Sports is seriously the biggest barrier that stops people from feeling confident enough to cut the cord. It can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. You can watch sports online in a variety of easy and legal ways. And, in some cases, you can even watch sports online free.
So what are the steps to live stream sports without access to cable? Before you start, consider which sports are most important to you. Are you more interested in following one specific team or the entire league? How are those sports accessible through traditional channels?
Once you have an idea of how you watch sports, you can dig into the details to allow you to watch live sports online without cable, legally, and conveniently. Along with the biggest streaming services on the market, like DIRECTV NOW and Sling TV, there are also a few specialized options.
Check out our guides to stream live sports and read below for more information on how to watch sports online.
Watch NFL Online
Well, the NFL is the problem-child of the streaming television question. While you can watch sports online in a variety of ways, the NFL is locked down so tight it is nearly impossible to catch the league streaming without access to cable or satellite.
And, while fans are clamoring for better options to stream, the NFL still has very tight restrictions in place.
DIRECTV NOW, Sling TV, and PlayStation Vue all have access to some networks that air NFL games. This includes local FOX (perfect for Super Bowl 2017 live stream) and NBC in some markets, but that will depend on your specific location. ESPN and NFL Network are also available nationwide on Sling TV and Vue.
The CBS All Access stand-alone app recently announced a deal with the NFL to offer all games aired on their network. This service isn’t available nationwide yet, but it does cover most of the country. This is especially good for fans of AFC teams, which air the majority of their games on CBS. CBS All Access also offers a FREE try before you buy option.
Basketball is an easy sport to watch without cable. Between all of the games airing weekly on national TV and the games that air on regional sports networks, most of the channels that carry the action are now available without cable.
Nationally, NBA games air regularly on TNT, ABC, ESPN, and NBA TV (these channels also carry most NBA Playoffs games). All of these channels are available without cable through various live streaming services detailed below. Additionally, if you want to follow your local team, their games likely air on a regional sports network (such as regional FOX Sports, Comcast SportsNet, or Root), and many of these are also available without cable.
There are several options to stream live sports, including basketball, with the most popular streaming services on the market. DIRECTV NOW and Sling TV both have many of the networks that air the NBA.
PlayStation Vue has added the NBA TV stream to their lineup. This allows fans to watch all out-of-market NBA games right from their consoles or streaming players. But keep in mind that Vue restricts content when away from home, so streaming on the go will be limited.
Watch College Basketball Online
In many ways the ability to stream live sports at the college level is easier than watching the professional leagues. Many of the streaming services offer access to networks that air the NCAA basketball games from all over the country.
Watch NHL Online
Hockey is incredibly popular, and not just in the states along the Canadian border. Fans may always be concerned about how to stream live sports. Missing out on your favorite teams is a non-starter for those who might want to cut the cord. But, as with most of the sports leagues, that doesn’t have to be the case.
Most NHL games air on regional sports networks and nationally key games are on NBCSN, NBC, and NHL Network throughout the season. And if you’re looking to watch the NHL Playoffs online, you’ll also need USA and CNBC for some games.
Thankfully, the leading live services today offer most channels you need to watch NHL online. fuboTV, DIRECTV NOW, Sling TV, and PlayStation Vue are all streaming options that offer many of the networks airing hockey that will allow you to watch sports online. With these, you may even be able to start with a free trial and watch sports online free to see if they’re they right service for you.
All of the popular live streaming services offer free trials so you can test out the services to see which you like:
You can try fuboTV free for 7 days here.
The NHL also offers NHL Gamecenter, a stand-alone app that gives fans access to live stream sports and watch their favorite out-of-market hockey teams online anywhere, any time. This is best for those fans who no longer live in their home towns as local games are blacked out. Bur for a Chicago fan living in Texas, for instance, it is a great option.
Watch MLB Online
Baseball fans who want to watch live sports online are in luck. There are more than a few completely legal ways to watch all of your favorite teams without cable.
Since many of the MLB games are aired on TBS, ESPN, and FOX sports networks, there are a few options to live stream sports with some of the streaming services on the market today.
PlayStation Vue, the third major player in the streaming TV market, will also give you some access to stream live sports.
If you are a MLB fan living out of market, such as a Tigers Fan in North Carolina, the MLB.TV service is a great choice. You can pay to watch a single team or the entire league. Local games are blacked out, so this is really only a good option for those no longer in their home team’s market.
