Let’s be honest, there are few feelings that can match the rush of watching live as your favorite team catches a pass in the end zone, snags a game winning run in the bottom of the ninth, or gets a sudden KO in the middle of the octagon. Even seeing these major moments an hour later — or worse, catching wind of them on Twitter — is enough to cause despair.
But how do you watch live sports if you don’t have cable — or even a TV? The good news is that you don’t have to rely on cable anymore in order to follow your favorite sports teams live, and these services prove that.
There are lots of services out there though, making it a little hard to navigate which are the best. For example, the best place to watch the World Cup are sites like Fubo TV and Hulu Live, while something like NFL Game Pass is going to get you all the football you need. With the exception of NFL Game Pass, these offer great options for watching other sports as well and strike a nice balance between price and options.
There are others that work best for one sport but maybe not another, and others still that offer more flexibility. Read on to discover which streaming apps and services will be the best for you.
Most comprehensive for sports fans
Not as much non-sports content
If your priority is sports, this is probably the service for you.
1. Fubo TV
The best option out there for the biggest sports fan is . It offers access to a wide array of local and national channels live so you don’t miss out. The backbone is the 30+ channels available to choose from (depending on how many local channels there are in your area). There are the obvious ones like Fox and NBC, that way you can prioritize every game in the World Cup, from group stages to the final match. And examples of local channels include MSG and the YES network for those living in New York City. And as an avid Rangers and Yankees fan, that’s definitely a selling point. (Just saying.)
And if you’re not sure, there is a free, seven-day trial available so you can test it out before committing to the full price.
Easy to find games by genre • Includes tons of TV and movie programming • Very portable between devices
Local offerings are limited
If sports is just one of the many things you want from a streaming service, Hulu Live could be the way to go.
2. Hulu Live
By signing up for Hulu Live or upgrading from the base $7.99 service, you get access to live TV through most major networks, plus some local channels as well. That means Fox, NBC, CBS, and their affiliated sports channels are right there at your fingertips on any device. The portability of Hulu cannot be overstated. Not only can you watch it on your smart TV or your laptop, but via the Hulu app as well on any streaming platform.
Hulu organizes channels and networks by genre, so you can find Group B games in the World Cup or jump between MLB games. It also makes finding replays easier as well, so if you missed the World Cup opener where Russia throttled Saudi Arabia, it’s right there at your fingertips. And while it might not get as many local channels as some other offerings, you do get a pretty decent movie selection with it, like the Lord of the Rings trilogy, I, Tonya, and Arrival.
Offers most major networks • Includes YouTube Red originals
Limited local offerings
While YouTubeTV won’t give you as many local channels, it does offer YouTube Red originals in addition to most networks.
This is where YouTubeTV comes into the equation. Growing out of the original platform and YouTube Red, YouTubeTV offers live coverage of most major networks, including sports affiliates. That means FSN and NBCSN are available so that you don’t miss the biggest games of the week, much like Fubo TV and Hulu Live.
And unlike a cable provider that’s going to lock you into a contract, a site like YouTubeTV lets you cancel at anytime. This means that if you’re really only into basketball, you can tune in during the regular season then cancel your account once the NBA finals conclude. And, much like Fubo and Hulu, you can try YouTube TV free for seven days if you’re undecided.
The downside is that YouTubeTV is a little more limited in its offerings when it comes to local channels, giving services like the aforementioned Hulu and Fubo an edge. That said, it does provide access to all YouTube Red originals, which has slowly been building a large and varied catalogue of original content, its most recent hit being Cobra Kai.
Choose from several packages and price points • Premium channels are available
A good choice if you want to replace cable for slightly less money than cable.
4. PlayStation Vue
serves as a similar option to the aforementioned services, providing national and local networks without the need for a cable box. (And a robust package for the World Cup, to boot.) Compared to the others, though, this is a little more of a build as you go setup, with four different tiers. These do scale up with more becoming available the more you’re willing to spend, with the $74.99 ultra tier offering access to HBO and Showtime.
