As a cord-cutting sports fan, you want two things: live sports streaming and the ability to watch content on-demand at your leisure. Lucky for you, there are tons of sports streaming services that cover both requirements.
Gone are the days when you needed a cable contract and had to sit down at a specified time to watch your favorite team. Now, you can sign up contract-free for on-demand services. You can watch live events on all of these platforms, but these aren’t just live TV streaming services. With many, you can record and access content whenever and wherever you want. So, you never have to worry about being home in time for Monday Night Football.
What are the best sports streaming services?
Compare sports streaming services
|AT&T TV Now||CBS All Access||ESPN+||fuboTV||Hulu + Live TV||Sling TV||YouTube TV|
|Number of available channels||125||4||1||175||65+||53||70+|
|Number of sports channels||4+||1||1||28+||16||9+||16+|
|DVR storage||500 hours||—||All content is on-demand||30 hours||50 hours||10 hours||Unlimited|
Finding the right sports streaming service for cord cutting
When you’re shopping around for the best streaming service for live sports, you’ll need to weigh your priorities. Is the NFL a must, but hockey something you can live without? Are you a casual sports viewer who just tunes in for the big games, or are you a die-hard fan who can’t imagine missing a single out-of-market matchup?
These days, you can find a way to get just about every sports channel known to man. Some sports streaming services are better for certain things, though, and knowing what you want will help narrow things down.
Best all-around service: Hulu + Live TV
Hulu + Live TV is an excellent cord-cutting option. It covers all four major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC), plus it gives you access to several major sports networks, including ESPN, FS1, NBC Golf, and NBC Sports. Hulu with Live TV is perfect for NFL and NBA fans looking to get the major channels. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer any league specific channels, like NBA TV or NHL Network.
Hulu + Live TV streams in up to 4K and comes with 50 hours of DVR storage. Plus, it offers a ton of additional entertainment content. If you’re looking for a plan that covers most of your live sports needs, while also offering lifestyle and entertainment channels, this might be the best bet.
What to watch on Hulu + Live TV
In addition to all the coverage you’ll get through its live TV package, a subscription here also gets you access to the entire Hulu streaming library. So, you can catch new Hulu Originals like High Fidelity and The Handmaid’s Tale.
Best for value: YouTube TV
YouTube TV gives you access to local ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC channels, along with ESPN and regional sports networks. A subscription includes league specific channels, such as MLB Network, NBA TV, and Tennis Channel. For an additional price, you can also add FOX Soccer Plus or NBA League Pass. You can create up to 6 user profiles per account, and the plan comes with 3 simultaneous streams. YouTube TV offers unlimited cloud DVR storage, and you can keep whatever you’ve saved for up to 9 months.
What to watch on YouTube TV
On YouTube TV, you’ll be able to watch your favorite ESPN talk show, flip over to catch some golf on CBS, and then head to MLB Network for baseball. In addition to its sports coverage, YouTube TV has most of your traditional cable TV channels. So you’ll never have to miss an episode of The Masked Singer again.
Best for golf fans: CBS All Access
CBS All Access isn’t a one-stop-shop, but for only $5.99/mo. it’s an easy way to supplement another sports streaming service. You can catch live sports online through the app and stream to several devices. Unfortunately, CBS All Access doesn’t make its current programming immediately available on-demand, and there’s no DVR option. The service has a no-ad plan that costs $9.99/mo.
What to watch on CBS All Access
Golf fans can watch The Masters and the PGA Championship here, as well as other PGA tournaments throughout the year. With your subscription, you’ll also be able to catch CBS All Access Originals like Star Trek: Picard or classic CBS programming like NCIS on-demand.
Best for baseball and hockey: ESPN+
Again, ESPN+ is not going to be your only sports streaming service, but it offers access to tons of live sports and on-demand content at a competitive price. It adds every live sporting event to its massive archive immediately after it airs. Hockey and baseball fans will want a subscription here, as ESPN+ broadcasts games you can’t find anywhere else. In addition to all its exclusive programming, a subscription to ESPN+ also gives you access to premium articles written by some of ESPN’s top sportswriters.
What to watch on ESPN+
In addition to its regular live events roster, ESPN+ is home to UFC action. But you have to pay extra for pay-per-view (PPV) events. The service produces its own original programming, like Peyton’s Places with Peyton Manning. You can also enjoy its popular 30 for 30 documentaries. If you aren’t sure where to start, try OJ: Made in America.
Best for international soccer: fuboTV
fuboTV has a lot going for it: it offers beIN Sports for international soccer fans, NBA TV for basketball, NBC Golf for golf fans, NFL Network for football fans, NHL Network for hockey fans, and Pac-12 Networks for college sports fans. Plus, fuboTV has CBS, FOX, and NBC, covering three of the four major broadcast networks.
The catch? There’s no ESPN. And for sports fans, that might be a deal-breaker. If you’re willing to part with ESPN, fuboTV is a great option. Another added bonus, fuboTV is one of the only services that streams in 4K.
What to watch on fuboTV
There’s plenty of channels to check out with fuboTV, but don’t miss out on Premier League games, NFL Red Zone, and several stops along the PGA Tour.
Best for budget: Sling TV
Sling TV is the best budget option of the bunch, but the lower price comes with some trade-offs. You can choose either its Blue or Orange package for $30/mo., or you can combine the two for $45/mo. Sling Orange or Sling Orange + Blue will get you ESPN. Sling Blue provides FS1, NBC Sports, and NFL Network. Most sports fans will want to add the Sling Blue Sports Extra package for an additional $10/mo., which gets you beIN Sport, NBA TV, NBC Golf, NFL Red Zone, and NHL Network.
Sling’s different packages offer a ton of flexibility and customization, allowing you to create a plan that works for you. The service has several add-ons, including extra DVR storage and premium channels.
What to watch on Sling TV
Catch every touchdown on NFL Red Zone and tune in to every hour of SportsCenter on ESPN. Plus, you can watch all live sporting events on NBC and NBC Sports.
Best for the whole family: AT&T TV Now
AT&T TV Now is quite similar to its cable counterpart. You’ll find all your basic channels here, including the four major broadcasting networks and ESPN. Plus, you have the option to add HBO at a discounted price, which will get you boxing coverage you can’t find anywhere else. With 500 hours of DVR storage, you can record any live sporting event without worrying about running out of storage.
Unfortunately, AT&T TV Now doesn’t offer NFL Network in any of its packages, and accessing other league-specific channels, like MLB Network or NBA TV, comes at a steep price. At its base price, however, AT&T TV Now provides value if you’re looking for a service that will keep the whole family happy. Beyond sports, it has channels like Comedy Central, Nick Jr., and VH1.
What to watch on AT&T TV Now
From ESPN’s Sports Center to The CW’s Legends of Tomorrow, AT&T TV Now provides a wide range of shows for the whole family.
The final cut
When deciding which option is the best streaming service for live sports, it really comes down to what you want. Whether you’re a casual sports viewer or a die-hard fan, there’s a live sports TV streaming service for you. There are several streaming services to consider, including CBS All Access, ESPN+, fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, and Sling TV. And you can always use an HD antenna to get local sports action for free.