The 2018 Major League Baseball season is underway. More than 140 games will air nationally between March and September. But how do you watch them if you’ve cancelled your cable subscriptions? Check out these eight ways cord-cutters watch the 2018 MLB season without cable.

Which Channels Carry MLB Games?

The MLB awarded traditional TV broadcast rights for the regular season to ESPN, Fox and TBS as well as its own MLB Network. The channels that will carry some of the national games are:

  • ESPN and ESPN2
  • Fox, FS1 and Fox Deportes
  • TBS
  • MLB Network

You can also stream some afternoon games over Facebook or subscribe to MLB.TV to watch all of the out-of-market games.

Blackouts

MLB may blackout certain games due to local club agreements or broadcaster licensing agreements. Check out MLB’s blackout schedule to see which games you won’t be able to watch this season.

Here are just some of the reasons the game may be blacked out:

  • The MLB All Star game and any Sunday ESPN broadcast are blacked out nationally.
  • People living in certain regions will get blacked out during Fox Saturday broadcasts.
  • Residents of Guam cannot stream any San Francisco Giants or Oakland Athletics games.

If you have a TV provider, you’ll be able to watch the All Star game and nationally broadcast post-season games.

Streaming TV Services

A new generation of live TV streaming services let you watch all the channels that will air this year’s MLB games. For those new to cord-cutting, these services use your home internet connection to legally stream live TV to apps on computers, TV-connected devices and mobile devices.

Besides the extra convenience, these streaming TV services cost a fraction of the price of a cable subscription. You’ll be able to watch most of the MLB season for less than $60 per month.

Local TV

Big league sports set their blackout policies to protect attendance at local games – and the broadcast deals each club strikes with regional sports channels.

All of the streaming services we’ll be discussing can stream local TV stations and regional sports networks. Whether each service can stream those channels where you live, however, is another question.

The fragmented nature of America’s TV system means streaming services’ ability to support local TV varies from market to market. You’ll need to enter your zip code in each service’s look-up page to find out which channels you can actually get.

TV Everywhere

One benefit of subscribing to one of these streaming services is that the TV networks treat you just like a cable subscriber. Just enter your “TV provider” credentials into the each network’s app. That unlocks content that you couldn’t get otherwise, including the networks’ live streams.

fuboTV

Fubo TV
Source: Fubo TV

fuboTV is a sports-centric streaming service that also offers a good selection of lifestyle and entertainment channels. Even though you can’t watch ESPN, ESPN2 or MLB Network on fuboTV, its selection of national and regional sports networks carry most of the season’s games.

 FuboFubo ExtraFubo LatinoFubo Português
Price$44.99/mo.$49.99+$17.99/mo.$19.99/mo.
Channels75+90+15+5+
Simultaneous Streams2222
Fire TV SupportYesYesYesYes
Roku SupportYesYesYesYes
Sign Up 7-DAY FREE TRIAL7-DAY FREE TRIAL7-DAY FREE TRIAL7-DAY FREE TRIAL

For only $45 per month, fuboTV does deliver more than seventy-five channels, including Fox, FS1 and TBS. You can also watch NFL Network, NBA-TV, the Golf Channel, and dozens of sports networks from beIn, NBC, Fox, CBS and Eleven Sports.

You can watch fuboTV through a limited number of mobile and TV-connected devices:

  • Living room devices: Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast and Roku.
  • Smart TVs and Blu-ray players: None.
  • Mobile devices and tablets: Android and iOS.
  • Game consoles: None.
  • Desktop browsers: Chrome is recommended.

Fox Sports Go is one of the thirty-two network apps that accept fuboTV login credentials.

FuboTV Shortcode

 

Sling TV

Sling TV
Source: Sling TV

Sling TV is one of the most customizable streaming TV services. Its “a-la-carte” approach lets subscribers tailor their TV experience by adding channel bundles to their base subscriptions. That flexibility, however, does make Sling TV more difficult to figure out.

 Sling OrangeSling BlueSling Orange + Blue
Price$25$25$40
Channels30+40+50+
Simultaneous Streams134*
ESPNYesNoYes
Fire TV SupportYesYesYes
Roku SupportYesYesYes
Special OffersFREE ROKU DEALFREE ROKU DEALFREE ROKU DEAL
* You get one stream with Sling Orange and up to 3 simultaneous streams with Sling Blue.

