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The Best Way to Watch Live Sports Without Cable in 2022

Updated on Jason Gurwin

Sports for cord-cutters: how to watch sports without cable

The best way to watch live sports without cable is to use a live sports streaming service. Picking the right streaming service requires you to consider several factors.

How to Choose Your Sports Streaming Service

If you love live sports, there’s no reason to stay with cable or satellite. Today, you can stream all your favorite sports on your TV, tablet, or mobile phone. In fact, some sports are now exclusive to streaming services. All you need is an internet connection.

We’ll break down all the best Live TV Streaming Services to stream sports online.

How to Stream Your Favorite Sports Team without Cable

The most important factor is making sure that the service has the most games of your favorite team.

DIRECTV STREAM, fuboTV, Hulu Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV all offer sports channels, most with national sports channels, regional sports networks, local channels, and league networks as part of your service.

With these services, you can watch most live sports using Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, Android TV, iOS, Android, PlayStation, Xbox, and your Smart TV.

If you are looking to learn how to stream a specific sport or team, start with our individual league pages.

Where to watch sports live: Sports streaming options

Plan Free Trial
DIRECTV STREAM $69.99 “Entertainment” Prueba gratis 5 días
$89.99 “Choice”
$104.99 “Ultimate”
$149.99 “Premier”
fuboTV $69.99 “fubo” Prueba gratis 7 días
Hulu Live TV $69.99 “Hulu Live TV” Inscríbete
Philo $25 “Philo” Prueba gratis 7 días
Sling TV $40 “Sling Orange” Get 50% OFF
$40 “Sling Blue”
$55 “Sling Orange + Blue”
YouTube TV $64.99 “YouTube TV” Inscríbete

Live streaming services for sports: how much do they cost?

Most streaming TV services like DIRECTV STREAM, Hulu Live TV, fuboTV, and YouTube TV are $65-$70, with Sling TV only budget streaming TV option with live sports at $35/month. With all of these options, you will be able to watch nationally televised sports on major channels like ESPN.

If you want to watch games on Regional Sports Networks, you will like choose between DIRECTV STREAM and fuboTV. To watch RSNs, you will need to upgrade to DIRECTV STREAM’s Choice Plan ($89.99), which will give you your local RSN in almost every market.

In most cases, if fuboTV carries your local RSN, it will be cheaper than DIRECTV STREAM, since the service only costs $69.99. However, they do charge an additional $8-12 RSN Fee (varies by market), so your overall cost will be close to $80 a month.

If you are looking to save, you could pair Sling TV, which starts at $35 a month with local streaming service like Bally Sports+ ($19.99 a month). With the two services combined, it would cost you about $55 a month to get Sling channels and your local Bally Sports RSN.

Best Live Sports Streaming Service 2022

DIRECTV STREAM – Best for Regional Sports

Total Number of Sports Channels

Depending on your tier, you can get up to 19 Major Sports Channels with DIRECTV STREAM. You will also get live sports on local channels and your regional sports network.

Number of sports channels by channel type

  • Top Sports: Includes 7 Channels on all tiers.
  • Pro Sports: Includes 3 Channels depending on your tier.
  • Regional Sports: Includes Bally Sports RSNs, YES Network, NBC Sports RSNs, AT&T SportsNet RSNs, ROOT Sports, Altitude, MASN, and Spectrum SportsNet in various regions.
  • College Sports: Includes 5 Channels depending on your tier.

Pros & Cons

  • Pro: Has the widest coverage of regional sports of any Live TV Streaming Service
  • Pro: Includes an Unlimited DVR and Unlimited At-Home Streams
  • Con: Pricer than Other Services, Requires $89.99 Choice Tier for Regional Sports
  • Con: Does Not Offer 4K of Any Live Sports

Features

Known for having some of the best video quality of the live streaming services. While they don’t offer 4K, they offer 1080p where available. They have some nice features for sports fans, like the ability to record every team’s games and see sports scores directly from the app.


