One major reason people hesitate to cut the cord on cable TV is that they don’t want to miss their favorite live sports. But don’t worry, we’re here to tell you how to watch pro sports without cable.
Whether you want to watch a game on your phone, laptop, or television, there’s probably a way to stream live sports without paying for an expensive cable or satellite subscription.
Now, this doesn’t mean you’ll always be able to access your favorite pro sports for free. There may be some options for that, but your best bet is subscribing to the right streaming service(s).
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Ways to Watch Pro Sports Without Cable
Nowadays, you don’t have to sign up for a spendy cable or satellite subscription if you’re a sports fan. There are plenty of ways to watch pro sports without cable, no contract or special equipment required.
1. Sling TV
With Sling TV, you can stream and record TV channels just like you would with cable, so you never miss a game.
Sling TV includes 30+ channels of top news, live sports, and more. And as with any live event, you’ll have commercials to sit through.
Choose from the Orange, Blue, or Orange and Blue plans.
The Orange plan ($35/month) is touted as the “Sports and Families” plan. It includes 50 hours of DVR storage and 1 device stream. The big draw for the Orange plan is ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3.
But don’t discount the Blue plan ($35/month). It includes 50 hours of DVR storage as well, with the bonus of 3 device streams. The Blue plan includes FOX and FOX Sports 1, NBC, NFL Network, and USA.
Both options include TBS and TNT if you’re interested in watching professional sports that air on those channels.
With either plan, you can opt to add the Sports Extra package for $11/month. This includes a bunch of college sports networks as well as Golf Channel, MLB Network, NBA TV, Olympic Channel, and more.
Please note: The Sports Extra package varies slightly depending on if you’re adding it to the Orange plan or the Blue plan.
With Sling TV, there are no long-term contracts and you can pause, adjust your plan, or cancel anytime.
Sling TV doesn’t carry very many regional channels for local sports, but you can always get an HD antenna for local sports and NFL games on CBS, FOX, and NBC.
- Cost: as low as $35/month
- Current Offer: 50% off your first month, plus a free month of Showtime, Starz, and Epix
2. YouTube TV
If you want an experience similar to cable, YouTube TV is a good bet. It includes 85+ top channels of entertainment, news, live sports, and more.
YouTube TV makes it easy to get started watching your favorite sports. You can choose which teams to follow, and their games will automatically be recorded and ready for you the next time you sit down to watch.
There are no storage limits with YouTube TV, so no worries about running out of space.
Each subscription also includes up to six accounts, which means that you can share with your family group. However, keep in mind that you can only stream on three devices at a time.
The flat rate of $64.99/month gets you local channels, plus lots of sports channels like ESPN, ESPN2, college sports networks, Golf Channel, MLB Network, NBA TV, NFL Network, and more.
If the standard plan isn’t enough for you, you can add the Sports Plus Add-On ($10.99/month) to get channels like beIN SPORTS, FOX Soccer Plus, NFL RedZone, SportsGrid, and more.
- Cost: as low as $64.99/month
- Current Offer: 7-day free trial, plus $10 off your first three months
The big claim of fuboTV is “live sports and TV without cable.” They offer 100+ channels live and on-demand, with 1000 hours of space with Cloud DVR.
Channel offerings vary by location, but you can see what’s available near you before you sign up.
I live in a major metropolitan area and I have 124 channels available through fuboTV with over 100 sporting events.
You may find that the Pro plan ($69.99/month) suits your needs, but if you want an upgrade the Elite plan ($79.99/month) carries more channels as well as fubo Extra and News Plus.
fuboTV allows you to watch three screens on your mobile devices, and up to ten screens at once if all devices are signed in to your home wireless network.
Add-ons are plentiful if you want. Sports Plus with NFL Redzone is $10.99/month, and fubo Extra is $7.99/month. International sports fans may want to add the International Sports Plus package for $6.99/month.
- Cost: as low as $69.99/month
- Current offer: 7-day free trial
4. Hulu + Live TV (with Disney+ and ESPN+)
Hulu + Live TV offers all of Hulu’s original and archived content as well as 75+ live TV channels.
And you used to have to pay extra to bundle Hulu + Live TV with Disney+ and ESPN+, but that’s no longer the case. Now you can get all three streaming services for $69.99/month.
You’ll find that the setup is similar to YouTube TV in terms of how you browse, sit through ads/commercials, etc. But there’s a lot more content on Hulu and Disney+ that you won’t find anywhere else.
I did a quick search for channels available in my area and found that I could stream live local channels as well as ESPN, various college networks, FS1, FS2, the NFL Network, and more.
Add the Sports Add-On package for $9.99/month to get NFL RedZone, Outdoor Channel, and a few others. Unfortunately, Hulu + Live TV does not include MLB Network or NBA TV at the moment.
Hulu + Live TV allows you to watch two screens at a time, but there is an unlimited screen add-on available for an extra $9.99/month. You can also upgrade to the No Ads version of Hulu for an additional $6/month.
- Cost: as low as $69.99/month
- Current Offer: nothing at the moment, but you can get a free 1-month trial of Hulu
5. Hulu with ESPN+
Don’t need live TV? You may be OK with just getting the standard Hulu plan and adding ESPN+.
