How to watch sports online without cable - stream live sports on iPhone, iPad, Android, Apple TV, Roku, & more
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 seasonally to reflect 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 no single service carries all of the major networks available in a medium-large 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, but the only way to watch on smartphones is with a Verizon plan or through NFL Sunday Ticket.
Sunday afternoon games are broadcast by CBS and FOX, Sunday night games by NBC, and Monday night games by ESPN. There are 18 Thursday night games this year (though 3 are actually on a Saturday, and 1 on a Monday). All of these games are available on NFL Network, while 11 are also available on Amazon and either CBS or NBC. Check the weekly schedule to see what games are available on what channels.
FOX games are available on streaming services that include the live FOX channel in your area, but CBS games are only available online through the CBS All-Access streaming service for $6 per month (only available in select areas). NFL Network is only available on Playstation Vue and Sling TV, but could be added to more services as we get closer to the start of the season.
Complicating matters further is the fact that Verizon has the exclusive rights to stream NFL games on smartphones - with the exception of Thursday night games. This is included free for all Verizon smartphone subscribers, and NFL RedZone on smartphones is also exclusively available through Verizon for a small fee. So if you do subscribe to a streaming service to watch NFL games, many of them will only be available on tablets, computers, and streaming boxes.
NFL Sunday Ticket, the service that gives fans access to every NFL game not on their local TV channels, is again available streaming. However, the service is 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.
Stream live College Football games online
College football 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 ACC, BigTen, Longhorn, Pac-12, and SEC air additional games every week. Most of these channels are available through several streaming services. SEC on CBS games are also typically streamed free. Check the weekly schedule to see what games are available where.
Stream MLB live free and paid
There are many places to stream live MLB games due to the league's multiple broadcast deals. New for this year, Facebook will be hosting a free MLB live stream every Friday on the MLB Facebook Page. MLB also has a free game of the day available through the MLB apps or their website. See the upcoming schedule here.
MLB games, including the playoffs, are also broadcast on ESPN, FOX/FS1, MLB Network, and TBS. It is easier than ever to get access to these stations without a cable subscription, starting around $30 per month. DirecTV Now is the best service for watching nationally broadcast MLB games, but Hulu, Sling, and Vue have access to different regional sports networks so they may be better for watching local teams.
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. New for 2017, 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 is very accessible to fans who prefer to watch over the internet. Many tournaments feature free 'alternate' streams - for example, live coverage of a specific hole or pairing - on the PGA Tour's apps. Go to the PGA's schedule page, select the tournament, and look for the 'first look' section to see details for each tournament.
The schedule also shows what networks will be streaming each tournament, which changes from week to week. The weekend rounds are typically broadcast by CBS or NBC, with ESPN, FOX, and TNT handling some rounds of the majors. These networks are widely available on streaming packages. The Golf Channel also handles early round coverage from many tournaments, and is available on several streaming services. Check to see what services offer CBS and NBC in your local 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.
This article was most recently updated August, 2017 with new Vue pricing and info about streaming NFL and NCAA Football and Premier League Soccer. Check back later this summer to see where to watch the MLB playoffs online.