Sling TV – Best for Sports Streaming on a Budget

Total Number of Sports Channels

At just $35 a month, there is no cheaper option to get live sports like ESPN, which is on their Sling Orange Plan. If you need FS1, USA Network, or NFL Network, you will need their Sling Blue Plan. On both plans, you will get TBS and TNT.

With Sling Orange 4 Major Sports Channels, while you’ll get 5 Major Sports Channels with Sling Blue. You can add up to 17 Additional Channels with their Sports Extra add-on.

Number of sports channels by channel type

  • Top Sports: Includes up to 6 Channels across plans.
  • Pro Sports: Includes up to 4 Channels, which besides NFL Network are in their Sports Extra add-on.
  • Regional Sports: Sling TV does not include any Regional Sports.
  • College Sports: Includes up to 7 Channels, all of which are in their Sports Extra add-on.

Pros & Cons

  • Pro: The least expensive option to get major sports on channels like ESPN, TNT, TBS, and USA Network.
  • Pro: Can Add NFL RedZone as part of their $11 Sports Extra Pack
  • Con: Does not include any Regional Sports.
  • Con: Only includes 50 Hour DVR (can upgrade to 200 Hours for $5).

Features

While Sling TV will help you save money to stream live sports, you won’t have to sacrifice on streaming major sports channels. Sling TV also offers special channels for those looking to track scores, odds, and sports betting lines. They also now let you track live scores and quickly jump to games inside the Sling app.


fuboTV – Best For Saving on Regional Sports

Total Number of Sports Channels

You will get 14 Major Sports Channels with fuboTV, some which will require their Sports Plus Add-On. You will also get live sports on local channels and regional sports networks.

Number of sports channels by channel type

  • Top Sports: Includes 5 Channels
  • Pro Sports: Includes up to 5 Channels
  • Regional Sports: Includes MSG, NESN, NBC Sports RSNs, AT&T SportsNet RSNs, ROOT Sports, and Altitude
  • College Sports: Includes up to 6 Channels

Pros & Cons

  • Pro: Has least expensive coverage of regional sports of any Live TV Streaming Service
  • Pro: Includes 4K coverage as part of their Elite Plan
  • Pro: Offers Multi-Screen Option to watch four games at a time
  • Con: Does not offer TNT and TBS, meaning you will miss some NBA, NHL, and MLB playoff games
  • Con: Most markets have a Regional Sports Fee, which will add $8-12 to your bill

Features

Most people know fuboTV as a service designed for sports fans. While they are missing TNT and TBS, they have a lot of the hard-to-get RSNs like MSG, NESN, AT&T SportsNet, Altitude, and ROOT Sports. They have added features that sports fans will love like MultiView, which lets you watch four games at once, and FanView, which lets you track live stats and scores.


Hulu + Live TV – Best For National Sports

Total Number of Sports Channels

With Hulu + Live TV, you will get 17 Major Sports Channels. You will also get access to ESPN+ at no extra charge and choose to add additional channels, like NFL RedZone, with their Sports Plus Add-On ($10).

Number of sports channels by channel type

  • Top Sports: Includes 7 Channels on all tiers.
  • Pro Sports: Includes up to 2 Channels depending on your tier. You can add NFL RedZone with their Sports Plus Add-on.
  • Regional Sports: Only includes NBC Sports RSNs. Dropped Bally Sports RSNs and YES Network in 2020.
  • College Sports: Includes up to 6 Channels depending on your tier.

Pros & Cons

  • Pro: Has all top sports cable channels and includes ESPN+ at no extra charge
  • Pro: Includes an Unlimited DVR to record all of your team’s games
  • Con: Does not offer Regional Sports Networks in most markets
  • Con: Does not offer any 4K sports coverage

Features

With Hulu + Live TV, you won’t have to sacrifice any major sports channels, except Regional Sports Networks. They let you favorite sports teams to make finding games easy from the interface. One of the best features of Hulu + Live TV though is that it includes an Unlimited DVR and The Disney Bundle at no extra charge. With The Disney Bundle, you will be able to watch all live events exclusive to ESPN+ as part of your Hulu Live TV subscription.