First, you have to select a base subscription:

  • Orange: 30 channels for $20.
  • Blue: 45 channels for $25.
  • Orange+Blue: 53 channels for $40.

Baseball fans don’t need to spend too much time thinking things through. The only way to get both ESPN and Fox channels is to pick the Orange+Blue subscription. This also includes TBS. Unfortunately, there’s no way to get MLB Network of the Fox Deportes simulcasts through Sling TV.

Another complication comes when people in your household try to stream to different devices. You can stream TBS and the Fox channels to as many as three devices at a time. Yet Sling TV limits ESPN and ESPN2 to a single device. If someone is watching the Disney Channel when an ESPN-broadcast game is on, you won’t be able to watch it.

Sling TV does have a good selection of apps to support a wide range of devices, including:

  • Living room devices: Air TV Player, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast and Roku.
  • Smart TVs and Blu-ray players: Certain models from LeEco, LG, Samsung and ZTE.
  • Mobile devices and tablets: Amazon Fire tablets, Android and iOS.
  • Game consoles: Xbox One.
  • Desktop browsers: Chrome.

Along with sixteen other apps, Watch ESPN and Fox Sports Go both accept Sling TV login credentials.

 

DirecTV Now

DirecTV Now channels galore
Source: DirecTV Now

AT&T-owned DirecTV Now is the closest you’ll get to the full cable experience. For a fraction of the price of cable, you’ll find all of the channels that carry MLB games.

 Live a LittleJust RightGo BigGotta Have It
Price$35/mo.$50/mo.$60/mo.$70/mo.
Channels60+80+100+120+
Simultaneous Streams2222
ESPNYesYesYesYes
Fire TV SupportYesYesYesYes
Roku SupportYesYesYesYes
Special OffersFREE FIRE TV DEALFREE FIRE TV DEALFREE FIRE TV DEALFREE FIRE TV DEAL

The entry-level “Live a Little” plan includes all of the traditional TV channels, but you’ll have to step up to the “Just Right” plan to get MLB Network. The only exception is Fox Deportes which is not available through DirecTV Now.

  • Live a Little: 60+ channels / $35 per month.
  • Just Right: 80+ channels / $50 per month.
  • Go Big: 100+ channels / $60 per month.
  • Gotta Have It: 120+ channels / $70 per month.

DirecTV Now is due for major upgrades this year with the addition of a “cloud DVR” to record games you might miss. You’ll also be able to stream Ultra HD content and stream to as many as three devices at the same time.

DirecTV Now has a good selection of apps for mobile and TV-connected devices, with the notable exception of game consoles.

  • Living room devices: Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast and Roku.
  • Smart TVs and Blu-ray players: None.
  • Mobile devices and tablets: Android and iOS.
  • Game consoles: None.
  • Desktop browsers: Chrome and Safari.

WatchESPN, Fox Sports Go and fifty other networks accept DirecTV Now’s subscribers.

Shortcode TV Subscription Desktop Directv black 700px

 

Hulu with Live TV

Hulu is the Best Cable Alternative in America
Source: Hulu

The ability to stream live TV as well as a huge catalog of on-demand content makes Hulu with Live TV a popular option for cord-cutters.

The $40-per-month subscription lets you stream more than fifty TV channels, including ESPN, ESPN2, Fox, FS1 and TBS. You do not get MLB Network or Fox Deportes.

The Hulu cloud DVR comes standard with the subscription. It lets you record fifty hour of content, but has some restrictions. The app won’t let you fast forward through commercials or record programs that air at the same time. An extra $15 per month will remove those restrictions and expand the storage to two hundred hours.

Hulu with Live TV supports a wide range of devices, but only lets you stream to two of them at the same time. To get unlimited device support on your home network, you’ll need to pay an extra $15 per month.

  • Living room devices: Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku.
  • Smart TVs and Blu-ray players: Certain TV models from Samsung
  • Mobile devices and tablets: Amazon Fire Tablets, Android, and iOS
  • Game consoles: Nintendo Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
  • Desktop browsers: Chrome, Edge, Firefox and Safari.

