NHL season is back! The best way to watch NHL is through the NHL Network, which offers an extensive amount of US hockey coverage. However, if you want to watch NHL Network without cable, your options are pretty limited.
Below, we explore your top 3 options to get the NHL Network without cable, as well as a few other ways you can get NHL matches throughout the year.
Where Can Watch I NHL Network Without Cable?
Although hockey is the 4th most popular sport in the US, there are not nearly as many options to watch the sport as there are for the big 3 (football, basketball, and baseball). Nevertheless, cable-free options do exist.
If you want to watch NHL network without having to shell out for cable, your options include:
You can also watch NHL games throughout the year without having to use NHL Network. Local broadcasts exist, so you can use over-the-air TV antennas to catch some of those games. Additionally, several streaming services that don’t carry NHL Network also offer NHL games through NBC properties, like NBC Sports Network (NBCSN).
You can read our high-level guide on how to watch NHL games without cable, but we’ll also provide a quick overview at the end of this article. For now, let’s explore your top 3 options to get NHL Network.
If you’re looking for the cheapest entry point for NHL Network, Sling TV is going to be your best option. This service comes in at a comparatively low price to get streaming access and has a few extra advantages for users.
Channels and packages
Through Sling TV, you’ll be able to choose one of three streaming channel packages: Sling Orange ($25/month), Sling Blue ($25/month) or Sling Orange + Blue ($40/month).
Sling Orange Sling Blue Sling Orange + Blue
Price $25 $25 $40
Channels 30+ 40+ 50+
Simultaneous Streams 1 3 4*
ESPN Yes No Yes
Fire TV Support Yes Yes Yes
Roku Support Yes Yes Yes
Special Offers FREE ROKU DEAL FREE ROKU DEAL FREE ROKU DEAL
If you’re trying to get access to NHL Network, any one of these three service packages will work. This is because Sling TV does not provide NHL Network as a standard channel for any of these service packages, but does include it as an add-on channel.
To get NHL Network, just sign up to one of the three options, then add the “Sports Extra” add-on package. This costs $5/month for Sling Orange or $10/month for Sling Blue. Your main difficulty will be deciding which base package has more value for you.
Sling Orange carries 30+ channels, with a focus on Disney-owned properties. You’ll get ESPN networks, Disney, A&E, AMC, History Channel, HGTV, ACC Network, and more. If you opt for Sling Blue, Fox-owned networks take center stage, to include Fox Sports 1 and 2, regional Fox Sports networks, local Fox broadcasters, and a few dozen other entertainment and sports channels.
Sling Orange + Blue also differ slightly in their features, which we’ll cover in a little bit more detail in the next section. Ultimately, if you’re looking for the best value for your money, either of the two basic packages will do.
Features and extras
Sling TV has an OK set of features. We say OK because they’re not the best in the market for this type of service, but they’re far from the worst (DirecTV Now actually takes that title).
With Sling Orange, you’ll get only 1 device stream at a time. The Disney-owned networks are the main reason for this limitation. You can’t increase that limit on these channels, unfortunately. However, with Sling Blue, you’ll get 3 device streams per account, making it much easier to share your Sling account with family or friends.
Sling TV has a cloud DVR, but this does not come with your package for the base price. You’ll need to spend an extra $5/month to get cloud DVR. For that add-on, you’ll get a 50-hour cloud DVR with no expiration date on your video recordings.
Should you make Sling TV your go-to option for watching NHL Network without cable, you can stream on a large number of devices. Sling TV has native apps for Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, iOS and Android devices, several smart TVs, and a few more options. You can also stream directly on the web through most modern browsers.
At a minimum, you can get NHL Network for $30 through Sling TV, or $35 if you want to add cloud DVR. Sling TV offers a 7-day free trial for new subscribers.
DirecTV Now offers NHL Network, but it’s not exactly our favorite service, due to its limited features, and high cost compared to Sling TV. That said, it does offer many more additional channels, compared to Sling TV and NHL.tv.
Channels and packages
This service provides 4 channel packages to subscribers:
- Live A Little: 65+ channels, $40/month
- Just Right: 85+ channels, $55/month
- Go Big: 105+ channels, $65/month
- Gotta Have It: 125+ channels, $75/month
NHL Network is unfortunately not available through the “Live A Little” or “Just Right” streaming packages. Instead, you’ll need to sign up for the $65/month “Go Big” streaming package. That option includes NHL Network alongside 100+ other channels.
“Go Big” includes a fair number of sports channels alongside NHL Network, such as NFL Network, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, Fox Sports 1 and 2, NBC Sports, CBS Sports and more. As you might expect, with that number of channels, there’s also a huge number of popular entertainment channels, such as HGTV, A&E, AMC, History Channel, and Discovery Channel, as well as several news channels.
You’ll note, however, that the minimum price point to get NHL Network from DirecTV Now is more than double that of Sling TV. Although DirecTV Now provides far more channels, it’s not going to be the go-to option for anyone hoping to get NHL Network at as low a cost as possible.
Features and extras
DirecTV Now provides dozens of channels, including NHL Network, but falls a bit short on its features list.
For starters, you can get 2 simultaneous streams per account. This is fairly standard, and you can add a third for just $5 per month extra.
The service has the worst cloud DVR on the market, however. You’ll get a rather paltry 20-hour cloud DVR. To make it even worse, you can only keep those recorded videos for 30 days before they start to expire. This makes it far more limited than most other options on the market, which either have long expiration periods or allow you to record an unlimited amount during the recording window.
