Virginia Union vs Valdosta State : Live sports coverage is a huge draw for cable subscribers, but you can get the same content, if not more, from a dedicated streaming service.
Sports events account for some of the most popular TV events in the world, with die-hard fans watching from all across the globe. Which is why being able to stream your favorite sports channels without cable is now an affordable luxury all fans can enjoy. Sports streaming services like Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and FuboTV give you access to live and on-demand games. Plus, sports fans can rest easy knowing there are niche streaming services that primarily cover one sport, and others that air all the majors and come with international sports, too.
The type of sports streaming platform that’s best for you will depend on your personal preferences. Do you want to watch out-of-market games? Do you need a service that features betting-related programs now that sports betting is legal in some states? Maybe you really love hockey, car racing, golf, or watching those international soccer games. When it comes to sports streaming, the options are infinite. Many services also offer more than just sports, so you can get a more comprehensive streaming experience overall, which is ideal for families.
How These Sports Streaming Services Made our Top 10
When we chose the top 10 streaming platforms for sports, we took a few factors into account. We looked at the overall variety of sports and leagues offered. We also factored in the availability of both local and national sports channels. We even considered extra features, such as DVR space, sports-related add-ons, as well as costs and free-trial deals, too.
Top 10 Sports Streaming Services
- Hulu + Live TV
- YouTube TV
- Sling TV
- DirecTV Stream
- ESPN Plus
- Amazon Prime Video
What to Look For in a Sports Streaming Service
First and foremost, you should make sure that the service has the sports coverage you desire. Naturally, you know Netflix won’t offer you live streaming or sports channels (at least not yet). But not all sports streaming platforms cover every sport either, which means you need to make sure the right channels are available. The best services will offer a mix of national channels and RSNs. Though still valuable to certain sports fans, services that focus only on one sport or only offer commentary shows are not as well-rounded.
That leads us to another factor you should look for — a live TV streaming service. While being able to watch replays or archived games can be convenient, most of us want to watch the action live. So, make sure you’re choosing a service that allows you to watch live sports, and then look for extras like DVR capabilities. Having the latest sports shows and add-ons are bonuses.
Top 10 Sports Streaming Services Compared
|Service||Cost Per Month||Unique Features||App? (Y/N)||Free Trial? (Y/N)|
|Hulu + Live TV||$69.99+||Local and national sports channels||Y||N|
|YouTube TV||$64.99+||Expansive DVR||Y||Y|
|Sling TV||$35.00+||Lots of national channels||Y||Y|
|DirecTV Stream||$69.99+||Most RSNs||Y||Y|
|ESPN Plus||$9.99||UFC coverage||Y||N|
|Peacock||$4.99+||Premier League, IndyCar, and WWE||Y||Y|
|Amazon Prime Video||$8.99+||Thursday Night Football||Y||Y|
|DAZN||$12.99+||Boxing and MMA||Y||N|
|Paramount+||$4.99+||Local NFL games||Y||Y|
Hulu + Live TV
|All major networks||Doesn’t offer NBA TV, MLB Network, or NHL Network|
|Also includes ACCN, BTN, ESPN, FS1, FS2, SEC, TBS, and TNT|
|NFL Red Zone add-on|
|75+ live TV channels|
|Automatically includes Disney Plus and ESPN Plus|
Hulu + Live TV is one of the best live TV streaming services when it comes to cable channels, as it includes ESPN, ESPN2, FS1, FS2, TBS, TNT, and USA Network. These are must-haves for sports fans as you can watch NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, PGA, and college sports games on these channels. Local channels include CBS, NBC, FOX, and ABC. Hulu also has NBC and SportsNet regional networks with availability based on where you live. There are a variety of Hulu plans, but the base live TV package starts at $70 per month and reaches up to $76 per month for a no-ad experience.
For $70 a month, you get a great sports lineup and 75+ live channels overall. You can also pay an extra $10 a month for the Sports add-on, which includes NFL Red Zone, MAVTV, TVG, Outdoor Channel, and Sportsman Channel. This is a great service for someone who’s looking for professional and college sports channels, plus entertainment and family content. You automatically get the service bundled with ESPN Plus and Disney Plus at no extra cost. There is a Hulu free trial, however, it only gives users access to the on-demand basic plan and no live TV channels.
|Includes league-owned channels||No NHL Network|
|Sports Plus add-on||No Pac-12 Network|
|85+ live channels|
|4K and unlimited streams add-on|
|Professional and college sports|
YouTube TV stands out as a top sports streaming provider because of the channels it offers in its standard, no-premium package required lineup. For $65 a month, you not only get channels like ESPN, FS1, FS2, TBS, and TNT, but plenty of league channels as well. This means you can watch MLB Network, NBA TV, and NFL Network. ACC Network, Big Ten Network, and SEC Network are also standard, along with tennis and golf channels. All in all, you get around 85+ live channels to choose from.