YouTube TV – Best Interface For Sports

Total Number of Sports Channels

You can get 19 Major Sports Channels with YouTube TV. If you want more live sports, they have channels like NFL RedZone and beIn Sports in their Sports Plus Add-on ($11).

Number of sports channels by channel type

  • Top Sports: Includes 7 Channels on all tiers.
  • Pro Sports: Includes 4 Channels depending on your tier.
  • Regional Sports: Only includes NBC Sports RSNs. Dropped Bally Sports RSNs and YES Network in 2020.
  • College Sports: Includes up to 6 Channels depending on your tier.

Pros & Cons

  • Pro: Has all major nationally televised sports
  • Pro: Includes an Unlimited DVR, with easy way to watch “Key Plays” during a game
  • Con: Does not offer Regional Sports Network in most markets
  • Con: Offers select 4K games, but it’s bundled in their expensive $19.99 4K Plus Add-on.

Features

YouTube TV has designed their interface with the sports fan in mind. On top of the Unlimited DVR, when you record a game, you can quickly skip to the most important action with their “Key Plays” feature. You also can also automatically record every game of your favorite team, and track scores and stats from the YouTube TV App.

While they are one of the few services that offer select games in 4K, you need to add their expensive $19.99 a month 4K Plus Add-on to access them.

The best live sports streaming service for you

If you want to see the best streaming service based on the teams you follow, you can use The Streamable's Matchmaker. It’s simple, just pick the teams or channels you want to watch and we will make a recommendation for you.

Get all your sports channels with sports streaming services

Depending on the TV streaming service you choose, you will get different channels as part of the package. On nearly all services, they include top national sports cable channels like ESPN, FS1, USA Network, TNT, and TBS on their base tier.

If you need games on Regional Sports Networks, you have to be more selective because not all services offer them. If you want to watch nationally televised games on league channels like NFL Network, NBA TV, MLB Network, and NHL Network, their availability vary based on service and tier.

Same goes for college sports channels like Big Ten Network, SEC Network, ACC Network, Longhorn Network, and Pac-12 Networks. While you have multiple options to stream them, you may need an add-on package to watch those games.

Cable Channels: Live streaming national sports broadcasts

Hulu Live TV, DIRECTV STREAM and YouTube TV each include ESPN, FS1, TNT, TBS, & USA Network.

These are the most important cable channels to offer live sports. They carry national broadcasts by the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, College Football, College Basketball, and PGA Tour.

fuboTV does not include TNT or TBS, while Sling requires you to upgrade to Sling Orange + Blue ($50) to get all of those channels.

DTV STREAM fuboTV Hulu Philo Sling TV YouTube
Prueba gratis Prueba gratis Inscríbete Prueba gratis 50% OFF Inscríbete
$69.99 $69.99 $69.99 $25 $40 $40 $64.99
ESPN - -
ESPN2 - -
FS1 - -
Fox Sports 2 ≥ $104.99 - - ^ $11
TBS - -
TNT - -
USA Network - -

Regional Sports Networks: stream your local sports teams

Most regular season NBA, MLB, and NHL telecasts will air on your local Regional Sports Network (RSN). If you follow your hometown team, more than 80% of their games will air on your local RSN.

To watch your RSN online without cable, you will need a subscription to one of the major Live TV Streaming Services.

Once you subscribe, you will be able to stream nearly all your local sports games on Apple TV, Roku, Amazon, Fire TV, Chromecast, iOS, and Android.

Regional Sports Networks are included in DIRECTV STREAM “Choice” ($89.99), fuboTV ($69.99), Hulu Live TV ($69.99), and YouTube TV ($64.99).

Almost 85% of all U.S.-based NBA, MLB, and NHL teams can be streamed locally on their RSN using a live streaming service.

DTV STREAM fuboTV Hulu Philo Sling TV YouTube
Prueba gratis Prueba gratis Inscríbete Prueba gratis 50% OFF Inscríbete
$69.99 $69.99 $69.99 $25 $40 $40 $64.99
Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) ≥ $89.99 - - -

Some RSNs are only available on certain streaming services

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as just picking a service. Some RSNs are more exclusive than others. For instance, Bally Sports RSNs, including YES Network are only available on DIRECTV STREAM ($89.99).

