Sports is still one of the main reasons people hold off on becoming a cord cutter. The desire to have access to live events is something many are willing to pay a lot for. The good news is watching sports as a cord cutter is easier than ever. So here is our quick guide to being a cord cutting sports fan.
The first thing many people want is access to their favorite sports channels. ESPN, FS1, BTN, and more are all available to cord cutters with services such as Sling TV, Hulu, PlayStation Vue, and DIRECTV NOW.
Here is a quick chart on which service has what:
|Channels||Sling||PS Vue||DIRECTV NOW||Hulu|
|ESPN Goal Line||X||X||X||X|
*Did I miss something or make a error? Send us a message.
Also many channels such as TNT, TBS, and others, which show sports as a secondary focus, are also included with most of these services.
Regional Sports Channels (Fox Sports, CSN)
If you want access to your local sports networks such as Fox Sports or Comcast SportsNet (CSN) we have good news for you. Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, Hulu, and DIRECTV NOW all offer local sports channels just not all of them. Sadly you will have to do a bit of research to see what local sports network each has in your area. They all seem to have Fox Sports and the rest have a smattering of different regional sports networks. So make sure to visit their sites to find out what they have where you live.
The NFL is our most commonly asked for sport coverage. The good news is with an antenna 90% of Americans will be able to access their local CBS, FOX, and NBC stations. Add in a streaming service such as Sling TV or PlayStation Vue for ESPN and the NFL Network and you have the same coverage your local cable TV company can give you.
You can also watch Thursday night games from CBS and NBC on Amazon Prime this year. You will need to be a Amazon Prime member to watch them. (Unless you use a antenna.)
CBS All Access now streams in-market Sunday games through its streaming service.
College football is our second most requested guide from sports fans. As you saw above many streaming services such as Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and DIRECTV NOW offer access to popular channels for college football fans. SEC Network, BTN, and the Pac-12 Network are all now available to cord cutters.
ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC are available to more than 90% of Americans with an antenna. If you cannot get it over the air look into services such as Sling TV, DIRECTV NOW, and PlayStation Vue, which offer locals in many different markets. So make sure to visit their sites to see what you can get in your local market.
Both Sling TV and PlayStation Vue will give you NBA TV and networks such as ESPN and TNT. You can watch the games on ABC with an antenna or by using your login for WatchESPN apps.
Again you may need to shop around for the service that has your regional sports channel but most Americans should be able to get it from one of the services.
You may also want to look into NBA League Pass if you live outside of your sports team’s local market. For a one-time payment of $99.99 you can watch every game for your out-of-market team.
Many of the biggest races every year are 100% free on FOX and NBC. A good antenna will give you these races without the need to pay for anything.
Not sure what antenna you should get for FOX and NBC? Check out AntennaRecommendations.com. Type in your address to see what kind of antenna you will need.
If you can’t get FOX or NBC for free, check out Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, DIRECTV NOW, YouTube TV, or Fubo TV to see if they offer them in your area. These live TV services also offer access to FS1 & NBCSN allowing you to watch even more races.
If you are an NHL fan then Sling TV is what you want. It has the NHL Network as well as the NBC Sports network for great NHL coverage. Add in an antenna for local NBC games or stream NBC games for free on NBC’s website.
Are you a golf fan? DIRECTV NOW, Sling TV, and PlayStation Vue all offer the Golf Channel along with ESPN and more. Again add in an antenna for locals such as CBS and you have your golf fix. If you have poor OTA coverage check out the streaming services. Over half of PlayStation Vue subscribers now get local CBS stations live.
Currently only DIRECTV NOW & PlayStation Vue offers the MLB Network.
If you want access to your local sports networks such as Fox Sports or Comcast SportsNet (CSN) we have good news for you. Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and DIRECTV NOW all offer local sports channels just not all of them. Sadly you will have to do a bit of research to see what local sports network each has in your area. They all seem to have Fox Sports and the rest have a smattering of different regional sports networks. So make sure to visit their sites to find out what they have where you live.
If you are a fan of UFC you should look at the UFC Fight Pass for ultimate access to UFC fights. It will show a ton of fights but you will need a service such as Sling TV or DIRECTV NOW to watch fights on FS1 and FS2.
Do you have a sport we didn’t cover? Leave us a comment and we will work on adding it to the list.
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