Hulu starts at $6.99/month (with ads), and you can add ESPN+ for an additional $6.99/month. But you might as well just get the Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+ bundle for $13.99/month.
A quick tip: If you can pony up the extra $6/month to get the No Ads plan with Hulu, do it. It is worth every penny. Just trust me on that one.
With ESPN+ on Hulu, you can stream live sports like MLB, MLS, NHL, UFC, college sports, international soccer, and more.
You’ll also get access to the complete 30 for 30 library along with exclusive original series from Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Peyton Manning.
Please note that ESPN+ is separate from ESPN. While you may find some of the same programming on both channels, you won’t be able to watch all of the content on ESPN’s live channel on ESPN+.
Hulu with ESPN+ is probably best for fans of baseball, hockey, soccer, and especially UFC wrestling. NBA and NFL games don’t get much live coverage here.
- Cost: as low as $13.98/month
- Current Offer: no offers for the bundle at the moment, but you can get a free 1-month trial of Hulu
RELATED: 8 Ways to Get Hulu for Free
If you’re a big fan of sports on CBS and want to limit your viewing to just those games, Paramount+ is a very cost-effective option.
The Essential plan is just $4.99/month (or $49.99/year) and includes NFL on CBS games, SEC games, the CBS Sports HQ, and more.
If you want your local live CBS station as well as no ads, you’ll want to upgrade to the Premium plan for $9.99/month (or $99.99/year). Note that live TV streams will still have commercials.
NCAA March Madness fans may also want to sign up for Paramount+ (at least during the tournament) to catch all the games happening there.
And for all you golf and soccer fans, Paramount+ streams the PGA Championship and PGA Tour as well as numerous live soccer games.
Of course, you won’t just get sports content on Paramount+. They also offer streaming of movies and TV shows, including some exclusive shows like 1883.
- Cost: as low as $4.99/month
- Current Offer: 7-day free trial, and save 17% if you pay annually instead of monthly
7. Peacock Premium
Peacock Premium is similar to Paramount+, except it’s paired with NBC. You can sign up for a free Peacock account, but you won’t get to watch any sports with a free account.
Instead, you’ll need to upgrade to Peacock Premium for $4.99/month (note that Xfinity customers get Peacock Premium free). If you want to skip most ads, upgrade to Peacock Premium Plus for $9.99/month.
It was a little tricky to find, but you can sign up for an annual plan instead if you know you’re interested. Premium is $49.99/year, and Premium Plus is $99.99/year.
So, what does Peacock Premium offer for sports? Anything you’d find on NBC, like the Tour de France, the U.S. Open, IndyCar racing, Premier League soccer, Sunday Night Football, WWE, and even rugby.
They also have original sports series, documentaries, and specials.
- Cost: as low as $4.99/month
- Current Offer: nothing at the moment, but save 17% if you pay annually instead of monthly
8. Amazon Prime Video
When you think of Amazon, your mind probably doesn’t immediately jump to “sports.” But recently, Amazon has been adding some pro sports games to their Prime Video lineup.
And some of these games are exclusive to Amazon, like the Thursday Night Football games which can only be streamed through Prime Video.
Prime Video also offers some exclusive WNBA games.
I was surprised to find that my Prime Video catalog had full replays and highlights of recent MLB and MLS games, as well.
If you’re interested in watching pro sports with Prime Video, you’ll need to have an Amazon Prime account.
There are a few ways to get Amazon Prime for free, but most people will end up paying $14.99/month or $139/year. College students and select government assistance recipients may qualify for a discount.
- Cost: as low as $14.99/month
- Current Offer: 30-day free trial, and save 23% if you pay annually instead of monthly
9. Local Channels (via Antenna)
While some of these streaming services offer live local channels, you may need to get an antenna and connect it to your television to get access to games on the major networks like ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC.
And don’t worry – you don’t need to worry about rabbit ears or climbing on top of your roof to install an outdoor TV antenna…unless you want to. Indoor TV antennas are very low profile nowadays.
We use the Mohu Leaf 30 TV Antenna. It’s very thin and attaches discreetly to the wall behind our television.
How Can I Stream Regional Sports Networks?
Even with all of these options for how to watch pro sports without cable, you may be missing some of your favorite sports.
That’s because Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) are granted exclusive broadcasting rights to local and regional teams, meaning that you may not be able to watch your favorite team unless you subscribe to a very specific service.
As of right now, it looks like DIRECTV STREAM is your best (and really, only) option for watching most regional sports networks like Bally Sports, Longhorn Network, and MSG Networks.
You’ll need to sign up for at least the CHOICE level to get access to the RSNs through DIRECTV STREAM, and the regular price for that is $89.99/month…not to mention contracts, equipment, etc. Ouch.
Rumor has it Bally Sports is launching a streaming service of its own soon, and hopefully, other RSNs follow suit so people can watch their favorite teams without paying an arm and a leg.
Hopefully, this article gave you some ideas for how to stream sports without cable or satellite. You can still root for the home team and keep some cash in your pocket while you’re at it.
And many of these options allow you to record and save live TV for later so you don’t miss a single minute of your favorite team’s winning season.
Nix the expensive contract, the extra equipment, and the hassle and give one or more of these ideas a try.