There’s also a Sports Plus add-on for $11 a month that includes NFL Red Zone, beIN, TVG, Fox Soccer Plus, and more. If you prefer to add on individual networks like NBA League Pass or, you have those options as well. Plus, YouTube TV is the only sports streaming service with unlimited storage space included, so if you can’t catch the action live, you’ll have plenty of space to record, store, and watch later. The 4K Plus add-on, regularly priced at $20 a month, gives you access to downloads offline and 4K high-quality streaming. Right now, you can get the add-on for $10 a month for your first 12 months of service. This is a great sports streaming service for fans on the go.
|International sports options||No TBS, TNT, or truTV|
|NASCAR||Lacking out-of-market NBA|
FuboTV starts at $65 a month and offers 100+ channels, which is similar to the majority of live streaming services. The service also offers a 7-day free trial which is becoming less popular among live TV services. When it comes to sports, this is one of the best streaming options for overseas sports fans. The International Sports Plus add-on includes Fox Deportes, GOLTV, Zona Futbol, TyC Sports, RealMadrid TV, and more for $7 a month. Aside from overseas sports, you’ll find ESPN, ESPN2, FS1, FS2, and USA Network. The service also has AT&T and NBS Sports RSNs. The most notable channels missing are TBS and TNT, which means no March Madness.
FuboTV also has several sports add-ons to choose from. Some of the channels overlap between packages, but the Sports Plus with NFL Red Zone is popular as it comes with 25 additional sports channels for $11 a month.
|Starts at $35/month||No ABC|
|35+ live channels||Limited RSNs|
|College sports networks|
|Most national channels|
|Multiple sports add-ons|
|Can combine plans|
Sling TV has two separate packages, Sling Blue and Sling Orange, that each start at $35 per month. But there is the option to combine both plans (Blue + Orange) for $50 per month to get the full Sling TV channels list. Sling Orange offers 30+ channels and includes popular channels like ESPN while Sling Blue has 42+ channels and includes FS1 and NFL Network. Both plans include TBS and TNT, but ABC is not available on either. Sling TV often runs promotions for free trials too, which you can follow on our Sling TV Free Trial article.
If you’re a huge sports fan, you should definitely consider adding on the Sports Extra package for $11 a month in order to get the widest variety of channels. The package includes ACCN, beIN Sports, ESPNU, Longhorn Network, MLB Network, NHL Network, PAC12 Network, SEC Network, Tennis Channel, and Strike Zone.
|Variety of RSNs||No NFL Network|
|College, regional, and major professional sports||High price point|
|90+ live channels and 45,000+ on-demand titles with Choice|
|Stream on up to 20 devices|
|International sports options|
|League channels included|
If you’re not familiar, DirecTV Stream was formerly AT&T TV. While the price points are higher for these plans, they’re some of the most comprehensive. The plans typically start at $70 a month, but the $90 Choice plan will get you the channels you need to watch just about every major network for college and professional sports.
DirecTV also offers promotional prices, so sometimes you can get the base plan for $60 a month or the Choice plan for $80 a month. You’ll also get a wide range of RSNs, making this the best sports streaming service for fans of regional sports teams. In all, you’ll get channels like Big Ten Network, ESPN, FS1, NBA TV, MLB Network, TNT, and TBS.
Other aspects we like are that unlimited cloud recordings are included in each of the plans, as well as ESPN. As far as add-ons, you can select NBA League Pass Premium for $30 a month during the season. There are also several overseas add-ons, including a Deportes package for $5 a month.
|International soccer||No live NBA coverage|
|Exclusive sports shows||No live NFL coverage|
|Out-of-market NHL games|
|Wimbledon and US Open coverage|
We had to mention ESPN Plus on our list, though it’s a slightly different type of sports streaming service. This is not the best option for NFL fans or those looking for live NBA games. Instead, you’ll find a lot of soccer (both international and MLS) along with NHL and out-of-market games. You can also get access to PPV UFC events and live MLB games.
Now for fans that love to watch shows, ESPN Plus is a great buy. The streaming service offers commentary and popular shows like Peyton’s Place and 30 for 30. For $10 a month, ESPN Plus can be a nice addition to your streaming service lineup. It’s also worth noting
|$5 a month||No DVR|
|Sunday Night Football||Limited sports overall|
|Premier League Soccer|
Peacock is still considered one of the new kids on the block when it comes to sports streaming. While there’s a free plan, sports aficionados will need to upgrade to Peacock Premium for just $5 a month, or Premium Plus for $10 a month if you want to skip ads. With the upgrade, you’ll get access to Sunday Night Football and Premier League soccer.
