The world of sports broadcasts and live event casts has changed, and almost all of it is available online. Yes, you can still subscribe to a regular cable TV plan, with the option to watch live sports broadcasts across the various networks including NBC, CBS, ESPN, and more. However, there’s one major advantage to tuning in online, and it’s that you can watch from anywhere and on almost any device. You can use your phone, tablet, computer, smart TV, streaming device, or any number of internet-connected technologies. You can watch it while visiting your favorite bar or hangout. You can meet up with friends and family and watch with them. Or, you could even use your mobile to watch an event while on vacation in a remote location.
That said, you still have to know where to watch those events, and what networks or services offer the best access to sporting content and live games. To support our shared interest in some of the greatest sports on the planet, we wanted to put together an updated list of the best ways or places to watch live sports — and sporting-relating content — online.
At the top of our list is ESPN+ and its amazing library of sports content and exclusives, well beyond just the live events and games you can watch. The acclaimed 30 for 30 library, for example, is loaded with entertaining and informative documentaries on the wide world of sports, covering a span of topics and themes. Of course, you can stream live events from a multitude of sports and leagues, including soccer, combat, baseball, tennis, golf, football, and even college sports. UFC access is included too for most of the common fights, with options to purchase PPV events separately or as a bundle. ESPN+ originals include daily sports talk shows, after-game shows, daily studio shows, and more. Plus, there’s a ton of additional content to explore like articles, guides, and beyond.
There are several ways to sign-up for ESPN+ too, allowing you a little more freedom than some of the other services out there. You can sign-up for a Disney bundle, which includes access to Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ all for a low monthly price — $13.99 per month. ESPN+ separately is $6.99 per month or $69.99 for the whole year, and you can cancel anytime. You can also live stream UFC fights via ESPN+ if you’re into mixed martial arts.
Through Hulu, you can access all of the major sports broadcast networks including BTN, CBS Sports Network, Golf Channel, ESPN, NBC Sports, and more. You will need an active subscription to its Live TV service, which is not part of the standard package. The good news is that it comes with over 75 live and on-demand channels, some dedicated to sports content exclusively. Like most streaming services, you can watch Hulu and Live TV on a variety of devices and platforms, such as smart streaming platforms like Roku or Fire TV, various mobile devices and computers, and so on.
Hulu Live TV offers a free trial for 7 days, but then it’s $55 per month in a 3-month package or $65 per month individually. You can cancel anytime. There’s also a bundle that includes Hulu, Live TV, Disney+ and ESPN+ for $73 per month.
While Peacock is available free, you’ll need to subscribe to a paid tier to access sports content. The biggest draw of the network is that it offers access to Sunday Night Football and Premier League Soccer. You’ll also find a host of additional content from WWE, IndyCar, PGA Tour, Pro Motocross, Figure Skating, and more. Original series, documentaries, and sports specials are also available for subscribers, with one of the best examples being Lost Speedways 2, hosted by Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Signing up to Peacock Premium for $5 per month will get you access to all of that sports content including Sunday Night Football. A higher tier plan at $10 a month also includes sports-content access and removes most, but not all, ads.
Through YouTube you cannot watch international sports or NFL Network content, so that’s important to mention up front. However, you can access a bunch of broadcast networks through its live TV service like ESPN, MLB, NBA, Golf, and more. It also comes with a host of news and entertainment channels, closely resembling cable TV. What sets YouTube TV apart from some of the others is that it comes with unlimited cloud DVR storage space so you can record broadcasts, rewind, fast forward, and even pause, all while watching.
Normally $65 per month, right now you can try YouTube TV for $55 per month, for the first 3 months, and then it will return to its usual price after that. A Sports Plus package is also available for an additional $11 per month, which expands access to more sports broadcasts and content.
To be honest, Prime Video is not a recommended source for sports content by itself, but it is a good provider to have as a complement to others listed. That’s because Thursday Night Football, WNBA, and select teams — like the Yankees in New York — are broadcast via the service. There is also a limited selection of documentaries and series, such as All or Nothing. It’s just a great place to find some additional sports content outside of your normal provider(s), or if you have something specific you want to watch live.
Plans start at $9 per month, but if you already have Amazon Prime you should have access to most Prime Video content, as well.
Gloves down the best option for combat and martial arts fans, DAZN offers excellent coverage of fighting networks like Matchroom Boxing, World Boxing Super Series, MMA — like Bellator — and much more. It also hosts other sports broadcasts in fishing, gymnastics, soccer, and beyond. Original sports content is created and shared too with commentary about games and various events. Some of the premium or PPV content like the major UFC fights do cost extra but can be purchased on-demand, allowing you to pick and choose what you want to pay for.
DAZN is $20 per month with full access to live and on-demand content, or $100 per year. Again, there are additional PPV packages for events happening throughout the year. You can access the service from a plethora of devices and platforms, giving you a lot of options on when and where you watch. For example, you can watch on game consoles, connected devices, streaming platforms, mobile devices, computers, and so on.
If you’re planning to cut the cord, or have already, but still want access to all of your beloved sports content then FuboTV is a great option. Some of the networks available are NBA TV, NBC, CBS, Fox, Golf Channel, TBS, TNT, and the NFL Network. They also have a ton of international sporting content through beIN Sports, Fox Deportes, TUDN, and beyond. You can add on a lot of those international networks and sporting packages to fine-tune what access is available. It is one of the better services for those who just want to simulate a cable TV subscription.
The Starter or basic plan is $65 per month and includes 110 live channels with over 130 events in 4K. You also get Cloud DVR support with up to 250-hours of storage space, and the option to watch on 3 screens simultaneously. There are additional plan tiers like Pro for $70 per month, or Elite for $80 per month, both of which include more Cloud DVR space and access to additional channels.
A relative newcomer, Paramount+ is meant to replace the CBS All Access service. Through Paramount+ you can stream a live feed of CBS channel sports events and games, like NFL, NCAA March Madness, PGA Tour, and even some international sports. Of course, an active subscription also nets you access to Paramount’s expansive library of on-demand content including movies, TV shows, and documentaries.
You can try it free, with a 7-day free trial, but after that, it’s $5 per month or $50 per year for the basic plan, and $10 per month ($100 per year) for the premium plan. The premium plan includes access to the live CBS sporting content, while the basic plan does not.
Notable Mentions: Sling TV, DirecTV Stream
With Sling TV and DirecTV Stream you can also access live sports content, some of it only through add-on packages. Both also offer DVR storage for a little extra, which you can use to record broadcasts and watch later.
As previously mentioned, the best overall is ESPN+ especially if you grab the Disney bundle which includes access to Hulu and more. Some of the other services are great as piecemeal options, such as DAZN for combat and MMA fights, FuboTV for international sports, or Peacock to watch Sunday Night Football, specifically. While it can be confusing having so many options to choose from, it’s excellent that you can build your own sports bundle based on what you prefer to watch.
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