Sports and reality shows are two genres of television that have to be watched live. You don’t want to be that person who missed your team’s game-winning goal or any intense moments throughout the match.
In the past, you had to have a cable provider to watch all of the big games, but we live in the age of streaming and you’re able to cut the cord and still catch all of the best content. You can stream movies and cartoons without cable, and live sports are no different.
Streaming services give you all the sports coverage you want on your terms. However, there are so many to choose from that it can be a little difficult deciding which one is the best fit for you. When making your selection, keep in mind which sports are the most important to you. If you’re a die-hard football fan and don’t really pay attention to any other athletics, NFL Game Pass might be the service you need. Or maybe you’re just an ESPN enthusiast and want access to ESPN+.
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Some streaming sites are cable replacements first and sports services second. Hulu Live offers access to a bunch of live channels, on-demand movies and shows, original content, and sports, including events like the Super Bowl and World Cup.
You might have to give up watching the Super Bowl in exchange for exclusive content or forego DVR storage for a lower price tag. The best part about going this route rather than cable (aside from being cheaper) is that there’s no contract and you can cancel your subscription whenever you want.
We’ve found 11 of the best platforms for watching live and recorded sports (including esports) and have broken down the awesome and not-so-great features of each to help you decide which one will give you your sports fix.
Best overall choice for sports
Most comprehensive for sports fans • Entertainment channels included • DVR storage
fuboTV has tons of sports channels with some entertainment options as well.
Price: $54.99 per month
The basic plan includes 116 channels, 30 hours of cloud DVR space, and the ability to watch on two screens at once. There are also more advanced packages for families, Latin TV, and add-ons like Showtime.
There is a free, seven-day trial available for each of the packages so you can test the water before committing to the full price.
Best budget pick
Affordable • ESPN+ originals • Free trial • Option to bundle with Disney+ and Hulu
Doesn’t offer the big network games
If you just want to watch sports and not spend a lot of money, this is the way to go.
Price: $5.99 per month Price: $49.99 per year
That sort of coverage and varied programming is what makes ESPN+ worth it, and a steal at such a low price tag of $5.99 per month or $49.99 per year. While it doesn’t get the same number of big games as some other networks or providers, ESPN+ definitely makes up for it in sheer variety. You could go from MLB to college lacrosse to tennis in a snap. Add to that programs like 30 for 30 and SportsCenter and ESPN+ originals, and you’ve got a pretty decent sports offering right there.
You also have the option to bundle ESPN+ with Disney+ and Hulu for $12.99 per month.
Best for customized add-ons
A la carte add-ons • Local channels included with HD antenna • ESPN included in basic plans
Not many sports channels in base packages • DVR storage costs extra
At the surface level, Sling TV is not an outstanding sports streaming service, but its a la carte sports packages makes it worth your money.
Price: $30 per month (Sling Orange) Price: $30 per month (Sling Blue) Price: $45 per month (Sling Orange and Blue)
Sling has two standard subscriptions, Orange and Blue, that each feature different sports channels. For the best deal, we suggest going for the combination package that gives you all the channels from both plans. These include ESPN, NBC Sports, and a couple others.
To really utilize Sling as a sports streaming platform, you’ll definitely want to add on the sports extra for an additional $10 per month. Unfortunately, local channels are not automatically included with Sling TV, but that’s not a huge issue because all you have to do to gain access is install an HD antenna.
Best for watching more than just sports
Easy to find games by genre • Includes tons of TV and movie programming • Very portable between devices • Free trial
Local offerings are limited
If sports are just one of the many things you want from a streaming service, Hulu Live could be the way to go.
Price: $54.99 per month
By signing up for Hulu Live or upgrading from the base $7.99 service, you get access to live TV through most major networks, plus some local channels as well. That means Fox, NBC, CBS, and their affiliated sports channels are right there at your fingertips on any device. The portability of Hulu cannot be overstated. Not only can you watch it on your smart TV or your laptop, but via the Hulu app as well on any compatible device.
Hulu organizes channels and networks by genre, so you can find Group B games in the World Cup or jump between MLB games. It also makes finding replays easier as well, so if you miss any vital moments in big sporting events like the World Cup or Super Bowl, you can easily go back and watch them. And while Hulu Live might not get as many local channels as some other offerings, you do get a pretty decent movie selection with it.
Best for men’s college basketball
Best coverage of men’s NCAA basketball • Includes CBS network shows and originals • Great coverage of the NFL AFC • Free trial • Download videos and play offline with commercial-free plan
Not much else, sports-wise
If you’re mainly a men’s college basketball fan, this could be the only streaming service you need.
Price: $5.99 per month with limited commercials Price: $9.99 per month with no commercials Price: $59.99 per year with limited commercials Price: $99.99 per year with no commercials
Compared to most other networks, CBS offers the best coverage of men’s NCAA basketball. From the men’s regular season, division championships, and finally March Madness, CBS has established itself as the undisputed king of college basketball. And since you can get the first week free (and ostensibility can cancel before the subscription kick in) you can watch the height of the action without paying a penny.
