Group of young people watching soccer match

Updated: The Ultimate Cord Cutting Guide for Sports Fans Summer 2017 Edition


Group of young people watching soccer matchSports is still one of the main reasons people hold off on becoming a cord cutter. The desire to have access to live events is something many are willing to pay a lot for. The good news is watching sports as a cord cutter is easier than ever. So here is our quick guide to being a cord cutting sports fan.

Sports Channels

The first thing many people want is access to their favorite sports channels. ESPN, FS1, BTN, and more are all available to cord cutters with services such as Sling TV, HuluPlayStation Vue, and DIRECTV NOW.

Here is a quick chart on which service has what:

Channels Sling PS Vue DIRECTV NOW Hulu
ESPN X X X X
ESPN2 X X X X
ESPNU X X X X
ESPN Goal Line X X X X
SEC Network X X X X
Big Ten X X X
FS1 X X X X
FS2 X X X X
Campus Insider X
Pac-12 X
NFL Network X X
NHL Network X X
NBA TV X X X

*Did I miss something or make a error? Send us a message.

Also many channels such as TNT, TBS, and others, which show sports as a secondary focus, are also included with most of these services.

Regional Sports Channels (Fox Sports, CSN)

If you want access to your local sports networks such as Fox Sports or Comcast SportsNet (CSN) we have good news for you. Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, Hulu, and DIRECTV NOW all offer local sports channels just not all of them. Sadly you will have to do a bit of research to see what local sports network each has in your area. They all seem to have Fox Sports and the rest have a smattering of different regional sports networks. So make sure to visit their sites to find out what they have where you live.

NFL

The NFL is our most commonly asked for sport coverage. The good news is with an antenna 90% of Americans will be able to access their local CBS, FOX, and NBC stations. Add in a streaming service such as Sling TV or PlayStation Vue for ESPN and the NFL Network and you have the same coverage your local cable TV company can give you.

You can also watch Thursday night games from CBS and NBC on Amazon Prime this year. You will need to be a Amazon Prime member to watch them. (Unless you use a antenna.)

CBS All Access now streams in-market Sunday games through its streaming service.

College Football

College football is our second most requested guide from sports fans. As you saw above many streaming services such as Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and DIRECTV NOW offer access to popular channels for college football fans. SEC Network, BTN, and the Pac-12 Network are all now available to cord cutters.

ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC are available to more than 90% of Americans with an antenna. If you cannot get it over the air look into services such as Sling TV, DIRECTV NOW, and PlayStation Vue, which offer locals in many different markets. So make sure to visit their sites to see what you can get in your local market.

NBA

Both Sling TV and PlayStation Vue will give you NBA TV and networks such as ESPN and TNT. You can watch the games on ABC with an antenna or by using your login for WatchESPN apps.

Again you may need to shop around for the service that has your regional sports channel but most Americans should be able to get it from one of the services.

You may also want to look into NBA League Pass if you live outside of your sports team’s local market. For a one-time payment of $99.99 you can watch every game for your out-of-market team.

NASCAR

Many of the biggest races every year are 100% free on FOX and NBC. A good antenna will give you these races without the need to pay for anything.

Not sure what antenna you should get for FOX and NBC? Check out AntennaRecommendations.com. Type in your address to see what kind of antenna you will need.

If you can’t get FOX or NBC for free, check out Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, DIRECTV NOW, YouTube TV, or Fubo TV to see if they offer them in your area. These live TV services also offer access to FS1 & NBCSN allowing you to watch even more races.

NHL

If you are an NHL fan then Sling TV is what you want. It has the NHL Network as well as the NBC Sports network for great NHL coverage. Add in an antenna for local NBC games or stream NBC games for free on NBC’s website.

Golf

Are you a golf fan? DIRECTV NOW, Sling TV, and PlayStation Vue all offer the Golf Channel along with ESPN and more. Again add in an antenna for locals such as CBS and you have your golf fix. If you have poor OTA coverage check out the streaming services. Over half of PlayStation Vue subscribers now get local CBS stations live.

Twitter will also now live stream some Golf events.

MLB

Currently only DIRECTV NOW & PlayStation Vue offers the MLB Network.

If you want access to your local sports networks such as Fox Sports or Comcast SportsNet (CSN) we have good news for you. Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and DIRECTV NOW all offer local sports channels just not all of them. Sadly you will have to do a bit of research to see what local sports network each has in your area. They all seem to have Fox Sports and the rest have a smattering of different regional sports networks. So make sure to visit their sites to find out what they have where you live.

UFC Fighting

If you are a fan of UFC you should look at the UFC Fight Pass for ultimate access to UFC fights. It will show a ton of fights but you will need a service such as Sling TV or DIRECTV NOW to watch fights on FS1 and FS2.

