The Best Way to Watch Live Sports Without Cable in 2018

One of the biggest reasons people won’t cut the cord is because they are afraid that they won’t be able to stream their favorite sports teams.

Fortunately, most Live TV Streaming Services offers a way to watch every major live sporting event online without the need of a cable or satellite subscriptions.

How to Choose Sports Streaming Service

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

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

How to Stream Your Favorite Sports Team without Cable

If you are looking to learn how to stream a specific sport or team, we suggest taking a look at our individual league pages.

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

Plan Free Trial Offers
DIRECTV NOW $40 “Live a Little” 7-Day Free Trial Roku Streaming Stick for $0
w/ 1-month subscription
$55 “Just Right”
$65 “Go Big”
$75 “Gotta Have It”
fuboTV $45 “fubo” 7-Day Free Trial $5 OFF
Learn More
$50 “fubo Extra”
Hulu Live TV $40 “Hulu Live TV” Sign Up -
Philo $16 “Philo Base” 7-Day Free Trial Free Pandora Premium
Learn More
$20 “Philo Plus”
PlayStation Vue $45 “Access” 5-Day Free Trial -
$50 “Core”
$60 “Elite”
$80 “Ultra”
Sling TV $25 “Sling Orange” 7-Day Free Trial Free Roku
w/ 2-month subscription
$25 “Sling Blue”
$40 “Sling Orange + Blue”
YouTube TV $40 “YouTube TV” 7-Day Free Trial -

Cable Channels

DIRECTV NOW, Hulu Live TV, PlayStation Vue, and YouTube TV each include ESPN, FS1, NBCSN, TNT, and TBS.

These are the major cable channels that broadcast live sports. These networks have national broadcasts by the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, College Football, College Basketball, and PGA Tour.

fuboTV does not include ESPN, while Sling requires you to upgrade to Sling Orange + Blue ($40) to get all of those channels.

DIRECTV fuboTV Hulu Philo PS Vue Sling TV YouTube
Free Trial Free Trial Sign Up Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial
$40–$75 $45–$50 $40 $16–$20 $45–$80 $25 $25 $40
ESPN - - -
ESPN2 - - -
Fox Sports 1 - -
Fox Sports 2 ≥ $65 - -
NBC Sports Network - -
TBS -
TNT -

Regional Sports Networks

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 NOW “Just Right” ($55), Sling Blue ($25), fuboTV Premier ($45), Hulu Live TV ($40), PlayStation Vue “Core” ($50), and YouTube TV ($40).

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

DIRECTV fuboTV Hulu Philo PS Vue Sling TV YouTube
Free Trial Free Trial Sign Up Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial
$40–$75 $45–$50 $40 $16–$20 $45–$80 $25 $25 $40
Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) ≥ $55 - ≥ $50 -

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, in the New York market — MSG and MSG+ are only available on DIRECTV NOW and fuboTV.

In Boston, NESN is only available on fuboTV, PlayStation Vue, and YouTube TV.

Overflow Channels

Only some services carry the overflow channel like NBC Sports Washington+ or a regional Fox Sports Network like Fox 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 Fox Sports Kansas City, but those who live in Kansas City may be able to use their credentials to watch in Fox Sports Go.

DIRECTV fuboTV Hulu Philo PS Vue Sling TV YouTube
Free Trial Free Trial Sign Up Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial
$40–$75 $45–$50 $40 $16–$20 $45–$80 $25 $25 $40
Altitude - - - - - - - -
AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh - - - - - - - -
AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain - - - - - - - -
AT&T SportsNet Southwest - - - - - - - -
Fox Sports Arizona ≥ $55 - ≥ $50 -
Fox Sports Carolinas - - - ≥ $50 - -
Fox Sports Detroit ≥ $55 - ≥ $50 -
Fox Sports Florida ≥ $55 - ≥ $50 -
Fox Sports Indiana - - ≥ $50 - -
Fox Sports Kansas City - - - ≥ $50 - -
Fox Sports Midwest ≥ $55 - ≥ $50 -
Fox Sports New Orleans - - ≥ $50 - -
Fox Sports North ≥ $55 - ≥ $50 -
Fox Sports Ohio ≥ $55 - ≥ $50 -
Fox Sports Oklahoma ≥ $55 - - ≥ $50 - - -
Fox Sports Prime Ticket ≥ $55 - ≥ $50 -
Fox Sports San Diego ≥ $55 - ≥ $50 -
Fox Sports South ≥ $55 - ≥ $50 -
Fox Sports Southeast ≥ $55 - ≥ $50 -
Fox Sports Southwest ≥ $55 - ≥ $50 -
Fox Sports Sun ≥ $55 - ≥ $50 -
Fox Sports Tennessee - - - ≥ $50 - -
Fox Sports West ≥ $55 - ≥ $50 -
Fox Sports Wisconsin ≥ $55 - ≥ $50 - -
LA FC Sports Network - - - - - - -
Longhorn Network ≥ $55 - - - ≥ $50 - - -
MASN - - - - - - - -
MASN2 - - - - - - - -
MSG ≥ $55 - - - - - -
MSG+ ≥ $55 - - - - - -
NBC Sports Bay Area ≥ $55 - ≥ $50 -
NBC Sports Boston ≥ $55 - ≥ $50 - -
NBC Sports California ≥ $55 - ≥ $50 -
NBC Sports Chicago ≥ $55 - ≥ $50 -
NBC Sports Northwest - - ≥ $50 - -
NBC Sports Philadelphia - - ≥ $50 - -
NBC Sports Philadelphia+ - - - - - -
NBC Sports Washington ≥ $55 - ≥ $50 -
NBC Sports Washington+ - - ≥ $50 - - -
NESN - - - ≥ $50 - -
Orlando City SC Sports Network - - - - - - -
Root Sports Northwest - - - - - - - -
Seattle Sounders Sports Network - - - - - - -
Spectrum SportsNet LA - - - - - - - -
SportsNet NY ≥ $55 - ≥ $50 - -
SportsTime Ohio ≥ $55 - ≥ $50 -
YES Network ≥ $55 - ≥ $50 -