It’s also worth mentioning CBS’s dedicated coverage of the NFL AFC, which prove to be some of the most competitive and dominant teams in the league.
Unfortunately there isn’t much of a selection beyond NCAA basketball and the NFL AFC. However, CBS has shown a desire to supply original content to the service as well, much like Netflix and Amazon. Stream shows like Survivor, Big Brother, and Star Trek: Discovery.
Best for watching a variety of sports
Affordable • Olympics streaming • Wide variety of sports • More than just sports
Free version doesn’t include many sports
If you’re into more than just football and basketball, Peacock is the place to watch a large selection of sporting events.
Peacock price: Free (golf, tennis, sports talk, movies, and TV) Peacock Premium price: $4.99 per month (everything in Peacock plus Premier League, cycling, skating, rugby, and snow sports) Peacock Premium Plus price: $9.99 per month (everything in Premium without ads)
The base package is free and includes golf, tennis, sports talk, and all the entertainment content Peacock offers. The Premium tier includes additional sports like Premier League, cycling, rugby, and more, and then Premier Plus is all of that but without commercials.
Peacock Sports is awesome for people who are into a variety of sports. You won’t find figure skating and rugby on many other sports streaming services. Plus, Peacock also includes the Olympic Games.
Best for YouTube lovers
Offers most major networks • Includes YouTube Red originals • Free trial • Unlimited storage space • Three screens and six accounts per household
Limited local offerings • Pricey
While YouTubeTV won’t give you as many local channels, it does offer YouTube Red originals in addition to most major networks.
Price: $64.99 per month
This is where YouTubeTV comes into the equation. Growing out of the original platform and YouTube Red, YouTubeTV offers live coverage of most major networks, including sports affiliates. That means FSN and NBCSN are available so that you don’t miss the biggest games of the week, much like fuboTV and Hulu Live.
And unlike a cable provider that’s going to lock you into a contract, a site like YouTubeTV lets you cancel at any time. This means that if you’re really only into basketball, you can tune in during the regular season then cancel your account once the NBA finals conclude. And, much like Fubo and Hulu, you can try YouTube TV free for seven days if you’re undecided.
The downside is that YouTubeTV is a little more limited in its offerings when it comes to local channels, giving services like the aforementioned Hulu and Fubo an edge.
Twitch Prime is the ultimate platform for watching esports while reaping the benefits of Amazon Prime. Price: $4.99 per month
It’s because of this kind of exposure that several leagues, like the Overwatch League, have chosen to use Twitch as their core streaming platform. And given the booming popularity of esports, it only made sense that Prime Gaming would serve a major role. And the great thing here is that there are two options available. If you don’t want to pay for anything, you don’t have to. Just use Twitch to sit back, relax, and watch your favorite players.
Get more out of your Twitch account by signing up for Prime Gaming (formerly Twitch Prime) if you’re super into gaming. Plus, with an Amazon Prime account, you can access live sports like football and basketball.
Best for football
Offers nearly every game, every week • Has replays of games you may have missed • Includes NFL shows
No Super Bowl • No live regular season or playoff games
If you’re a die-hard NFL fan, this service is cheap enough to add on top of other streaming services.
Price: $74.99 per year
The service also includes condensed and full replays of games you might have missed and the extensive NFL films archive, like HBO’s Hard Knocks series. And, like most of the services on this list, offers a seven-day free trial to see how you like it.
Because there are no live games, you cannot watch the Super Bowl live through Game Pass. This is also due to network rotation between CBS, Fox, and NBC to air the Super Bowl. Even so, NFL Game Pass is probably the best value for big NFL fans.
Best for MMA fans
Access to all fights and UFC content • Stream from multiple devices • View past fights
Pricey for just one sport
It won’t get you movies or TV, but if you’re an MMA fanatic, UFC Fight Pass is the way to go.
Price: $9.99 per month Price: $95.99 per year
So it only makes sense that it would offer its own dedicated platform, UFC Fight Pass, for MMA fanatics to catch every fight, no matter where they are. That means you can watch an entire packed card, from the prelims to the main event, with no fuss through UFC Fight Pass. It also gets you access to every piece of content dropped by UFC, whether that be the latest in Dana White’s Contender Series or a vlog following fighters leading up to a big fight.
Best free option
Free • Access to thousands of live sporting events
Requires cable subscription
If you’re still holding onto your cable or know someone who is, the NBC Sports app makes a fantastic addition to a sports lineup.
Price: Free (with cable subscription)
While there are plenty of people cutting cable, there are still plenty of others who are happy with what they have. To that end, it is always worth seeing if anyone in your family still has cable. If they do, you can simply share the account to get access. That way, you won’t miss the NFL’s Sunday night game or NHL’s featured game of the week. Just log into the NBC Sports app and you’re good to go.
If you’ve been on the verge of cutting your cable cord because you aren’t getting enough access to sports, adding on the NBC Sports app might save you the hassle.