The Ultimate Cord Cutting Guide for Sports Fans – How to Cut The Cord & Still Watch Your Games

Sports is still one of the main reasons people pay for cable TV because they want their sports live. The good news is watching sports as a cord cutter is easier than ever and can save you a lot of money. So here is our quick guide to being a cord cutting sports fan.

Nationally Televised Games

DIRECTV STREAMfuboTVHulu + Live TVSling TVYouTube TV
ESPN
ESPN2
FS1
FS2✓*✓*
TBS
TNT
USA
*requires a plan upgrade or add-on

ABC, CBS, FOX, & NBC

Many of the biggest sporting events every year are 100% free on ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC. A good antenna will give you these channels without the need to pay for anything. Not sure what antenna you should get? Check out Antenna Web and type in your address to see what kind of antenna you will need.

If you can’t get the locals you want for free, check out Sling TVHuluYouTube TV, fubo TV, or DIRECTV STREAM to see if they offer them in your area.

Regional Sports Channels (Bally Sports, NBC Sports, MSG, Etc)

If you want access to your local sports networks such as Bally Sports or NBC Sports, we have good news for you. YouTube TV, Hulu, fuboTV, and DIRECTV STREAM 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 service has in your area. DIRECTV STREAM has most of them and the rest have a smattering of different regional sports networks. So be sure to visit their sites to find out what they have where you live.

While some streamers choose to use a VPN to change their location and access channels normally unavailable in their area, it’s worth noting that the use of a VPN may go against the terms of service of some streamers.

NFL

The NFL is our most commonly asked for in sports. The good news is with an antenna 90% of Americans will be able to access their local CBS, FOX, and NBC stations. Add a streaming service such as Sling TV, FuboTV, or Hulu for ESPN, NFL Network, and NFL Redzone and you have the same coverage your local cable TV company can give you. Paramount+ and Peacock now stream live NFL games that air on your local CBS and NBC affiliates, respectively.

You can find our full NFL guide HERE.

College Football

College football is our second most requested guide from sports fans. As you saw above, many streaming services including Sling TVHulu, YouTube TV, and DIRECTV STREAM offer access to popular channels for college football fans. ACC Network, 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 STREAM, Hulu, YouTube TV, and fuboTV, which offer locals in many different markets. So be sure to visit their sites to see what you can get in your local market.

NBA

Sling TV, YouTube TV, DIRECTV STREAM, and fuboTV will give you NBA TV and networks such as ESPN and TNT; however, fuboTV doesn’t carry TNT or any Turner Sports channels. 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 $119.99/yr. or $17.99/mo. fans can watch all the games from an out-of-market team with Team Pass. Catch every game from any out-of-market team for only $28.99/mo. or $199/yr. with League Pass. Upgrade to a commercial-free experience with League Pass Premium and watch every game from an out-of-market team for only $249.99/yr. or $39.99 mo. Blackout restrictions apply. All League Pass plans include live audio for every game of the season and offline viewing capability. Now you can also subscribe to NBA League Pass through Sling TV, fuboTV, and YouTube TV.

NHL

If you are an NHL fan then DIRECTV STREAM, fuboTV, Hulu, Sling TV, and YouTube TV is what you want. NHL Network is available on DIRECTV STREAM, fuboTV, and Sling TV. ESPN is available on each service and TNT is available on every service but fuboTV. Hulu offers an exclusive game too. Each streaming service has its share of regional sports networks outside of Sling TV.  Add ESPN+ to watch live out of market games.

Golf

Are you a golf fan? DIRECTV STREAM, fuboTV, Hulu, Sling TV, and YouTube TV all offer the Golf Channel along with ESPN and more. Again, add an antenna for locals such as CBS, NBC and you have your golf fix. If you have poor OTA coverage check out some streaming services. Some golf events stream on ESPN+, Peacock, and Paramount+. Twitter will also now live stream some Golf events.

MLB

If it’s baseball you’re looking for, MLB Network is currently available to stream on Sling TV, YouTube TV, DIRECTV STREAM, and fuboTV. Friday Night Baseball and Sunday Morning Baseball can be streamed on Apple TV+ and Peacock, respectively. 

If you want access to your local sports networks such as Bally Sports or NBC Sports we have good news for you! YouTube TV, DIRECTV STREAM, fuboTV, and Hulu all offer local sports channels – just not all of them. Unfortunately, you will have to do a bit of research to see what local sports network each has in your area. So be sure to visit their sites to find out what they have where you live.

For nationally televised games, they all have ESPN, FS1, FOX, and fuboTV is the only one to not offer TBS.

You can find our full MLB streaming guide HERE.

UFC Fighting

Now if you want a UFC PPV event you need to use ESPN+. The streaming service is the exclusive home of UFC PPV events.

NASCAR

If you’re trying to watch Nascar, the main channels you want are FOX, NBC, FS1, & USA Network. The good news is Sling TV, Hulu, YouTube TV, fuboTV, and DIRECTV STREAM all offer what you want. Also, don’t forget an antenna for your locals.