DirecTV Now does make up for it a bit by offering a 72-hour rewind feature that lets you watch almost any live TV content within 3 days, even if you didn’t record it on your DVR. Few other services have that feature, making DirectTV Now stand out just a bit from the crowd.
If you want to use DirecTV Now, you can do so on a large number of dedicated apps. You can stream on Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Samsung Smart TVs, iOS and Android devices, and directly from most modern web browsers for Windows and Mac computers.
New subscribers can use the available 7-day free trial.
NHL Network availability is limited to just traditional cable (expensive), Sling TV (cheap), and DirecTV Now (weak features and pricey). You also won’t get coverage for every game on the market through NHL Network.
However, NHL.tv, a standalone service offered directly by the NHL, might be worth considering.
Price and packages
NHL.tv comes in at a price of $139.99 for regular season games. You can also purchase through a $24.99 monthly subscription. There’s also the option to get a single-team pass for $109.99.
NHL.tv also offers discounts if you end up purchasing the service later in the season. The later in the season you sign up, the bigger the discounts.
Note that NHL.tv specifies that it only carries regular season games. This is because NBC holds the broadcast rights for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, so if you want to watch continue watching NHL after the regular season, one of the streaming services is going to be your best option. Sling TV is a good bet there, as it carries NBC Sports, NBC regional sports networks, and local NBC broadcasters through the Sling Blue channel package. And if you can’t get your local NBC affiliate through Sling, you can always use an OTA antenna to pick up the station for free!
Features and extras
NHL.tv has a few unique features that make it a bit different from the other picks on our list, as it’s exclusively dedicated to hockey.
First, you can watch on a good number of devices thanks to a dedicated app. Android and iOS devices are supported, as well as Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Xbox, and PlayStation. You can also stream directly through your web browser.
NHL.tv also sports 60 frame-per-second live video broadcasts, making it far easier to track all of the action. And if you miss any of the action, you there’s a limited DVR option that also allows you to rewind and pause live games with an interactive timeline.
Additionally, you can switch between which team you’re following during live games and get the play-by-play coverage from different announcers. And if there are multiple games happening at once, NHL.tv lets you watch 4 games at the same time with an advanced picture-in-picture feature (assuming your brain can handle that much information at once, of course).
To top it all off, you can also switch camera views during live games, so see the events through different angles. Some games have up to 5 camera angles you can switch to, including cameras near each goal and occasionally a first-person ref cam.
There’s no free trial for NHL.tv, so you may want to sign up to the monthly subscription if you want to try it out before making a longer-term commitment.
How to Watch NHL Without Cable (No NHL Network)
NHL Network isn’t the only way to watch NHL games this season. In this part of our article, we’ll take a look at a few services that don’t have NHL Network, but do have NBC, NBCSN, and other essential channels for regular-season NHL coverage.
A sports-centric cable replacement service, fuboTV offers anywhere from 80 to 100+ channels, depending on which streaming package you choose.
Fubo Fubo Extra Fubo Latino Fubo Português
Price $44.99/mo. $49.99+ $17.99/mo. $19.99/mo.
Channels 75+ 90+ 15+ 5+
Simultaneous Streams 2 2 2 2
Fire TV Support Yes Yes Yes Yes
Roku Support Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sign Up 7-DAY FREE TRIAL 7-DAY FREE TRIAL 7-DAY FREE TRIAL 7-DAY FREE TRIAL
Although it does not carry NHL Network without cable, it does have a huge number of sports networks to offer, including Fox Sports, CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Eleven Sports, beIN Sports, NFL Network, and many more. There are also dozens of entertainment and news channels on offer, even in the base package.
The benefit of fuboTV is in its offering of NBC Sports and local NBC broadcast networks. That should give you coverage for some local NHL matches, as well as the ability to easily watch the Stanley Cup.
fuboTV has a wide range of excellent features as well, including a 30-hour unlimited cloud DVR (upgradable to 500 hours), 2 devices streams per account (upgradable to 3), and support for every popular streaming device on the market.
If you’ve heard and maybe even used Hulu, you may find Hulu with Live TV to be a good potential service to sign up for.
There’s no NHL Network, but you can get access to local NBC broadcast affiliates, some NBC Sports regional networks, and over 50 channels in all. The service also provides a 50-hour cloud DVR and 2 simultaneous device streams, both of which can be upgraded for an additional monthly fee.
What’s more, Hulu with Live TV comes with the entire Hulu on-demand library, making it a great option for anyone who wants both high-quality on-demand content and live TV.
This service comes in at just $39.99 per month, with a 7-day free trial.
Hulu offers a 7-day free trial to for new subscribers.
YouTube isn’t just for cat videos anymore. You can now use its new YouTube TV service to cut the cable and get access to over 60 channels. The price is just $40 per month.
You’ll be able to get local NBC broadcasts and some NBC regional sports networks through YouTube TV, making it a reasonable option for NHL content and the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
YouTube TV is also rich in features, including the option to create 6 user accounts, stream on 3 devices at the same time, and record as much as you want through its unlimited cloud DVR (9-month expiration date on videos).
PlayStation Vue is one of the most loved cord-cutting services on the market. And although it won’t give you NHL Network, it will give you local NBC broadcasts, many NBC regional sports networks, and dozens of channels and good features.
You can sign up for the service using one of four streaming packages, ranging in price from $44.99 to $79.99 per month, and upwards of 90+ channels.
For the price, you’ll get 10 individual user profiles, and the option to stream on up to 5 devices at once. You also get an unlimited cloud DVR with a 28-day expiration date on recorded videos.
PlayStation Vue has a 5-day free trial period and works on more than just PlayStation consoles. You can also stream on apps available for most popular streaming devices like the Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV, as well as iOS and Android devices.