Sports remains one of the biggest reasons people stick with their expensive cable subscriptions. But does cutting the cord really mean giving up on your local teams? Not as long as a streaming service includes your regional sports network (RSN). Read on to learn more about the seven regional sports networks on Hulu+Live TV.
What should I know about Hulu with Live TV?
Hulu is best known as an on-demand streaming service with original content and recent episodes of current TV shows on many networks. The company launched its live TV streaming service in 2017.
The streaming service is known for its competitive pricing and a full lineup of broadcast and cable channels. Making the subscription a better deal, signing up for Hulu + Live TV also gets you access to Disney+ and ESPN+. You also get an unlimited cloud DVR and the ability to stream simultaneously on two devices.
What is an RSN?
RSNs are cable TV channels that have broadcasting rights for major sports teams within a specific geography. Back in the day, teams made deals with local broadcast stations to televise their away games. In the 1990s, those deals moved to better-funded RSNs owned by large cable and media companies.
Even though an RSN may operate a dozen individual channels, they cannot make that content available nationally. The channels only exist to serve local fans. As a result, cable subscribers see the RSN channel that covers the region where they live.
Which regional sports networks are available on Hulu+ Live TV?
The cable company Comcast began buying independent RSNs in the 1990s and rolled them into NBC Sports after its purchase of NBC Universal.
NBC Sports Bay Area: Covers central and northern California as well as bordering regions of Oregon and Nevada. The channel has broadcast rights for the Golden State Warriors, San Francisco Giants and San Jose Earthquakes. You also get college sports from the West Coast Conference.
NBC Sports Boston: Covers most of New England (except for parts of Connecticut close to New York City). The channel has broadcast rights for the Boston Celtics and the University of New Hampshire.
NBC Sports California: Has the same geographical coverage of NBC Sports Bay Area. Broadcasts away games for the
- Oakland Athletics.
- Sacramento Kings.
- San Jose Earthquakes.
- San Jose Sharks.
The channel also carries West Coast Conference sports.
NBC Sports Chicago: Covers regions of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin surrounding Chicago. Pro teams whose games you can watch on NBC Sports Chicago include the
- White Sox.
You can also watch Northern Illinois University and Illinois State.
NBC Sports Philadelphia: Covers Philadelphia and surrounding parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. The channel carries the city’s big pro teams, including the
College sports from the Atlantic 10 Conference, the Colonial Athletic Conference and the Philadelphia Big 5 are also streamable on this channel.
NBC Sports Washington: Covers the District of Columbia, Virginia and Maryland as well as nearby regions of Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The channel broadcasts games from the
- DC United
You can also watch college sports from the Colonial Athletic Association and the Atlantic Coast Conference.
SportsNet New York
SportsNet New York is owned by the New York Mets and cable company Charter Communications. NBC Sports has a small minority stake in the RSN.
This channel is available in New York City and surrounding regions of Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
Naturally, this is the channel for Mets fans. You also get access to college sports from the Big East Conference, Ivy League and the University of Connecticut.
What other sports channels does Hulu+Live TV carry?
Your subscription to Hulu + Live TV includes all the major broadcast and cable networks along with their sports networks. Your subscription also gives you access to ESPN3’s online content.
- CBS Sports Network
- ESPN College Extra
Hulu + Live TV’s channel listing also includes three college conference channels: ACC Network (ACCN), Big Ten Network (BTN) and SEC Network.
For an extra $10 monthly fee, you can add six more sports channels with Hulu’s Sports Add-on:
- Fanduel TV
- Fanduel Racing
- NFL Red Zone
- Outdoor Channel
- Sportsman Channel
Has Hulu made changes to RSN availability?
Hulu + Live TV carried many more RSNs until 2020 when Hulu’s parent company, Disney, bought 21st Century Fox. Since Disney also owns ESPN, the Department of Justice forced the media giant to sell off the Fox regional sports networks. Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns nearly two hundred local TV stations, bought the Fox RSNs. A naming rights agreement with casino company Bally’s brought the RSN a new name: Bally Sports.
However, Bally Sports demanded more money when it renegotiated its carriage deals with streaming services. Most chose to drop the RSN from their lineups rather than raise fees on their subscribers. Hulu + Live TV was one of those companies.
Besides the 19 Bally Sports channels, Hulu does not have deals with AT&T SportsNet, Spectrum Sports and various single-market RSNs.
How to find which channels are available in your area?
If you don’t live in an RSN channel’s “home” town, it can be hard to figure out which RSNs apply to where you live. There is an easy channel finder on the Hulu + Live TV main page. Just scroll down to the section called “All Your TV in One Place.”
Clicking the link to “View Channels in Your Area” brings up Hulu’s zip code lookup tool.
Enter your zip code and Hulu + Live TV will display the channels available in your area. At the top of the list are your local network affiliates and any available regional sports networks.
Scroll further down and you’ll see ESPN and other national sports networks.
Should I get Hulu + Live TV for watching regional sports?
Whether or not the streaming service carries your local RSN channel, you really need to look closely at Hulu + Live TV. Besides getting a solid broadcast and cable lineup at a competitive rate, you’re also getting:
- Hulu’s on-demand catalog ($6.99/month).
- Disney+ ($7.99/month).
- ESPN+ ($9.99/month).
Use the money you save to get a Bally Sports+ subscription. The new streaming service lets you watch your regional Bally channel with our local MBA and NHL teams. Depending on where you live, you may also be able to stream your local MLB teams. Bally Sports+ nicely complements the wealth of content you get with Hulu + Live TV.
Chris Casper is a former tech industry product manager who escaped from California for New Mexico. Now he writes about science and tech while searching for the perfect green chile sauce.