The definitive guide to live sports streaming
Ting Staff • September 13, 2019if( has_post_thumbnail( $post_id ) ): ?>
Live sports streaming across your devices has never been easier
- Fubo TV
- Sling TV
- Playstation Vue
- YouTube TV
- Hulu Live
- AT&T TV Now
- UFC Fight Pass
- Replay options if you can’t catch the game live
These days, more and more viewers are cutting the cord and relying on different streaming services to get their viewing fix. If there was one segment of viewers the cable companies could rely on though, it was sports fans. Being able to catch a live game online wasn’t nearly as easy as tracking down an episode of Friends, so cable and network TV channels were given a stay of execution by the most hardcore aficionados.
As more and more online services have offered live sports streaming as an option, however, it looks like cable’s sports dominance is on its way out. There’s the added convenience that you can watch your team on any device, even while on the go. “But Ting, surely there isn’t any way to see every single game from every sport live?” you might ask dubiously. Well, we can’t assure you every game will be at your fingertips as it happens – but if you follow these suggestions, it’ll be pretty darn close.
How to watch sports online live
Something that sets sports fans apart from the average viewer is the importance of watching games live. Most sitcoms are just fine to watch on-demand the next day or even weeks later. With sports, there’s something magical about seeing the drama unfold in real-time. Also, you won’t have to worry about that social media post or jerk friend spilling the beans on the final score before you can watch the rebroadcast game. That’s why our focus is going to be on ways to watch live sports. Your new best friends in this realm are Over The Top (OTT) streaming services that offer content from multiple channels (and yes, nearly all of them offer the holy grail of ESPN streaming). Think Netflix, but with entire channels instead of single shows. For those of us who aren’t interested in battling pop-up ads, broken links and low-quality streams/unexpected dropouts, OTTs provide reliable, high-quality streaming. Here are some of the absolute best!
The best sports streaming services
When Fubo TV was launched in 2015 as a soccer-only streaming service, Stateside fans of ‘the beautiful game’ rejoiced. While it’s since expanded to include a wide range of programming, it without a doubt continues to be a sports-first service. With its incredible selection, a long list of supported devices and features like 4K support, Fubo is one of our favorites. Since we can never get everything we want (thanks for nothin’, universe) here’s the bummer — there are no ESPN channels. Still, if you’re looking for a wide range of sports including international ones, Fubo is tough to beat.
Sling TV launched the same year as Fubo, but gained popularity as an all-encompassing service. While it may not have the variety of regional sports channels that Fubo boasts, its overall selection guarantees you’ll have access to all the sports content you’re likely to ever need. Sling’s enormous 100 hours of cloud DVR storage is a nice touch as well when you need to record a few days worth of games to watch on the weekend.
Don’t let the name fool you – this isn’t a Playstation-specific streaming option for a TV break between rounds of Fortnite. Playstation Vue is also available on popular devices like Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV and more as well as your computer or mobile device. With all the expected sports channels plus niche ones like ESPN College Extra, this is another great choice.
The often-misunderstood YouTube TV isn’t just a pumped-up version of the popular website. It’s a true streaming media service like the ones above. Unsurprisingly, this big-name player stands up to the competition with a great channel list and many supported devices. With unlimited cloud-based DVR space that lasts 9 months, this may be the choice for the fan whose schedule dictates watching some games after the fact.
Hulu + Live TV
Hulu entered the live TV fray with Hulu + Live TV (we would have loved to be a fly on the wall at the marketing meeting that birthed that wild title). While most of the other services have differing plans to choose from, Hulu + Live TV offers a base plan which you can augment with add ons. This makes it an attractive option for people who know what they want to watch. There’s no sports add-on yet, but we can hope!
AT&T TV Now
In true AT&T fashion, the media giant has adhered to the ‘go big or go home’ credo when it comes to live streaming TV. While AT&T Now offers a basic plan, those needing a wealth of choice will want to choose one of their premium offerings with well over 100 channels. These will include multiple ways to watch sports online. However, be warned that their larger packages won’t come cheap.
Other live sports streaming options
UFC Fight Pass
UFC Fight Pass is unique amongst single-promotion or league streaming services. Due to owning a number of other promotions and the brand’s sheer popularity, you’ll be able to see MMA fights from around the world even when UFC is dormant. In addition, live boxing, kickboxing, submission grappling and other combat sports are all on the roster. Of course, its bread and butter remain exclusive live UFC events and replays. If you love the world’s fastest-growing sport, UFC Fight Pass is a must-have.
CBS All Access
CBS All access won’t let you see all the games you’ll want – for example, just like regular CBS they’ll only stream games in your market. Where the service shines is its coverage of college sports. With CBS All Access you’ll get your fill of NCAA football, March Madness and a bunch more.
If you just can’t see it live
As much as we wish we could see every game live, work/school/life/that really sweet party can get in the way. Luckily, there are a few ways to get your peepers glued to the action as quickly as after the final whistle. NBA League Pass, NHL.com and NFL Game Pass all offer live sports streaming of games already played. If you can stay off social media during your commute home (those kitten posts will still be there after, we promise), you can enjoy that afternoon game after dinner as if it was just starting. If you’ve got the kind of friends that’ll send a “can you believe the Giants pulled off that win?” text beforehand, though, that’s on you.
Live Sports without cable is at your fingertips
As you can see, there’s never been a better time to watch live sports without having to rely on cable TV. If you’re savvy with your choice of live sports streaming providers, you can watch every game your action-loving heart desires. Schedule conflict between two games? No problem, just DVR one and pull it from the cloud afterward! No need to thank us, cord-cutters — just don’t tell your significant other we’re the reason you were able to watch live sports all weekend and we’ll call it even.