For instance, in the New York market — MSG and MSG+ are only available on fuboTV and DIRECTV STREAM, while YES Network is only carried by DIRECTV STREAM.

In Los Angeles, Bally Sports West, Bally Sports SoCal, Spectrum SportsNet, and Spectrum SportsNet LA are only on DIRECTV STREAM.

Additionally, all other Bally Sports RSNs, Altitude, and MASN are only available on DIRECTV STREAM.

In Boston, NESN is only available on fuboTV and DIRECTV STREAM. AT&T SportsNet Southwest, AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh, AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain, and ROOT Sports Northwest are also only available on DIRECTV STREAM and fuboTV.

NBC Sports RSNs like NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports Philadelphia, and NBC Sports Washington are available on most of the streaming services, except Sling TV.

Bally Sports+ may be an option for some sports fans, but that service only covers 16 NBA teams and 12 NHL teams.

Overflow Channels

Only some services carry the overflow channel like NBC Sports Washington+ or a regional Bally Sports channel like Bally Sports Kansas City.

If an overflow channel isn’t available in your streaming service you may be able to watch the game in Fox Sports Go or NBC Sports App.

For example, most providers don’t offer Bally Sports Kansas City, but those who live in Kansas City may be able to use their credentials to watch in the Bally Sports App.

Local Channels: Watch local sports without cable

Local networks are important for sports fans. They air almost every NFL game and some NBA (ABC), NHL (ABC), and MLB (FOX) games. The networks also generally air the most rounds of the playoffs for every professional sports league.

For college sports fans, many college basketball and football games will air on your local CBS, FOX, and ABC affiliate.

For PGA Tour fans, most final rounds of the tournaments will air exclusively on your local CBS or NBC affiliate.

Every Live TV Streaming Service includes local channels in their entry-level package, but not all local channels are available in every market.

Fortunately, at least one streaming service includes the main CBS or FOX affiliate in the local market of every NFL team.

You can see which locals are available in your area by using our Channel Finder.

Pro Sports Channels: Watch more of your favorite sports

Pro Sports channels like NFL Network, NBA TV, MLB Network, and NHL Network are great for those who like to watch highlights, analysis, and out-of-market games of their favorite league.

fuboTV ($69.99) is the only service that offers local channels, RSNs, NFL Network, NBA TV, NHL Network, MLB Network, and NFL RedZone.

One of the least expensive options, Sling’s Sports Extra ($10) add-on, which includes NFL RedZone, NBA TV, MLB Network, and NHL Network. You can add this to Sling Orange or Blue ($40+), which will either give you ESPN or USA/FS1.

FuboTV, Hulu Live TV, YouTube TV, and Sling TV each offer NFL Network and NFL RedZone.

DTV STREAM fuboTV Hulu Philo Sling TV YouTube
Prueba gratis Prueba gratis Inscríbete Prueba gratis 50% OFF Inscríbete
$69.99 $69.99 $69.99 $25 $40 $40 $64.99
MLB Network ≥ $89.99 ^ $11 - - ^ $11 ^ $11
NBA TV ≥ $89.99 ^ $11 - - ^ $11 ^ $11
NFL Network - - -
NFL RedZone - ^ $11 ^ $10 - - ^ $11 ^ $11
NHL Network ≥ $104.99 ^ $11 - - ^ $11 ^ $11 -

College Sports Channels: Stream big college games

While most major college football and basketball games will air on network television, some smaller conference and games will air on specialty college and conference channels.

The major college sports networks are Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network, ESPNU, Longhorn Network, Pac-12 Network, and SEC Network.

There are many good options for college sports fans. Hulu Live TV ($69.99) and YouTube TV ($64.99) each offer Big Ten Network, ACC Network, SEC Network, CBS Sports Network, and ESPNU.

