Sports programming has always been a reason for keeping your cable subscription, but Rays fans have plenty of streaming options. Here are seven ways you can watch the Tampa Bay Rays online — and save money by canceling your cable.

Which Channels Stream Rays Baseball?

Tampa Bay will only get two nationally-broadcast games in the 2019 season. Both games appear on the MLB Network. Those living in Florida, however, will get to watch most games on their regional sports channel Fox Sports Sun.

To watch other MLB teams during the regular season, you will want a streaming service that also carries the basic cable channels ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 and TBS. You will also want to get the stream of your local Fox station. But there is a catch. Your local station may not have signed a deal with all of the streaming services. Be sure to check your zip code before signing up.

Streaming Services for Rays Fans

fuboTV

watch fubotv
Source: fuboTV

FuboTV has always focused on sports. For the first few years, most of its content catered to fans of international soccer. Since then, fuboTV has expanded its channel lineup to include mainstream lifestyle and entertainment channels. Today, FuboTV is a solid choice as a cable replacement for sports-loving households.

Channels and packages

While fuboTV is sports-centric, there is one gaping ESPN-shaped hole in its lineup. The streaming service hasn’t managed to sign a deal with Disney to carry ESPN or the media giant’s other channels. However, you will get Fox, FS1 and TBS. Floridians also get Fox Sports Sun.

The upgrade from fubo to fubo Extra gets you twenty more channels, evenly split between entertainment, sports and news.

Features and extras

The cloud DVR that fuboTV includes with both subscription has thirty hours of recording capacity. However, you can upgrade that to a full five hundred hours. This will add $10 to your monthly bill.

You can also upgrade the number of devices that can stream a fuboTV account at the same time. Instead of two devices, your household can use three devices simultaneously for an extra $6 per month.

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

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Sling TV

Watch Sling TV
Source: Sling TV

Sling TV was the most popular streaming service in the United States when it was launched by satellite TV provider DISH. Over the past two years, however, new cordcutters seem to have preferred Sling TV’s competitors. Although you have to deal with complicated service plans and features, a solid lineup and unique expansion options still make Sling TV a good option.

Channels and packages

Ignore Sling TV’s low subscription prices. The only way to maximize your baseball watching is to subscribe to both the Sling Orange and Sling Blues plans. This gets you ESPN, ESPN2, Fox, FS1 and TBS as well as Fox Sports Sun for people in Florida. MLB Network is the only missing element.

Sling Orange
Free Roku Deal
$25.00/ month

34 channels

ESPN

Free Roku Express

1 simultaneous stream.

SIGN UP
Sling Blue
Free Roku Deal$25.00/ month

49 channels

ESPN

Free Roku Express

3 simultaneous streams

SIGN UP
Sling Orange + Blue
Free Roku Deal
$40.00/ month

56 channels

ESPN

Free Roku Express

4* simultaneous streams

SIGN UP
* You get 1 stream for Sling Orange channels and up to 3 simultaneous streams for Sling Blue channels.

Sling TV’s “Extras” are expansion packages that bundle additional channels according to themes like sports or kids. You can even add channels from other countries.

Features and extras

Another misleading aspect of Sling TV’s pricing is the way it treats its cloud DVR. Every other streaming company lets you record live TV to a cloud DVR as a standard part of their services. Sling TV makes you pay extra. Even when you pay the $5 per month, the fifty-hour limit is middle-of-the-road capacity. On top of that, Orange-exclusive channels like ESPN cannot be recorded.

Another limitation to the Orange-exclusive channels is that only one of them can be streamed at a time. If someone in the house is watching ESPN2, then nobody can watch ESPN. Or Disney. Or Freeform.

All of the channels on Sling Blue can be streamed to as many as three devices simultaneously. In Sling TV’s favor, the company supports apps on more devices than any other streaming service.

  • Living room devices: Azulle Mini PC Sticks, Air TV Player, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku and Xaomi Mi TV.
  • Smart TVs and Blu-ray players: Models based on Android TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku. Also, certain models from LG and Samsung.
  • Mobile devices and tablets: Amazon Fire tablets, Android and iOS.
  • Game consoles: Xbox One.
  • Desktop browsers: Chrome.

Hulu with Live TV

watch hulu with live TV
Source: Hulu with Live TV

Hulu with Live TV is one of the newer streaming TV services. Although its features are not always best-in-class, Hulu’s on-demand content makes it a popular choice.

Channels and packages

There is only one subscription plan. For $45 per month, you will get about fifty basic cable and broadcast channels. This includes ESPN, ESPN2, Fox, FS1 and TBS. Regionally, Fox Sports Sun is available in Florida. Unfortunately, Hulu does not carry the MLB Network.

A nice add-on to the standard subscription is a $4 upgrade that removes commercials from almost every on-demand program. This also applies to your “recorded” content as long as the show is part of Hulu’s on-demand service. If you record a baseball game, however, you’ll get all the ads from the live telecast.

Features and extras

Hulu’s standard features aren’t much different from all the other services. You get fifty hours of recording time on the standard cloud DVR and a two-device limit for simultaneous streaming. The cloud DVR upgrade will take you to two hundred hours and the simultaneous streaming upgrade will take you to three devices. You can buy each one for $15 per month or combine them for a discounted $20 monthly rate.