Some RSNs are not on available on any live streaming service

There are some Regional Sports Networks that are not available on any service — namely Altitude, AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh, AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain, AT&T SportsNet Southwest, MASN, Root Sports Northwest, and SportsNet LA.

This means that fans of some teams will be left out of their local team’s games if they decide to cut the cord.

What happens when I’m traveling?

With the exception of DIRECTV NOW, all services allow you to watch your local RSN even when traveling.

This means if you are travel from New York to San Francisco, you’ll still be able to watch YES Network.

Local Channels

Local networks are important for sports fans. They air almost every NFL game and some NBA (ABC), MLB (FOX), NHL (NBC) 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.

DIRECTV fuboTV Hulu Philo PS Vue Sling TV YouTube
Free Trial Free Trial Sign Up Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial
$40–$75 $45–$50 $40 $16–$20 $45–$80 $25 $25 $40
CBS - - -
NBC - -
Fox - -
ABC - - ^ $5 -

Pro Sports Channels

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.

If you’re purely an NFL fan, Sling TV offers NFL Network as part of their “Sling Blue” $25 plan. You can add the Sling’s Sports Extra ($10) add-on, which includes NBA TV, NFL RedZone, and NHL Network.

If you don’t need ESPN, then Sling Blue with Sports Extra ($35) is the cheapest combo for NFL and NHL fans.

PlayStation Vue ($45) is the only service that offers NFL Network, NBA TV, and MLB Network.

DIRECTV fuboTV Hulu Philo PS Vue Sling TV YouTube
Free Trial Free Trial Sign Up Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial
$40–$75 $45–$50 $40 $16–$20 $45–$80 $25 $25 $40
MLB Network ≥ $55 - - - ≥ $50 - -
NBA TV ≥ $65 - - ≥ $50 ^ $5 ^ $10
NFL Network ≥ $55 - - ≥ $50 - -
NFL RedZone - ^ $9 - - ^ $10 - ^ $10 -
NHL Network ≥ $65 - - - - ^ $5 ^ $10 -

College Sports Channels

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. YouTube TV and Hulu Live TV each offer Big Ten Network, SEC Network, CBS Sports Network, and ESPNU for $40 / month.

PlayStation Vue is the only service that offers every major College Sports channel (except for Pac-12 Network).

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

DIRECTV fuboTV Hulu Philo PS Vue Sling TV YouTube
Free Trial Free Trial Sign Up Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial
$40–$75 $45–$50 $40 $16–$20 $45–$80 $25 $25 $40
ACC Network Extra - - - -
Big Ten Network ≥ $55 - ≥ $50 - -
CBS Sports Network ≥ $65 - ≥ $50 - -
ESPNU ≥ $55 - - ≥ $50 ^ $5 -
Fox College Sports - ^ $9 - - ≥ $60 - - -
Longhorn Network ≥ $55 - - - ≥ $50 - - -
Pac-12 Network - - - - ^ $5 ^ $10 -
SEC Network ≥ $55 - - ≥ $50 ^ $5 -

Other Sports Channels

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

In their entry-level fuboTV Premier plan 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, Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV ($40) each offer Golf Channel in their plan.

DIRECTV fuboTV Hulu Philo PS Vue Sling TV YouTube
Free Trial Free Trial Sign Up Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial Free Trial
$40–$75 $45–$50 $40 $16–$20 $45–$80 $25 $25 $40
beIN Sports - - - - ^ $5 ^ $10 -
Eleven Sports - - - ≥ $60 - - -
ESPNEWS ≥ $55 - - ≥ $50 ^ $5 -
Fox Soccer Plus - ^ $6 - - ^ $15 - - ^ $15
Golf Channel ≥ $65 - ≥ $50 - ^ $10
Olympic Channel ≥ $65 - - -
Tennis Channel ≥ $55 - - - - - -

Out-of-Market 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.

Most 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.

  • $119.99 (single team)
  • $199.99 (every team)
  • $249.99 (no commercials)

MLB.TV

Watch out-of-market MLB Games.

  • $79.99 (single team)
  • $119.99 (every team)

Students can receive a 30% discount.

NHL.TV

Watch out-of-market NHL Games.

  • $111.99 (single team)
  • $139.99 (every team)

Students can receive a 30% discount.

Live TV Streaming Pages