If you want to watch Pac-12 Network, you will have to subscribe to either fuboTV or Sling TV.

DTV STREAM fuboTV Hulu Philo Sling TV YouTube
Prueba gratis Prueba gratis Inscríbete Prueba gratis 50% OFF Inscríbete
$69.99 $69.99 $69.99 $25 $40 $40 $64.99
ACC Network ≥ $89.99 - ^ $11 -
ACC Network Extra - - - ^ $11 -
Big Ten Network ≥ $89.99 - - ^ $11
CBS Sports Network ≥ $104.99 - - -
ESPNU ≥ $89.99 ^ $8 - ^ $11 -
Longhorn Network - - - - ^ $11 - -
Pac-12 Network - ^ $11 - - ^ $11 ^ $11 -
SEC Network ≥ $89.99 - ^ $11 -

Other Sports Channels

fuboTV has one of the strongest packages for soccer, golf, and international sports.

With fuboTV, they include beIn Sports, Golf Channel, Eleven Sports, and the cheapest upgrade to Fox Soccer Plus ($6).

If you’re looking for PGA Tour coverage, DIRECTV STREAM, fuboTV, Hulu Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV each offer Golf Channel in their plan.

DTV STREAM fuboTV Hulu Philo Sling TV YouTube
Prueba gratis Prueba gratis Inscríbete Prueba gratis 50% OFF Inscríbete
$69.99 $69.99 $69.99 $25 $40 $40 $64.99
beIN Sports - - - ^ $11 ^ $11 ^ $11
Next Level Sports - - - - - -
ESPNEWS ≥ $89.99 ^ $8 - ^ $11 -
Fox Soccer Plus - ^ $6 - - - - ^ $11
Golf Channel ≥ $89.99 - - ^ $11
Olympic Channel ≥ $104.99 - ^ $11 ^ $11
Tennis Channel ≥ $89.99 ^ $11 - - ^ $11 ^ $11 -

More cable alternatives for streaming sports

In some cases, sports are now only available on specific streaming services.

Platforms for streaming exclusive sports

ESPN+

ESPN+ has added a ton of exclusive content for sports fans. For NHL fans, you can watch 75+ exclusive NHL games, along with more than 1,050 out-of-market NHL games. For NFL fans, they simulcast select Monday Night Football games, and have an annual exclusive game on the service.

The service is ideal for international soccer fans since they are the only way to watch Bundesliga and LaLiga matches. If you’re into combat sports, you will need ESPN+ to watch every UFC Fight Night and UFC PPV.

Peacock

English Premier League can only be found on Peacock. They are also the home to WWE Network, including all PPV events, as well as Olympic coverage.

Paramount+

Paramount+ is one of the best options for inexpensive live sports. They include all NFL on CBS games in your local market as part of their Essential Plan. You can also watch College Football and PGA Tour Golf, if you upgrade to their Premium Plan, which includes your local CBS affiliate.

For soccer fans, they include live Champions League and Serie A games on all of their plans.

Apple TV+

Apple TV+ is home to several exclusive MLB games and will become the exclusive home to MLS games in 2023.

Amazon Prime Video

Prime Video is the only way to watch Thursday Night Football games.

Out-of-Market Sports Subscriptions

Live TV Streaming Services are the right option for those who live in the same market as their favorite team. For those who have moved away, you will need to subscribe to an out-of-market streaming plan.

Each league offers a different service which will give you access to almost every game that is not broadcast nationally. Some of the services offer the option to purchase a package that includes every team or a single team at a discount.

NFL SundayTicket.TV

Watch out-of-market NFL games and NFL RedZone. It is only available to those who can’t subscribe to DirecTV.

  • $279.99 (every team)

Students can subscribe for only $99 / season

NBA League Pass

Watch out-of-market NBA Games.

  • $89.99 (single team)
  • $99.99 (every team)
  • $129.99 (no commercials)

NHL Power Play on ESPN+

Watch out-of-market NHL Games.

  • Included with ESPN+ Subscription
  • Previously NHL.TV
  • $9.99 / mes or $99.99 / año.