Fox Sports Go and WatchESPN and thirty-three other network apps accept Hulu with Live TV subscribers.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV cable alternative
Source: YouTube TV

YouTube TV’s strength is its support for local TV stations. Now available in the one hundred largest markets — and within reach of 85% of Americans — YouTube TV is your best bet to get local ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC channels.

The $40 monthly subscription gets you more than fifty channels, including ESPN, ESPN2, Fox, FS1, TBS and MLB Network.

You also get some industry-leading features like unlimited storage in the cloud DVR and support for six profiles on each account.

YouTube TV’s device support, however, isn’t as strong as some of the other streaming TV services.

  • Living room devices: Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast and Roku.
  • Smart TVs and Blu-ray players: Certain models from LG and Samsung.
  • Mobile devices and tablets: Android and iOS.
  • Game consoles: Xbox One.
  • Desktop browsers: Chrome.

You can log into the WatchESPN and Fox Sports Go apps with a YouTube TV subscription.

PlayStation Vue

No PlayStation needed to get Vue
Source: PlayStation Vue

Sony’s PlayStation Vue offers both a large channel lineup and a strong feature set to create a streaming TV service similar to the cable experience. PlayStation Vue is also the only streaming service that lets you watch baseball everywhere it’s broadcast.

The entry-level “Access” plan includes ESPN, ESPN2, Fox, FS1 and TBS. Stepping up to the “Core” plan will add the MLB Network. A $5-per-month Spanish-language add-on pack will add Fox Deportes.

  • Access: 45 channels for $40 per month.
  • Core: 60 channels for $45 per month.
  • Elite: 84 channels for $55 per month.
  • Ultra: 87 channels, including HBO and Showtime, for $75 per month.

With unlimited storage, PlayStation Vue’s cloud DVR lets you keep recordings for twenty-eight days. You can also stream to as many as five devices at a time.

PlayStation Vue supports more devices than any other streaming TV service.

  • Living room devices: Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast and Roku.
  • Smart TVs and Blu-ray players: None (not even Sony’s).
  • Mobile devices and tablets: Android, Amazon Fire Tablets and iOS.
  • Game consoles: PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.
  • Desktop browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Microsoft Edge.

When it comes to support for network apps, PlayStation Vue does better than other streaming services. It’s the only one that TBS recognizes. You also get access to Fox Sports Go and WatchESPN.

Other Streaming Options

Facebook

FacebookWatch MLB
Source: Facebook

Facebook and MLB announced their streaming partnership right before spring training. The twenty-five games you’ll be able to stream through Facebook Watch will be weekday afternoon games that don’t typically get picked up by the networks. MLB also will produce content for Facebook Watch, including on-demand highlights of every game in the regular season as well as weekly recaps for the thirty baseball clubs.

To watch the games, go to the Facebook Watch tab and then the MLB Live show page. You can also use the Facebook app on a variety of devices.

  • Living room devices: Apple TV, Android TV and Amazon Fire TV.
  • Smart TVs and Blu-ray players: None.
  • Mobile devices and tablets: Android, Amazon Fire Tablets, iOS and Windows Phone
  • Game consoles: None.
  • Desktop browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Microsoft Edge.

MLB.TV

MLBTV
Source: MLB

Major League Baseball’s own subscription service, MLB.TV, lets you stream every out-of-market regular season game. The streams are subject to the MLB’s many blackout rules.

MLB’s Postseason.TV subscription plan will let you watch alternate video streams of the playoffs and World Series.

You can choose a subscription package specific to your favorite team or get the entire MLB season.

  • MLB.TV Single Team: $90/year
  • MLB.TV All Teams: $116/year or $25/month

You can watch MLB.TV on the league’s website or through one of the MLB At Bat apps. Note that only the all-team subscribers get automatic access to the MLB At Bat live streams. Single-team subscribers cannot use the MLB At Bat app without also subscribing to MLB At Bat Premium.

  • Living room devices: Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast and Roku.
  • Smart TVs and Blu-ray players: LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony and TiVo
  • Mobile devices and tablets: Android and iOS.
  • Game consoles: PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
  • Desktop browsers: Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge and Safari.

The features you get through the apps vary depending on your device. Owners of Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Roku and Xbox One will get 60 frames-per-second video streams. Owners of iOS and Android devices can listen to live audio streams of every game without blackouts.