How to watch sports online without cable - stream live sports on iPhone, iPad, Android, Apple TV, Roku, & more in 2019
The options to watch sports online without a traditional cable or satellite TV subscription are growing and constantly changing. Bookmark this page, because it will be updated periodically with all of the various ways to watch sports online. Some options are free, but many require some type of paid subscription - but these subscriptions tend to be much less expensive and more flexible than traditional cable. The following chart summarizes what sports channels are available on the various subscription streaming services. Note that the selection varies greatly by location, especially for broadcast channels and regional sports networks.
All of these services carry a lot of live sports, but depending on what sports you watch, some packages may be a great fit while others may be missing channels in a typical cable bundle. A streaming service could save you a lot of money and be a great way to watch sports online, depending on your preferred sports and leagues. Make sure to check what channels are available in your local area and what devices your preferred service is available on.
Watch NFL online without cable
There are several ways to watch the NFL online without a cable subscription, the options and restrictions can get a bit confusing. Games are available on several streaming services, and free on smartphones.
Sunday afternoon games are broadcast by CBS and FOX, Sunday night games by NBC, and Monday night games by ESPN. There is a large schedule of Thursday night games on NFL Network, and most Thursday games are also available on FOX and Amazon Prime. Check the weekly schedule to see what games are available on what channels.
All games airing on your local TV channels are free to stream on smartphones through the NFL app or Yahoo Sports app - but only over cellular service, not wifi. If you want to watch on a tablet, PC, or TV, you’ll have to pay. CBS, FOX, NBC, and ESPN are widely available on streaming services, but not in all geographic areas. CBS is also available as a standalone streaming service for $6 per month. NFL Network is currently only available on Fubo, Vue, and Sling Blue, all three of which also offer RedZone for an additional fee.
If NFL football is your only concern, and you want to watch on a screen larger than a smartphone, PlayStation Vue or Sling is your best bet. At $35, Sling Blue and the sports add-on is the most affordable way to get NFL RedZone (but you’ll be missing CBS and ESPN). At $60, Vue is the most affordable to way to watch every local NFL game all season long.
For the most diehard fans, NFL Sunday Ticket gives fans access to every NFL game not on their local TV channels. It is available as a streaming service, but not available to everyone and you must enter your address to check eligibility. Starting at $70 per month, it is expensive and targeted at fans living in a different area from their favorite team. It does not include any primetime games, only Sunday afternoon games not available on FOX and CBS in your local area. Check eligibility and see more details here.
Watch NBA online without cable
Like the NFL, the NBA has a few ways to watch games online with a fee, but you’ll have to pay to watch everything. Nationally televised NBA games are broadcast on 3 channels: ABC/ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV. AT&T wireless customers with unlimited plans get TNT for free through the Watch TV app. TNT games also offer free alternate camera angles through the NBA app. ESPN and TNT are widely available on streaming services. If the service you’re looking at does not include ABC in your area, these games will still be available in the ESPN app after signing in. NBA TV is only available on Fubo, Vue, and Sling Blue.
Sling Orange will get you every nationally televised NBA game at a fraction of the price of Vue or Fubo.
Stream live College Football & College Basketball games online
College games are available on a ton of different channels depending on the conference. ABC/ESPN, CBS, FOX/FS1, and NBC all air nationally televised games, while conference networks such as BigTen, Longhorn, Pac-12, and SEC air additional games every week. Most of these channels are available through several streaming services. SEC football on CBS games are also typically streamed free. Check the weekly schedule to see what channels your favorite teams are on, and pick a streaming service that works best for you.
March Madness has its own rights deals, with CBS, TNT, TBS, and Tru broadcasting all of the games. TNT, TBS, and Tru are available free to AT&T wireless customers with unlimited plans through the Watch TV app and CBS is available as a standalone service for just $6 with CBS All-Access.
Stream NHL hockey online
NHL hockey is broadcast on just a handful of channels: NBC, NBC Sports, and NHL Network. Playoff games are also broadcast on NBC-owned CNBC and USA. Sling Blue is a great way to get all of these nationally-televised games at a low price. (Although Sling does not include CNBC, these games can still be watched on the NBC Sports app after signing in.) In fact, Sling is the only service currently offering the NHL Network.
Stream MLB live free and paid
There are many places to stream live MLB games due to the league's multiple broadcast deals, including a few free options. MLB has a free game of the day available through the MLB apps or their website. See the upcoming schedule here. Facebook Watch will be streaming one free game per month, check MLB Facebook Page for details.
MLB games, including the playoffs, are also broadcast on ESPN, FOX/FS1, MLB Network, and TBS. If you’re a baseball junky wanting access to all of those games, PlayStation Vue, Sling Blue + Orange, and YouTube TV are the options to consider, with Sling slightly leading on cost.
MLB.tv is a streaming package for watching any games that aren't broadcast in your local area. It is $25 per month, and doesn't include access to any playoff games, so it is best for fans that live in a different region from their favorite team.
Stream live Soccer
Soccer fans in the US may have interest in several different leagues and tournaments. Most of these are now available to stream one way or the other, but each has different broadcast partners.
NBC is handling the streaming of the English Premier League a little differently this year. NBC, NBCSN, and CNBC will still broadcast several games every week. These channels are available on several streaming services as seen in the chart above. But, the games not broadcast on a traditional TV channel can only be streamed through the new 'Premier League Pass' available on NBC Sports Gold. It is priced at $50 for the full season.
For fans of other leagues, MLS is available on FOX/FS1 and ESPN, and La Liga on beIN. FOX/FS1 broadcast several tournaments: World Cup, Champions League, UEFA Euro, and FA Cup, while ESPN broadcasts several international friendlies and various less prominent tournaments and leagues.
MLS also offers its own streaming service similar to MLB.tv. Get more details on MLS Live here.
Stream PGA Golf live
The PGA Tour has become harder to watch without a paid service over the past few years. The weekend rounds are typically broadcast by CBS or NBC. ESPN, FOX, and TNT also handle some rounds of the majors. The Golf Channel broadcasts weekday and off-hour coverage of all but a few tournaments. NBC now offers exclusive coverage of specific pairings and holes through NBC Sports Gold for $10 per month. Check the PGA's schedule page to see what channels are airing upcoming tournaments.
This makes Hulu Live, PlayStation Vue, and YouTube TV great options at similar price points. If you’re picking between these, make sure it carries the local channels in your area.
Watch NASCAR online without cable
NASCAR is broadcast by FOX/FS1 and NBC/NBC Sports. FS1 and NBC Sports are available on several of the streaming services above, but check to see what services offer FOX and NBC in your local area. Check channel listings of each race on the NASCAR schedule.
Stream Tennis live
The four major tennis tournaments can easily be streamed. NBC/NBC Sports has the French Open, while ESPN has the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open.
Wrapup: PS Vue FTW?
PlayStation Vue was mentioned as a contender for every sport above. The only major sports channel it is missing is NHL Network. It offers solid value for the sports fan who wants to watch a bit of everything, but may not be the best or most affordable option for some individual sports. With channels split across two packages at lower prices, Sling can offer great value for fans of a single sport, such as NFL or NHL with Sling Blue and NBA with Sling Orange.
This article was most recently updated Spring 2019 with new pricing and recommendations.