Apple TVs and more can be purchased at a discount for signing up to Sling. You won’t need to purchase one of those to watch Sling TV, however. The service has apps for Android, iOS, Windows, MacOS, a handful of smart TVs, and some gaming consoles.
You can also try Sling TV free for 7 days without paying a dime.
While it’s still competing against Netflix as an on-demand streaming service, Hulu with Live TV is now also a major player in the live TV streaming market.
This is good news for soccer fans, as it means you can get major sports networks through the service. Hulu with Live TV can provide you with ESPN, FOX Sports 1, NBC Sports Network, and Telemundo. You can get all of that, plus several dozen other channels, for $40 per month.
Additional Hulu with Live TV benefits and features
Perhaps the best part of signing up to Hulu with Live TV is that you can get the on-demand Hulu service as part of the deal. That means not only will you get live TV, but you’ll also have access to Hulu’s large library of original content.
Beyond that, Hulu with Live TV has an extremely generous cloud DVR option. You can record up to 50 hours worth of content, which can be upgraded to 200 hours for an added fee.
Additionally, Hulu with Live TV gives you 2 simultaneous streams, which can be upgraded to an unlimited number of streams (within your network) as an add-on service. You’ll still be limited to 3 simultaneous streams outside of your network, but for large families or college students living in a packed house, Hulu with Live TV has you covered.
Similarly to regular Hulu, Live TV is available on a large number of devices, including Xbox One and some Samsung smart TVs. The service also lets you try out all of these unique features free for 7 days.
DirecTV Now is the only service on our list that provides access to every single soccer league on our list.
What’s more, you can get ESPN, Univision, FOX Sports 1, NBC Sports Network, and Telemundo from the lowest-cost subscription package that DirecTV Now offers.
The company’s “Live a Little” introductory package, which costs $40 per month, provides more extensive coverage of EPL, FIFA, and MLS than any other similarly-priced option.
Additional DirecTV Now benefits and features
As explained, DirecTV Now is likely going to be your best option if you want as many games as possible while paying the lowest price.
Should you want to expand your coverage, DirecTV Now has 3 additional service packages which increase the number of channels offered (and the price you’ll pay).
DirecTV Now allows you to stream on up to two devices with one account. However, you can now add a third stream for a fee, although DTV Now has yet to actively advertise this option on their website.
And thankfully, the service has finally added a cloud DVR service. At no additional cost, you can now save up to 20 hours of video. Unfortunately, though, this is a rather limited capacity in comparison to most of the other services on our list and is only good enough for a small number of soccer matches. You’re also very limited in how long those videos last, with only a 30-day window before they start to expire.
Should you choose DirecTV Now as your streaming service for soccer, you’ll find it works effectively on a large number of devices. Android, iOS, Windows, and MacOS devices work, as well as TV streaming devices like the Roku, Android TV and Apple TV.
DirecTV Now provides a 7-day free trial, so you can try it risk-free for a week.
PlayStation Vue is a great option for anyone who needs EPL, MLS, and FIFA. With the exception of Univision, you’ll find all of the networks you need through PlayStation Vue, at a fairly low price. ESPN, FOX Sports 1, and Telemundo are all offered through PlayStation Vue’s lowest-cost “Access” package at $40 per month. If you also want NBC Sports Network, you will need to upgrade to the “Core” package at a price of $50 per month.
Despite the name, PlayStation Vue is available for anyone. You don’t need a PlayStation to sign up. In fact, PlayStation Vue works on a large number of devices, including Android, iOS, desktop computers and laptops, and streaming devices like the Roku and Apple TV.
Additional PlayStation Vue benefits and features
There’s a good reason why PlayStation Vue was recently ranked as one of the best internet streaming services. Not only does it have a superior user interface, but it also provides a large number of TV networks for the price you pay. And while it recently lost a large number of TV channels – mostly local network broadcasters – it’s still maintaining great access to high-demand networks.
The PlayStation Vue DVR provides you with unlimited storage for your shows, for up to 28 days. There is a 500-episode “limit”. This means that you can only record programming from up to 500 different shows, though, so this is not a problem for most users. A few channels can’t be recorded, however, due to streaming restrictions.
For those who are looking to share their account, PlayStation Vue is one of the best options around. You can stream PlayStation Vue on five separate devices at once without paying extra.
That’s far more than any other service, with the exception of Hulu with Live TV (although Hulu makes you pay for unlimited streams). You can only have five streams on your home network, however. If you want to stream multiple streams outside of your home network, you’ll be limited to three.
PlayStation Vue has a somewhat restrictive 5-day free trial, but that should be enough to determine whether you like the service as a soccer-watching option.
For just $40 per month, you can get NBC Sports Network, ESPN, Fox Sports 1, and Telemundo through YouTube TV.
Additional YouTube TV benefits and features
The biggest draw to YouTube TV is the number of profiles you get per account, the number of simultaneous streams, and the cloud DVR.
YouTube TV lets you create 6 individual profiles per user account. That lets 6 family and friends have their own accounts, watch lists, and cloud recordings. You also get 3 simultaneous streams, which is pretty good.
And when it comes to the DVR, YouTube TV is hard to beat. The service offers unlimited cloud DVR recordings across all of your account profiles. The only limit to this is that the recordings will start deleting after 9 months.
As this is an extension of YouTube, you’ll find YouTube TV also works on most devices. However, due to an ongoing feud with Amazon, YouTube TV has no working app for Amazon Fire devices.
As with other services, you can give YouTube TV a try with a 7-day free trial. However, you will definitely want to make sure the service is available in your area. While other services are available anywhere in the US, YouTube TV is still limited mostly to large cities. Folks in rural areas may still not be able to sign up.
FOX Soccer Match Pass is an OK option to consider. While not an extensive service like those above, FOX Soccer Match Pass gives you access to any matches FOX Sports has the broadcast rights to. That includes FIFA World Cup and EPL matches. You can try it out for one week, and then choose to pay monthly for $20 per month, or $139 annually with a 35% discount.
What’s unique about FOX Soccer Match Pass is all of the other leagues and matches you’ll get access to. Outside of FIFA and EPL, FOX Soccer Match Pass provides access to UEFA Europa League, Bundesliga, and over a dozen more international leagues and competitions. It’s a good choice if you’re not too concerned about MLS coverage.
Although a minor option, ESPN+ is still an option. You’ll find a small selection of MLS games on ESPN +, as well as a few international soccer leagues with game sthat are not broadcast on any of ESPN’s other channels. ESPN+ is only $4.99 per month and has a 7-day free trial, so it’s one to explore if you want just a bit more soccer than what’s normally available elsewhere.