As it relates to sports, that flexibility really works in favor. With four options to pick from, you can definitely pick between a basic selection of channels leading up to the full monty along with NFL Red Zone. That does include some local affiliates as well, so the local FSN affiliate would be available. However, the downside is the price for everything. The two cheaper packages do offer the basic channels like ESPN and FS1, but the top tier package is the one most would like shoot for, and that’s before the extra charges for the sports package, which includes Red Zone and doesn’t work with the starting package. That does push to the pricier side of things, though compared to some cable contracts, its still an improvement.
Doesn’t offer the big network games
If you just want to watch sports and not spend a lot of money, this is the way to go.
That sort of coverage and varied programming is what makes worth it, and a steal at such a low price tag. While it doesn’t get the same number of big games as some other networks or providers, definitely makes up for it in sheer variety. You could go from MLB to college lacrosse to tennis in a snap. Add to that programs like 30 for 30 and SportsCenter, and you’ve got a pretty decent sports offering right there.
Best coverage of men’s NCAA basketball • Includes CBS network shows and originals • Great coverage of the NFL AFC
Not much else • sports-wise
If you’re mainly a men’s college basketball fan, this could be the only streaming service you need.
6. CBS All Access
Compared to most other networks, CBS offers the best coverage of men’s NCAA basketball than any other network. From the men’s regular season, division championships, and finally March Madness, CBS has established itself as the undisputed king of college basketball. And since you can get the first week free (and ostensibility can cancel before the subscription kick in) you can watch the height of the action without paying a penny.
It’s also worth mentioning CBS’s dedicated coverage of the NFL AFC, which prove to be some of the most competitive and dominant teams in the league.
Unfortunately there isn’t much of a selection beyond NCAA basketball and the NFL AFC. However, CBS has shown a desire to supply original content to the service as well, much like Netflix and Amazon. CBS All Access launched with Star Trek: Discovery, which will be getting a second season, with more exclusive shows on the way.
The premier platform for esports
If you’re into esports, Twitch is the way to go. But you probably already know that.
7. Twitch Prime (Via Amazon)
It’s because of this kind of exposure that several leagues, like the Overwatch League, have chosen to use Twitch as their core streaming platform. And given the booming popularity of esports, it only made sense that Twitch would serve a major role. And the great thing here is that there are two options available. If you don’t want to pay for anything, you don’t have to. Just use Twitch to sit back, relax, and see if the Shanghai Dragons can get their first win. If you get sick of commercials though, sign up for (or link your account if you already have one) and you get all the added benefits, like streaming music, a deep movie library, and free two-day shipping on select Amazon products.
Access to all fights and UFC content
Pricey for just one sport
It won’t get you movies or TV, but if you’re an MMA fanatic, UFC Fight Pass is the way to go.
8. UFC Fight Pass
So it only makes sense that it would offer its own dedicated platform for MMA fanatics to catch every fight, no matter where they are. That means you can catch an entire packed card, from the prelims to the main event, with no fuss through . It also gets you access to every piece of content dropped by UFC, whether that be the latest in Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender or a vlog following fighters leading up to a big fight.
Offers nearly every game • every week • Has replays of games you may have missed
No Super Bowl • Is subject to weird blackouts of local games
If you’re a die-hard NFL fan, this service is cheap enough to add on top of other streaming services.
9. NFL Game Pass
It does come with a couple of catches, though. The biggest is that you cannot watch the Super Bowl live through Game Pass. This is due to network rotation between CBS, Fox, and NBC to air the Super Bowl. Also, given NFL and network practices, “local” games tend to suffer from blackouts in favor of the out of market games in . That means that, say you live in Los Angeles and want to watch the Rams, you’ll have to go through Fox, CBS, NBC, or ESPN depending on where and when they’re playing. This is a common problem you’ll run into with any league-dedicated streaming service. Even so, the NFL Game Pass is probably the best value of them all.
10. NBC Sports App
While there are plenty of people cutting cable, there are still plenty of others who are happy with what they have. To that end, it is always worth seeing if anyone in your family still has cable. If they do, you can simply share the account to get access. That way, you won’t miss the NFL’s Sunday night game or NHL’s featured game of the week. Just log into the and you’re good to go.
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