How to Stream Sports Without Cable in Minutes | Hacker Noon

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@doodleJulia Miller

Learned to ride a bicycle at 33.

More people than ever before are cutting cable and switching solely to streaming to get the programming they desire. However, there’s one group in particular that has been hesitant to cut the cord: sports fans. The biggest reason is they aren’t sure if they’ll be able to watch their favorite games or teams without cable.

The good news is streaming sports has evolved significantly over the years to the point where you now often have multiple options for streaming live sporting events. Choosing the right streaming service is the first step in ensuring you’re able to watch the games you want, and here are some other facts about streaming sports in general.

Which Cable Sports Channels Are Available To Stream?

The most popular national sports channels on cable include ESPN, ESPN2, TBS, TNT, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, and NBC Sports Network. The streaming services AT&T Now, Hulu Live TV, and YouTube TV include all of these channels with their packages. You can also access each of the channels with Sling TV if you subscribe to the Orange + Blue package.

Sling TV also allows for channel package upgrades if you only need a channel like Fox Sports 2 but don’t need all of the other channels that come with the Orange + Blue package. FuboTV has most of the cable sports channels, but the limitation is it doesn’t include any ESPN channels. Depending on the channels you watch regularly, you can choose the streaming service best suited for your interests.

What To Know About Your Regional Sports Network

Regional Sports Networks often concern sports fans when it comes to streaming sports as well. Many MLB, NBA, and NHL games air on local Regional Sports Networks, which can still be seen when you have the right streaming service.

The vast majority of the games you want to watch can be streamed locally via the Regional Sports Network, but this element isn’t quite as simple as choosing a streaming service based on the national channels offered. For example, for streaming sports locally in Los Angeles, AT&T TV NOW is the only option you have to watch channels like Fox Sports West, Spectrum Sportsnet LA, and Fox Sports Prime Ticket.

And if you’re in the Houston area, the popular AT&T SportsNet Southwest channel is only offered through AT&T TV NOW and fuboTV. Before signing up with a streaming service, it’s important to look at the Regional Sports Network channels to ensure you can see the majority of the games you watch.

Don’t Forget About Local Sports Channels

Sports fans have to have local networks since many of the best MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL games are broadcast on FOX, ABC, NBC, and CBS. Plus, most of the major PGA Tour events are found on local channels as well. You can get local channels when streaming sports, but not every streaming service carries every local channel in each market.

For each streaming service you’re interested in for streaming sports, you can see which local channels they carry based on where you are located. The great thing about using streaming services instead of cable is you won’t be locked into a contract. So if you only need to watch FOX to catch the playoff MLB games throughout October, you can subscribe to a service that offers FOX for that month only and then cancel afterward. 

Channel Upgrades For Streaming Sports

The hardcore sports fanatics may benefit significantly from streaming sports rather than watching on cable. Specialty channels like NFL Network, NFL RedZone, MLB Network, NBA TV, and NHL Network are popular for sports fans who enjoy watching games other than just their favorite team.

When it comes to these types of channel upgrades for streaming sports, fuboTV offers each of the above specialty channels to suit every sports fan’s interests. Sling TV offers one of the least expensive options to add these channels, and you can select the package you want based on the specific sports you watch.

With the various options you have available for channel upgrades, you won’t have to sacrifice the national highlights or out-of-market games you enjoy when streaming sports.

Why Out-Of-Market Streaming May Be Necessary

When streaming sports, you have more options to watch your favorite sports teams if you live in the same market. However, if your favorite team is in another market or move away from the local market, you will need to opt for out-of-market streaming to find the games you want to watch.

These packages and subscriptions include MLB.TV, NHL.TV, NFL SundayTicket.TV, and NBA League Pass. If you want to get coverage of every team in a particular league, you can do so for a single price. Or, if you only want coverage of your favorite team, you can also do so for a discounted price. The exception is NFL SundayTicket.TV, which only allows you to purchase a package for all sports teams nationally.

Streaming sports has become incredibly popular over the last couple of years as more streaming services are offering relevant channels for sports fanatics. The majority of sports fans can find the games they want to watch of their favorite teams without making any sacrifices.

The tricky part is finding out which streaming service is best for you based on the regional networks offered, which games you like to watch throughout the year, and many other factors. 

You can subscribe to multiple streaming services at one time to ensure you’ll never miss any of the action, or you could subscribe to certain services seasonally depending on the sport and which channels the games are commonly on. Just keep your budget in mind since using multiple streaming services can add up quickly.

The good news is, though, that any given streaming subscription can be canceled at any time. Sports fans have to be particular when selecting a streaming service to ensure they don’t miss any of the action they enjoy. But with so many different options available, every sports fan can have confidence that they’ll never miss a game. 


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