MLB.TV

Watch out-of-market MLB Games.

  • $109.99 (single team)
  • $129.99 (every team)

FAQs on watching sports live without cable

What Are Sports Streaming Services?

There are different types of sports streaming services. What most people are looking for are cable alternatives that will give them the same live sports when they had a cable subscription. For those people, there are five options like DIRECTV STREAM, Hulu Live TV, fuboTV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV. These services will carry channels like ESPN, FS1, TNT, TBS, and USA Network, along with in some cases local channels and Regional Sports Networks.

There are also sports streaming services that offer select exclusive coverage of sports leagues. For instance, ESPN+ carries NHL games, LaLiga, and Bundesliga, Prime Video carries Thursday Night Football, Peacock carries Premier League, Paramount+ has NFL on CBS, Champions League, & Serie A.

If you live away from your favorite team, you may be looking for an out-of-market package. For NFL fans, you can watch out-of-market games with NFL Sunday Ticket. For NBA fans, you can watch NBA League Pass. For MLB fans away from their favorite team, out-of-market games are on MLB.TV. For NHL fans, you can watch out-of-market hockey games with NHL Power Play, which is included with ESPN+.

Can I stream sports in 4K without cable or satellite?

While as of 2022, there still are a limited amount of games broadcast in 4K, they are available without a cable or satellite subscription.

fuboTV and YouTube TV have the widest coverage of 4K sports. fuboTV includes it in the Elite Plan, while YouTube TV requires their 4K Plus Add-On ($19.99). Each service offers select College Football, College Basketball, and Premier League games. YouTube TV also offers some additional coverage of college sports on ESPN, as well as select games on MLB Network and YouTube TV.

fuboTV offers 4K coverage of home games on NESN and NBC Sports Chicago, if they carry those channels in your market.

Which device is best for streaming live sports: Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire Stick, or Roku?

If you are a sports fan, the most powerful streaming device is the Apple TV. For those who have one, if you subscribe to fuboTV, you can watch up to four games at the same time using their Multi-View feature.

Outside of the interface, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and Android TV devices are all more than powerful enough to stream live sports. If you get a higher-end device, you will likely experience less buffering.

If you are planning to stream live sports in 4K, make sure you choose a streaming stick that supports 4K like Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick 4K or Fire Stick Max, Roku Streaming Stick 4K or Express 4K, or Chromecast with Google TV.

Can I watch live sports on my Smart TV without cable?

Just like a streaming stick, you can also watch live sports on your Smart TV without cable. Most Smart TV platforms support the major TV Streaming Services, along with apps to stream out-of-market games. Whether you want to stream on LG Smart TV, Samsung Smart TV, Sony Smart TV, or VIZIO Smart TVs – you generally can watch all the action.

You can check out our streaming device page to see if the sports app you want to stream is supported by your Smart TV.

Is there a lag or delay when streaming sports live compared with cable?

One of the biggest downsides to streaming live sports is that there is usually a delay versus watching on cable or an antenna. On most Live TV Streaming Services, you will likely be 20-30 seconds delayed compared to cable.

While it has reduced from 60 seconds down to 20 seconds over the last few years, expect that if you follow along on Twitter or are texting with friends, that the action might be spoiled. We suggest turning “Do Not Disturb” on your phone during the game.

Since we’ve seen improvements in stream delay, also known as latency, we expect over the next few seasons that it will get better.

Can I cancel my subscriptions when the season is over?

One of the best features of TV streaming services is that they are month-to-month with no contracts. That means you can turn them on and off as you please, and you don’t need to pay with your teams are not playing.

On top of that, you can also add-on packages that you only keep for part of the year. Many people do this with NFL RedZone, which is included in the Sports Add-on of most Live TV Streaming Services. When the NFL season is over, you can just turn it off until the following season.

How can I find what services carry my sports team?

You can use The Streamable’s Matchmaker to find the best streaming options to watch your favorite sports team or sports channels. It’s simple, just search for your team or channel, add your Zip Code, and we’ll show you the best options.

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