Watch College Football Online
Like college basketball, college football is imperative to watch for fans but is a little easier than its professional league counterpart. With specific channels, like the PAC-12 and SEC Networks, and games aired on ESPN and FOX Sports family of networks, it can be a little easier to get access to college football streaming without cable.
You can watch live sports online with services like DIRECTV NOW, Sling TV, and PlayStation Vue. All of them offer some collections of networks that air college football games, so check out which are right for you and even watch sports online FREE with a trial to see for yourself. Look at both DIRECT TV and Sling TV to learn more.
Many college football games are aired on CBS. The network’s stand-alone app, CBS All Access, is a great value to watch not only college football but also stream live sports from many professional leagues, like the NFL. It’s affordable, accessible, and available in for about 80% of the U.S. right now. Try CBS All Access FREE now.
Watch Soccer Online
Soccer is an entirely different story about how to watch sports online. With so many leagues, national and international, there are too many ways to keep up. Cord cutters are either creative about their solutions or aren’t sure how to watch at all.
You can try DIRECTV NOW FREE to watch sports online and see if it is a fit for your soccer needs.
Otherwise, we recommend FOX Soccer 2 Go, which offers access to several leagues, tournaments, and more. You can even watch the FIFA World Cup online with the service.
Watch Golf Online
To watch the professional golf games on like, like the PGA, there are a few options to stream live sports.
Some tournaments are also aired on CBS All Access, which is the affordable stand-alone service from the broadcast network. To see if CBS All Access is the right solution to watch sports online, click for a FREE trial.
Watch Tennis Online
With top rated, world-class athletes like the Williams sisters and Andy Murray, it is no wonder that tennis is very popular. And without cable, it can be worrisome to miss out on all the action from court-side.
But, tennis is surprisingly accessible without cable. You can watch sports online with DIRECTV NOW and Sling TV. Both services offer several networks that air tennis matches throughout the year. Try DIRECT TV NOW or Sling TV for a FREE trial.
The third option for Tennis streaming is Tennis Channel Plus. It is a stand-alone app that features news, tournaments and special events live and on demand. It isn’t meant to be a live stream of the network itself, but an add-on to enhance the features.
Watch WWE Online
Wrestling has had a long history in the U.S. as both a sport and a spectacle. Fans are hard core, and that means many don’t want to cut the cord and miss out on events and matches. But you don’t have to worry.
WWE also has a stand-alone app that offers access to pay-per-view directly along with some other content.
The WWE also sometimes has events on YouTube and some programming will be available on-demand with Hulu.
Watch UFC Online
Mixed Martial Arts, and specifically the UFC, has an incredibly loyal following in the U.S. and around the word. Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor are household names because of the devotion to the sport. And cutting the cord can seem complicated if you want to keep up and watch sports online.
But you can also check out UFC Fight Pass, which will give you access to tons of UFC content. This isn’t a direct live stream of UFC pay-per-view events, but it does have plenty of programming to keep you happy and engaged.
You can also buy Pay-Per-View events online without cable as another way to watch live sports online.
Watch Formula One Online
Racing is another big sport, and there are several choices. Formula One is popular here and around the world. At breakneck speeds, this fast-paced sport is thrilling for fans and drivers alike.
You can watch F1 Racing on a variety of networks, many of which are available through the top streaming options. DIRECTV NOW, Sling TV, and PlayStation Vue are all possible options to watch sports online and keep up with your favorite Formula One drivers.
Want to know more about how to watch sports online FREE? Sign up for a trial of DIRECTV NOW.
Watch NASCAR Online
The world of racing and how to watch sports online wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t also mention NASCAR. This uniquely American sport has fans from all over the country flocking to raceways and tuning in to their televisions for events like the Daytona 500.
How Else Can You Watch Sports Online
Another method we should mention for many of these sports is a digital antenna paired with an over-the-air DVR.
Digital antennas allow you to pick up any broadcast channels in your area. That means you can stream live sports on NBC, ABC, FOX, and CBS if you receive the channel over the air. Besides the initial cost of the antenna, watching is completely free.
An over-the-air DVR allows you to record live TV and watch later. Or, you can use it to stream sports live to your computer or connected device and watch even if you’re away fro home. This is one great way to watch sports online free! The only other way we know of to legally watch sports online free is with free trials of the services mentioned above, will typically be for only a week at a time.
Don’t forget to check out each individual sports guides to see more details. Do you have more questions about how to watch sports online? Ask below in the comments.
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