If you’re a sports fan, I know I got your attention with that headline. Let’s face it; getting access to your favorite professional sports games can be expensive.
It’s not uncommon to pay as much as $200 a month or more to get all of your favorite sports cable channels. That’s a lot of cash — enough to pay for a nice little annual vacation.
But what if I told you that you could potentially stream your favorite sports teams or channels for free? I’m willing to bet I now have the attention of you sports-loving guys and gals, as well as your oh-so-patient spouses who might be sick and tired of shelling out big time cash for your sports watching addiction. 🙂
Yes, believe it or not, there are options out there that will allow you to stream sports for free.
However, you need to know that the majority of the mainstream sports programs you probably watch aren’t truly available to stream for free.
Check out the details below on each free sports streaming option and find out if they’re truly free. You’ll also find out what you can watch for free — and what you can’t — on each venue.
But also know that there are other options for sports streaming that may not be free but can save you money over traditional cable and satellite options. We’ll discuss those too.
The Best Ways for Free Sports Streaming Free
Here are some of the best ways you can stream sports for free and save money on your cable or satellite bill. We’ll talk about what you’ll find for free on each site. Read on to learn the truth about what they really offer viewers who don’t pay for some sort of subscription.
Yes, you can get ESPN 1, 2, 3, all the way up to ESPN8MM when you pay for it with your cable or satellite subscription.
OR, you can stream it for free. When you go to the ESPN website, you’ve got several free sports streaming options. For no cost at all you can stream:
- And more
Not every sports game is available to stream for free on ESPN. Some games are allowed to be streamed for free. Most games are not. In fact, you’ll find a pretty small selection of games and shows that you can stream for free.
Most of ESPN’s online programs require login access from your cable or satellite company. ESPN also has its own streaming service, ESPN+, for only $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year.
It’s important to know that ESPN+ doesn’t give you access to all sports games, either. Noticeably absent from its streaming schedule are the BIG games. The football and baseball games you can’t miss.
But they do promise to aire one MLB game each day and a large host of other sports games and shows.
If you’re not too picky about your content, though, you can check out ESPN’s free streaming selection to get your sports fix.
Facebook Watch is Facebook’s streaming service. The service kicked off in August 2017. The free streaming service largely features personalized video recommendations.
The videos feature a variety of different topics:
- Motivational talks
- TV show and movie clips
- Stand-up comedy clips
Just to name a few. The service also has some sports viewing options. They’ll show one MLB game per week, as well as soccer, basketball and other sports games.
You may also find varying professional sports games uploaded onto the site by Facebook users. These aren’t official videos, but they’re there.
Along with sports games, you’ll have access to various sports news shows and videos.
To get access to the official sports videos, you need to start by having a Facebook account. Note that your Facebook account has to follow the sports organizations you want to watch in order for games or shows to populate.
For instance, if you like baseball, you need to follow the official MLB Facebook site to get access to games. So, after you’ve followed the channel you like (in my case it’s MLB live), you get on the Facebook Watch page: Facebook Watch.
If you aren’t already logged in, the site will prompt you to do so. From there, you can see the shows and organizations on the left sidebar. They’ll show every sports organization you’re following on Facebook.
When you click on the organization’s Facebook page, it will populate the sports events that are available for you to watch.
I found this avenue for free sports streaming to be easy and convenient.
Yahoo Sports is another popular service that’s mentioned as a way to stream sports for free. The site definitely has a lot of sports news. The articles featured there are almost endless.
However you won’t find any games on the site. Instead, you’ll find links to services that will let you stream sports for a price, such as Sling TV, which we’ll talk about later.
You would think that Fox Sports would be the ultimate place for free sports streaming, next to ESPN. The Fox Sports website has loads of videos sharing news about the latest sports figures, coaches, etc.
The site also features video links to a variety of games such as baseball, football, soccer, etc. However, when you click to watch a game, you’ll be directed to Fox Sports Go. Browsing on Fox Sports Go – and even watching games there – is free.
However, in order to access viewing privileges, you have to log in with your TV service provider. In other words, you have to pay for a TV viewing service to get access to the Fox Sports Go free streaming games. Close to free sports streaming, but no cookie.
Laola 1 is another streaming site that’s often mentioned in free sports streaming articles. The site definitely does stream sports for free. And while it’s a Germany-based site, you can click on “English” in the bottom taskbar and watch shows narrated in English.
The problem with this site is that you won’t find any of the popular sporting events available here. No NFL, MLB or NBA. Instead, you’ll find loads of games such as volleyball and some soccer games.
This site does include commercials in its streamed videos, however you can sign up for their Premium non-commercial service for just a few dollars a month.
Also, many of the events they claim to stream will just reroute you to another paid service.
Alternatives to Free Sports Streaming
So, we’ve covered five of the most popular free sports streaming services. In the end, it turns out they’re really nothing special. Most of them offer sports news and articles, but not anything worth getting excited about.
Are there other options than paying an arm and a leg for expensive cable and satellite subscription prices? Why yes, there are!
And although they’re not free, they are somewhat more affordable than traditional cable and satellite subscriptions. We’ll go over those options now.
I mentioned Sling TV earlier, and I think it has a lot to offer in terms of affordable sports viewing for true sports aficionados. Sling has three subscription options; here’s the scoop on each one.
Sling Orange costs just $25 a month. It comes with 29 different cable channels at this writing. The sports channels it features include:
- ACC Network Extra ESPN
That’s it for sports channels, but at least you know that ESPN will carry most if not all of the big games. Sling Orange also has other channels, including Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, A&E and AFC.