  • Living room devices: Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast and Roku.
  • Smart TVs and Blu-ray players: Certain Samsung and LG televisions as well as some devices based on Amazon Fire TV or Roku.
  • Mobile devices and tablets: Android and iOS.
  • Game consoles: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Xbox 360.
  • Desktop browsers: Most browsers.

DirecTV Now

watch directv now
Source: DirecTV Now

DirecTV Now was another one of the original streaming services. It’s owned by AT&T and has been slow to react to new competitors. Having said that, DirecTV Now has one of the largest channel lineups of any streaming service, which can make it a compelling choice for new cordcutters.

Channels and packages

DirecTV Now’s subscription plans are much easier to understand than Sling TV’s. If you want more channels, you pay a higher rate. Baseball fans will have to skip the entry-level Live A Little plan and go straight to the Just Right plan. That’s the only way to get all of the national and regional sports channels that carry the Tampa Bay Rays.

  • Live a Little: 65+ channels / $40 per month.
  • Just Right: 85+ channels / $55 per month.
  • Go Big: 105+ channels / $65 per month.
  • Gotta Have It: 125+ channels / $75 per month.
  • Todo y Más: 90+ spanish-language channels / $45 per month.

Features and extras

The cloud DVR DirecTV Now offers is particularly weak. You only get twenty hours of recording capacity. You can’t even pay DirecTV Now money to upgrade it. The only thing you can upgrade is the simultaneous streaming limit. For another $5 per month, you can go from two devices at a time to three devices at a time.

  • Living room devices: Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast and Roku.
  • Smart TVs and Blu-ray players: Samsung and Amazon Fire TV televisions.
  • Mobile devices and tablets: Android and iOS.
  • Game consoles: None, but Xbox One support is “coming soon”.
  • Desktop browsers: DirecTV Now only streams to Chrome and Safari browsers. With Internet Explorer and Firefox, you can only manage your settings.

PlayStation Vue

watch playstation vue
Source: PlayStation Vue

Sony launched its streaming service around the same time as Sling TV and DirecTV Now. Using the name PlayStation Vue, however, may have been a mistake. The name causes some to believe that the streaming service only works on PlayStation game consoles. The truth is, PlayStation Vue works on just about every platform, offers a premium set of features and has a strong channel lineup.

Channels and packages

As with DirecTV Now, the only way to get all of the national and regional networks carrying Major League Baseball is to sign up for the step-up subscription plan. At $50 per month for 70 channels, the Core plan is still competitive with other streaming services.

  • Access: 45+ channels for $45 per month.
  • Core: 70+ channels for $50 per month.
  • Elite: 94 channels for $60 per month.
  • Ultra: 96 channels for $80 per month.

The Elite plan simply unlocks all of the basic cable channels PlayStation Vue offers. The Ultra plan adds premium movie channels to the mix.

Features and extras

PlayStation Vue’s standard features outclass every other streaming service. You get unlimited recording capacity on the cloud DVR. If you have a big family or several roommates, the five device limit on simultaneous streaming will come in handy.

  • Living room devices: Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast and Roku.
  • Smart TVs and Blu-ray players: Televisions based on Amazon Fire TC, Android TV and Roku.
  • 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.

YouTube TV

watch youtube tv
Source: YouTube TV

YouTube TV is one of the fastest-growing cable-replacement services. Name recognition certainly helps, but that’s not the only reason for its success. The company’s executives made a point to sign deals with as many local station owners as possible. If getting your local ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC stations is important to you, then YouTube TV will be your best choice.

Channels and packages

YouTube TV takes a one-size-fits-all approach to pricing. You pay $40 per month and you get more than seventy basic cable and broadcast channels. All of the networks that carry Major League Baseball are part of the standard lineup.

Features and extras

YouTube TV also offers an unlimited cloud DVR, but it only allows three devices to stream simultaneously.

The biggest issue with YouTube TV is that it does not support Amazon’s Fire TV or Echo devices.

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

MLB.TV

Stream Yankees Baseball on MLB.TV
Source: MLB

MLB.TV is designed to let diehard baseball fans watch games played by teams outside the fans’ home markets. Everybody outside of Florida can use their MLB.TV subscription to watch Tampa Bay Rays games, but that’s not true for anyone living in Florida.

Plans and coverage

For $119 per year, you can get the All Teams subscription plan, which lets you watch all teams except your own. If you’re a Rays fan living outside Florida, you can spring for the $92 Single Team plan to just get Rays games. But why not pay the extra $27 to get all the other teams?

Blackout rules

Major League Baseball’s blackout policies apply to its own streaming service. Besides blacking out Rays games in Florida, the MLB’s own app won’t stream ESPN’s nationally broadcast weekend games.

Features

Confusingly, MLB has two different apps for streaming devices. On mobile and tablets, you’ll use the At Bat app. On streaming devices and smart TVs you’ll use the MLB.TV app.

  • Living room devices: MLB.TV app for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV Sticks and Roku.
  • Smart TVs and Blu-ray players: MLB.TV app for certain Samsung televisions and devices based on certain versions of Amazon Fire TV, Android TV or Roku.
  • Mobile devices and tablets: At Bat app for Amazon Fire tablets, Android and iOS.
  • Game consoles: MLB.TV app for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
  • Desktop browsers: Most browsers.

In most cases, the apps support video running at 60 frames per second. This makes fast-moving sports look much better. For some reason, devices based on Android don’t support this feature.

Since all of the games will be available on-demand shortly after they air, MLB.TV does not have a cloud DVR. However, during the live broadcast you can pause, rewind and fast forward any video stream.