Do you have a sport we didn’t cover? Leave us a comment and we will work on adding it to the list.

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  • Ray Dabkowski

    Don’t forget NBCSN (not on your chart). They cover many sports, including the current 3-week-long Tour de France bicycle race. We’re hooked up with Sling TV.

    • Matt L

      I notice NBCSN was missing too.

  • Richard smith

    Currently only DIRECTV NOW offers the MLB Network.

    Watching it on PlayStation Vue right now

  • Charles Hanskat

    DirecTV Now also has NBCSN with the Tour de France

    • Bruce Wayne

      NBCSN has always been available on DirectvNOW

  • Richard smith

    Watch Espn has every Wimbledon match.

  • Richard smith

    Cbs sports streams Golf, college basketball/ Football for free.

  • Reed Decato

    As far as MLB Network just being on DirecTV Now, that is incorrect. Its available on PS Vue, on their core slim package.

  • AИ₮$

    CSN Philly is the big dealbreaker for those of us in Philly…I know PS VUE and HULU BETA carries it

  • Carl Collie

    You left off BeIN Sports for European Soccer motor sports.

  • Deon Hamner

    Having the NFL network and NBA tv was a major factor for me getting ps vue

  • Jesse Gurr

    Spectrum stream tv has espn, it also has bein sports, pac12, MLB strike zone, fox soccer plus, and something called Extra Time, guessing it’s sports. I don’t watch sports so I’m not sure if there are others I don’t recognize. Oh almost forgot the horse racing channel, TVG.

  • FranchisePlayer

    You mentioned NBA League Pass for NBA but there’s also MLB.tv which has a similar option for all MLB games (minus their horrible blackout rules).
    There’s also AT&T SportsNet http://cordcuttersnews.com/root-sports-re-branded-att-sportsnet/ which is the Root Sports stations that should be coming (hopefully) this month to some of the streaming services.

  • Craig W

    Free MLB.TV courtesy of TMobile and Sling blue with the sports add on comes to $35.00 which covers just about everything I need. The only things I’m missing is MLB Network and the NFL games that are on CBS. There is nothing that ESPN covers that I can’t live without. I’m Happy. Hopefully CBS and Sling come to some sort of agreement before football begins.

  • Nathan

    Don’t forget the biggest money saver tip for people considering cord cutting, you can unsubscribe during the off season. I’m a college sports guy so I start my service at the end of August for football season. Often I switch between services in January because my channel requirements change during basketball season. This past year I had a subscription through the basketball season and then unsubscribed at the end of conference tournaments and grabbed a free trail during the first weekend of march madness and that got me through the rest of the games. Currently I’m not subscribed to anything and I won’t be until right around end of August or first of September. Obviously this won’t work for everyone, but I’ve been doing this a couple of years and it works out great to save a few bucks during the summer or whenever the offseason of your favorite sport is. And as an added bonus, I currently have offers from sling, DIRECTV now and I think PSVue for another free trial to come back to their service so I’ll get a free week or month when I do restart.

  • Respected Citizen

    * Who has beIN besides fubo?
    * What sports channels does Youtube have?

    * NHL — DirecTV Now has the NHL network as well, plus local NBCs
    * Are MASN and the AT&T Sports Nets the only RSNs not on any streaming service?

    * I find it strange that fubo has the NBA network but not ESPN or TNT. It should have the NHL channel, since it has NBC & NBCSN.

    • Richard smith

      Sling has Bien as an addon. You can also just get their sports international alone for $10
      Google Youtube Tv and Look
      Dont know what every region has on every service.
      Espn/Disney and Time warner channels are very expensive. Nhl is mostly owned by the Nhl. I guess its not just making a deal with Comcast.

      • Respected Citizen

        Ultimate Guide : HEY JUST GOOGLE IT

        Do you happen to know if Sling has the 10 beIN feeds like fubo has? TIA

        I believe NBAtv is run by Turner, but I guess they negotiate carriage deals separately. Fubo takes what it can get, I suppose.

  • Dearg Gerilo

    Here are some more sports channels important to cord cutters (mostly soccer and college sports):

    beIN SPORTS
    beIN SPORTS En Español
    CBS Sports Network
    ESPN Deportes
    FOX Deportes
    GolTV
    Univision Deportes

  • Mike Thaler

    Why do many journalists, here and elsewhere, leave out mention of the Google/youtube offering? True they are only in a few(5?) MAJOR metro areas. They do have the 4 networks . They are missing all the Turner/Times Warner stations including no CNN. Maybe Times Warner sees that Google could/will become a major threat? I just started 30 trial about 2 weeks ago.
    The author, here, did not mention in listing sports – they have several sports offerings.