Sling Blue costs $25 a month as well. The Blue package comes with 42 cable channels at this writing. The sports channels it features include:
- NFL Network
- NBC Sports
- Fox Sports
Note that Fox Sports and NBC Sports are only available through Sling in select markets. So you’ll have to contact them to see if they’re available in your market. I suggest doing that before you subscribe so you don’t end up disappointed if they’re not available where you live.
Along with those sports channels, you also get cable channels such as National Geographic and National Geographic Wild. The Travel Channel, The History Channel and The Independent Film Channel (IFC) are featured here too.
If you want the entire sports channel package Sling TV offers, you can sign up for the Sling Orange/Blue combo package. This package comes at a discount, priced at just $40 per month.
This is lower than most cable and satellite packages with sports channels.
No matter which Sling package you choose, you also have the option to do an “extra”. Extras are specially priced packages you can purchase in additional to your Sling Orange, Blue and combo packages.
If you’re a sports fan, you can get the sports package extra for just $5 more per month. The Sports Extra has channels such as NHL Network, NBA TV and Outside TV.
It also has ESPN-U, Bases Loaded and the Stadium Channel. Keep in mind that the channels you get in your Sports Extra package depend on which Sling package you have.
So, if you only have Sling Orange, you won’t get the same Extra sports channels you do with Sling Blue. Check out the Sling website for more information on affordable sports viewing or you can see our full review of SlingTV here.
Hulu with Live TV
You may have heard of Hulu. It’s a popular streaming service that’s working hard to catch up to Netflix.
Hulu recently added their Hulu with Live TV package. When you subscribe, you can watch over 50 TV and cable channels live, including sports channels. Here are the sports channels included with Hulu with Live TV:
- CBS Sports Network
- BTN (The Big Ten Network)
- ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN News and ESPNU
- Bases Loaded
- ESPN Goal Line
- NBC Golf
- The Olympic Channel
They have a large selection of sports channels as you can see. The price? $39.99 a month – after your free 7-day trial. Not a bad deal for that nice sports lineup.
Hulu with Live TV also features other cable channels such as The History Channel and TruTV. You’ll also get the Travel Channel, the Disney Channel, Fox News and Fox Business, among others.
Hulu with Live TV could be a great alternative to your traditional cable or satellite package.
Playstation VUE is another cable alternative for sports fans. It’s a bit more expensive than Hulu with Live TV or Sling TV. However, it’s likely cheaper than your sports-laden cable or satellite package.
Let’s start with the price. Playstation VUE starts with its Core package for sports lovers. The Core package is $49.99 per month. They do have a cheaper package called the Access package for $44.99 per month.
The Access package includes ESPN and ESPN2 but that’s it. The Core package has additional sports channels, including:
- ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN SEC and ESPN News
- NBC Golf
- Fox Sports North and Fox Sports North Plus
As you can see, the Core package offers a lot more channels for sports lovers. However, in addition, if you subscribe to the Core package or higher, you can purchase a Sports Pack add-on.
For an additional $10 a month, you can get these additional channels as well if you choose:
- Bases Loaded
- ESPN Classic
- Goal Line
- Eleven Sports
- 8 other sports channels
Note that the Sports Pack add-on is not available if you get the Playstation Vue Access package.
Playstation VUE Supported Devices
If you want to get Playstation VUE, you’ll have to own or purchase a PS Vue supported device. The list of supported devices (at this writing) are as follows:
- PS3 or PS4
- Roku Players
- Amazon Fire TV
- Apple TV (4th gen and up)
- Android TV (Android OS 4.4 and up)
- Certain tablet and mobile devices
- Your PC with a web connection
Playstation VUE is a bit more expensive than the others we’ve featured here. However it could be cheaper per month than what you’ll find with your local cable or satellite company.
Still Prefer Cable? Find a Stellar Deal with Cable or Satellite
If you’re not thrilled with any of the options listed here, you could go another route. You could search local cable and satellite companies in search of a stellar introductory deal.
Sometimes cable and satellite company will run highly discounted packages for new customers. Warning: if you decide to go this route, please read the fine print before signing a contract.
There are often additional fees, rules and regulations with these introductory deals. You might find that you can get charged extra if you cancel early, for instance. Or there might be hidden monthly fees that jack up what you pay each month.
Installation fees and equipment rental fees can be a part of cable and satellite packages. Take those into account before signing on the dotted line.
Add in up-front costs for installation and monthly fees for equipment rental etc. You just might find that you’re not getting such a great introductory deal after all.
But sometimes you’ll hit the jackpot and find a truly great promo with a cable or satellite company. If that’s the case, go ahead and take advantage of it.
Just be sure to cancel your subscription before the rates go back up to regular pricing. You don’t want to see a “surprise” doubled bill in your checking account deductions one day.
Cable and satellite subscriptions that include sports packages are usually pretty costly. They’ll take a nice chunk out of your monthly budget.
If you’re interested in potentially rerouting that money to use for other things, like maybe reaching financial freedom, you might want to consider some of the alternatives mentioned above.
Some of the free sports streaming options are noteworthy. They’ll allow you to get your sports fix. However most don’t accompany streaming the big games – or at least not a lot of them.
There may be a better alternative if you’re sick and tired of shelling out big cash for sports cable packages. Consider some of the paid streaming services like the ones mentioned above.
Options like Sling TV, Hulu, and Playstation Vue may not be free, but they’re often cheaper than cable or satellite. They could be a nice median choice for you and your budget.
Have you ever tried any of the free sports streaming options? If so, what did you think of them? Similarly, have you tried any of the lower priced sports streaming options like Sling TV?
What was your experience if you have tried them? Share in the comments below – we’d love to hear from you!
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