If you want to use the internet instead of cable TV to get your MLB fix, you have lots of good options – and you can even get recordings of every game from last season now that the World Series is over. Keep reading to find out:
- Which cable replacement service is the best option for MLB fans.
- How to record broadcast games by setting up a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) on your computer.
- Why we think the latest version of the MLB’s official streaming service is terrific.
- 1 Cable TV Replacement Services for Watching MLB
- 2 Filling In the Local TV Coverage Gap
- 3 MLB TV Is the Best Choice for Hardcore Baseball Fans
- 4 If You’re a Casual Baseball Fan…
- 5 Wrapping It Up
Cable TV Replacement Services for Watching MLB
If you sign up for a cable TV replacement service that has Fox, Fox Sports, Fox Sports 1, TBS and ESPN, you’ll be able to watch all your local MLB team’s games.
All the cable TV replacement platforms are still working out deals with Fox affiliates, so you may not be able to catch local broadcasts without a some type of TV antenna setup.
- Fox: Maybe (but probably not because of licensing issues)
- ESPN: Yes
- TBS: Yes
With a $20 “Orange” subscription to Sling TV, you can get most of the cable channels you need to watch your local MLB team play every single game except Fox.
With Orange + Blue for $40, you may get the Fox channels – but don’t count on it. Sling TV has weak local TV coverage, so you’ll be better off using a TV antenna to catch Fox games.
- Fox: Probably not
- ESPN: No
- TBS: No
If you like baseball, you probably won’t like fuboTV. Even though you have to pay $34.99 to sign up, you don’t get access to any of the MLB’s cable TV partners.
Like Sling TV, fuboTV struggles when it comes to local broadcast coverage – so the odds are very high that you won’t get most Fox channels, either.
- Fox: Probably
- ESPN: Yes
- TBS: Yes
Hulu with Live TV is a little bit expensive ($40), but it’s the best overall deal for baseball fans.
Hulu has better local TV coverage than most cable replacement providers, so there’s a chance that you can get access to your local Fox channels through Hulu. Additionally, Hulu has TBS and ESPN.
- Fox: Probably
- ESPN: Yes
- TBS: No
YouTube TV has best local TV broadcast coverage right now – and at $35, it’s cheaper than Hulu with Live TV.
However, YouTube TV is not the best deal for baseball fans because it doesn’t support TBS.
Filling In the Local TV Coverage Gap
Because all the cable replacement services are still working out deals with local affiliates, a TV tuner is the only sure-fire way to get Fox MLB games on your computer and smart devices.
Here’s a simple guide for setting up your computer to record broadcast MLB games.
First, get an antenna ($15 – $20)
Basic Mohu Leaf TV antennas work great, plus they are cheap and look cool. Amazon Basic TV antennas are quite good, as well.
Then, get a HDHomeRun TV Tuner ($80)
HDHomeRun TV tuners are innovative because they send TV signals to your devices via your WiFi network, yet they actually cost less than standard plug-in USB TV tuners. Source: HDHomeRun
HDHomeRun TV tuners are convenient compared to other TV tuners because you can set them up in any part of your house. There’s no need to attach it to the side of your computer via USB. They’re also quite inexpensive compared to the competition.
Additionally, HDHomeRun TV tuners are super easy to use. All you have to do is connect your HDHomeRun to your WiFi router. Once its plugged in, you can access live TV on pretty much any platform (Mac, PC, Xbox One, PS3 and PS4, Android, Kodi, Plex and more) via the HDHomeRun app.
Here’s another reason to like HDHomeRun: you can access its EPG (Electronic Program Guide) for free. However, you do have to upgrade to a paid subscription to unlock DVR functionality. A yearly DVR subscription costs just $35, which is a nice deal compared to what other DVR services charge.
Once you get HDHomeRun’s DVR service, you can just use your computer’s hard drive to save recorded TV shows. Alternatively, you can buy a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device if you don’t have enough storage space.
Alternatively, just get a Mohu Airwave ($150)
Like HDHomeRun, Mohu Airwave’s EPG (Electronic Program Guide) is free. Airwave is also equally easy to use compared to HDHomeRun.
The most innovative thing about Mohu Airwave is the way its program guide integrates YouTube, Hulu and other internet video sites into its EPG. Other TV tuners’ EPGs aren’t compatible with internet video sites and only allow you to switch between OTA (Over-the-Air) channels.
The main downside of Mohu Airwave is that it can’t record. If you want the ability to fast forward through commercials and boring moments during MLB games, HDHomeRun is still a better deal.
MLB TV Is the Best Choice for Hardcore Baseball Fans
MLB TV is by far the best way to catch all the MLB games. Subscription prices are cheap and you can live stream all 2,430 MLB games including the World Series.
However, if you can’t watch an MLB game somewhere on TV, don’t expect to be able to catch it via MLB TV. All the usual blackout rules still apply when it comes to video streams. (You can, however, listen to any MLB game via MLB TV regardless of blackouts.)