Peacock also has WWE, Olympic, and IndyCar content. You can also find events for cycling, rugby, and figure skating. For the low price, we like that you also get a ton of on-demand content when you subscribe to the service.
Amazon Prime Video
|Home of Thursday Night Football||Limited sports available|
|WBNA coverage||Add-ons can get pricey|
|Select Yankees games for NY residents|
|Free with Prime|
|Large on-demand library|
You already know you can order a jersey and get free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime, but what you may not know is that you can actually watch games with Amazon Prime Video. The sports streaming service is free for Prime members but costs $9 a month on its own. The actual sports streaming consists mainly of Thursday Night Football, but there are a few other sports too. You can watc
Though not robust on its own, you can add other premium channels to your Amazon Prime Video subscription, like NBA League Pass or Showtime. The on-demand library is also impressive, with sports shows like All or Nothing. This service is best suited for sports fans that already have Prime and get the limited sports offerings for free.
|Exclusive fights||Limited mainstream sports|
|MMA & boxing coverage||Pricey|
|Replays No PPV fees|
If you’ve heard of DAZN, then you’re probably a boxing or MMA fan. The sports streaming service caters to those fanbases, but there are also bar sports like cricket and darts. For $13 a month and no focus on mainstream sports, it may seem expensive. However, to MMA and boxing fans, the absence of typical PPV fees makes the streaming service well worth it.
The niche service offers live sports streaming of these events, plus replays for later. There’s also sports programming, such as Change Up and Sweet Scientists: AK and Barak. For boxing and MMA fans, no service is more tailored to the audience than DAZN.
|Live stream local NFL games||Limited sports coverage overall|
|International soccer||Pricey for options|
|Some 4K streaming|
|Local CBS network|
|Offline viewing for on-demand titles|
Paramount+ is a sports streaming service that’s best for NFL and PGA Tour fans. When it comes to selecting a plan, sports enthusiasts should choose the $10 a month, ad-free option instead of the $5 a month plan. With the upgraded plan, you can watch CBS live, meaning you can live stream local NFL games, PGA events, and even March Madness. Paramount+ also has content for soccer fans, with NWSL women’s soccer, UEFA Champions League, Concacaf, Liga Profesional de Fútbol, and more.
Paramount+ has more added value if you also want an on-demand library of shows. Some titles even come in high-quality 4K. You can even get Paramount+ as an add-on to services like Amazon Prime Video.
Quality of sports streaming services
One consideration to keep in mind with sports streaming services is the overall picture quality. While cable is always consistent, sports streaming services rely on your internet (or cellular data connection). That being said, you want to make sure to have the best possible connection. Even so, some streams are limited to 720p. As a point of reference, you ideally want to stream content in 1080p/60fps, but it depends on your internet connection.
Most sports streaming services offer live events in 1080p, but there are a couple that offer events in 4K resolution. FuboTV and YouTube TV do have the capability, but you have to check the requirements and overall bandwidth of your streaming device. As long as you meet the requirements, you’ll be able to stream those sports. The ability to watch on-the-go and from anywhere at any time is what makes live sports streaming a more popular option over traditional cable.
Diehard sports fans need sports streaming services that can provide coverage throughout the season. Not only can you watch games and events, but many services come with bonus features. What makes a sports streaming service top tier are extras like unlimited DVR, multiple screens, or offline downloads. The flexibility to add on different channels is also a plus for even more entertainment. There are numerous sports streaming services to choose from, whether you want to watch cricket or Tom Brady for yet another season.
How much do sports streaming services cost?
Sports streaming services range in price. While some are technically free depending on what you want to watch, some are closer to $100 a month. Look for a streaming service with all the sports coverage you want at a price point that works for you.
What are the advantages of sports streaming services?
The advantage of a sports streaming service is that fans get dedicated sports programming. Some services focus mainly on entertainment, so when you find a platform focused on the sports you love, it makes your viewing experience that much better. You can also get key features like DVR or replays of games. Of course, many of the services that made our list provide the best of both worlds.
How to subscribe to a sports streaming service?
Subscribing to a sports streaming service is simple. You can sign up from your web browser or in some cases, from your TV or mobile device. Always look around to see if there are special mobile discounts as well. Depending on how you sign up, offers may be different. You may save money by signing up for a yearly subscription versus a monthly subscription.
How to cancel my subscription to a sports streaming service?
In most cases, you can cancel your subscription without any penalty. All of the services mentioned on our list are contract-free, meaning you can cancel at any time. You just need to log into your account and end the subscription.