Trying to get rid of cable does not indicate that your beloved sports can no longer be watched. Live TV services feature many of the networks and local channels you get with a cable subscription, but not every service provides every channel. Subscription rates also differ wildly between providers.
Well, how is it possible to find the right service? A good approach is to list all the sports teams that you watch along with the channels or networks that hold those broadcasting rights.
The Best Streaming Services For Sports 2020
The Max plan from AT&T TV Now is your best bet for coverage of MLB. It covers all the national and local channels you need to watch in-market and national MLB game broadcasts for $80 per month (including AT&T's SportsNet channels). However, the MLB Network, which could be a dealbreaker, is missing. YouTube TV and Hulu are slightly cheaper choices if you're not living in a region protected by a SportsNet service. Fox Sports West, MASN, and YES are absent from YouTube TV, but it covers all the other RSNs for FOX and NBC. Hulu lacks the networks of NESN, MASN and MLB, but otherwise matches the lineup of YouTube TV.
YouTube TV’s unlimited DVR storage is a great option for catching up with any matchups you may have missed, which also gives it an edge over Hulu’s 50-hour limit. For up to 90 days, AT&T TV can now hold 500 hours of DVR recordings.
MLB provides a dedicated streaming package, called MLB.TV, for playing out-of-market games. If you want to watch every out-of-market MLB game ($59.99 per year) or just every out-of-market game for a particular team ($49.99 per year), you get to choose. If you live in a TV market where there are broadcast rights for a local RSN, the stream of the game becomes available about 90 minutes after the game ends. On the service's pricing page, you can check what blackouts apply to your area.
Where to Watch?
Channels: ESPN, FOX, FOX RSNs, FS1, MLB Network, NBC RSNs, AT&T SportsNet affiliates, and TBS
YouTube TV is the perfect choice for NBA fans if you can do without the few games that air exclusively for NBA League Pass subscribers. Given the recent price rise, the subscription cost of YouTube TV still falls below that of the regular plan and Sports Plus bundle of fuboTV. YouTube TV also has the advantage that most channels have limitless DVR capacity, a top-notch interface, and 1080p streams. There are some games only available for watching on your local RSN. This is troublesome for some NBA markets, such as New York, as YouTube TV no longer carries MSG or YES.
The NBA's League Pass for $99.99 a year is another option, allowing you to watch live out-of-market games and game replays. Some games will exclusively air to these subscribers for the remainder of the season, so there's no way around a subscription.
There are some massive caveats, however. You won't be able to watch local games when they air if you're in a market where blackout restrictions apply. Before you can watch an archived version, you need to wait three days.
National games broadcast on ESPN, ABC, TNT, and NBA TV (which are the bulk of them) are also not available to watch as they air on NBA League Pass. To watch affected matchups, you need to wait until three hours after the broadcast. On the service's pricing page, you can check what coverage blackouts apply to your region.
If you don't want to see the commercials, the price of the NBA League Pass goes up to $124.99 a year. You can apply to the NBA Team Pass for $59.999 if you only think about a single team.
Where to Watch?
ABC, ESPN, FOX RSNs, NBA TV, NBA League Pass, NBC RSNs, and TNT
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