Thanks to a recent class action lawsuit that forced the MLB to lower the cost of its live streams, you can gain access to the best MLB TV subscription for just over 100 bucks. At the beginning of the 2017 season, a premium subscription to MLB TV cost just $112.99. Because of the lawsuit, the MLB cannot legally raise its prices by more than 3% next year.
- MLB TV Premium – $112.99 season / $24.99 per month
- MLB TV Single Team – $87.49
- MLB TV Offseason – $24.99
The longer you wait to buy a season pass, the less you’ll have to pay. In June, MLB TV lowered the premium subscription fee to $99.99 and by the time September rolled around the price had dropped all the way to $3.99. Now that the 2017 season is over, you can watch replays and pore over stats for $24.99.
New features for 2017
At the beginning of the 2017 season, MLB TV kicked things off by announcing four new features.
Team view lets you “enjoy a team-centric experience” on all your devices. In other words, you can now change the look and feel of the MLB TV interface to reflect your favorite MLB team.
The new MLB TV Alexa skill allows you to pull up an MLB audio feed by saying “Alexa, open MLB.”
Now, there are MLB TV apps for Android TV, FireTV, Xbox and Roku. Check the official At Bat site for the full list of compatible devices.
World Series games
2017 was the first time you could stream the World Series via MLB TV.
Even if you only care about one baseball team, MLB TV offers some good reasons to spend twenty extra bucks for MLB TV Premium.
Even hardcore fans admit that baseball involves a lot of scratching of the nether-regions and standing around, but MLB TV Premium’s awesome mosaic feature mitigates the lazy pace of an average MLB game by allowing you to watch 4 games simultaneously.
Even if you only follow one team, mosaic view is still pretty useful because it lets you see what your team’s rivals are doing when there are breaks in the action.
You can use a limited two screen version of mosaic via the At Bat app if you have a recent iPad.
60 frames per second
Faster video is another good reason to get MLB TV Premium. Sports feeds look much smoother at higher frame rates.
Choose your announcer
When your team is playing in another city, you can opt to switch to a hometown announcer if you have MLB TV Premium.
Better At Bat app functionality
The At Bat app allows you to watch MLB TV video feeds on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.
You can still connect to MLB TV though At Bat with a Single Team subscription, but you get more stat analysis tools and better video (60 frames per second) with MLB TV Premium.
Both the single team and premium subscriptions allow you to watch non-blackout live games via the At Bat app. Also, both plans give you the ability to switch to a split view and watch two games at once if you have a recent iPad.
Click here for the full At Bat app feature list.
If You’re a Casual Baseball Fan…
Compared to other professional sports leagues, the MLB has far more inexpensive options for keeping up with baseball action.
The At Bat App
If you’re not a fan of any particular team but you like to watch baseball on occasion, you likely only want to see the best teams face off against each other. That’s exactly what At Bat delivers – and why we think it could be the best deal for casual fans in all of professional sports.
At Bat Premium
For $19.99 for the season or $2.99 for a monthly pass, the At Bat app lets you watch select “Game of the Day” match-ups and view condensed, edited versions of every game. Plus, you can switch between home and away announcers, dissect stats and view in-depth breakdowns via Gameday and watch classic MLB games.
At Bat Free
The free version of At Bat allows you to catch “live look-in” highlights and listen to audio streams of every single MLB game regardless of blackouts.
The MLB’s Free YouTube Channel
The MLB YouTube channel provides another good way to stay abreast of MLB action.
Most professional sport leagues only upload highlights and interviews, but the MLB’s YouTube channel has full and condensed games.
If you type “MLB” into YouTube, you’ll be able to get a quick overview of what’s going on around the league.
The season just ended, so right now all that YouTube’s MLB box does is show World Series highlights.
Wrapping It Up
If your goal is to watch every MLB game without cable, MLB TV is the obvious choice. MLB TV has been around for 15 years now, and it keeps getting better and better. The recent forced price reduction makes MLB TV an even sweeter deal. Though you don’t need to upgrade to Premium to see every game, you’ll probably want pony up another $20 per season to get mosaic view and 60 frames-per-second video.
Another way to see nearly every MLB game is via one of the new cable replacement internet TV platforms. Hulu with Live TV is your best option if you want to get rid of your cable bill without totally handicapping your ability to catch MLB action. Hulu’s local TV coverage is less spotty compared to the competition, but you may still need to use a TV antenna to watch Fox games.
If you like baseball but don’t care about watching every single game, you may be able to get your fill of MLB action via the MLB YouTube channel. The MLB YouTube channel is totally free and contains a wealth of content including complete on-demand game recordings. The MLB’s At Bat app is quite good as well because it allows you to listen to every single game for free regardless of blackouts. For $19.99 per season, you can live stream all the best games.