It’s no secret live sports, and the crowds they typically attract, have changed dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic. Leagues and organizations around the world have postponed or outright canceled seasons, and many fans are staying indoors, eager to still follow their favorite teams.
Thankfully, many of the major sports leagues are opening up their streaming services, offering free trials and limited previews to help keep their fans engaged and entertained. Below, we’ve gathered together some of the best ways to enjoy classic content from pro baseball, basketball, hockey, and football.
Normally, flipping the calendar to April means also means we’ve just started a new baseball season, but 2020, of course, is not a normal year. Still, Major League Baseball is stepping up to the plate to offer recent archives to stream for free. The 2o18 and 2019 seasons, over 4,800 games in all, are currently available to stream over at MLB.TV. The free previews include both postseasons, so you can rewatch as the Boston Red Sox win the 2018 World Series, or relive 2019 and the first-ever title for the Washington Nationals.
Meanwhile, the MLB Vault YouTube page currently features over 100 full games, with classic moments from various teams in the league. It’s a great way to relive, say, Edgar Martinez’s double in the 1995 ALDS, or the Cubs finally winning it all in 2016. You can find a full listing of featured games here, helpfully organized by team.
You can also catch a selection of memorable games over at the official MLB YouTube channel. A number of full-game replays have been made available, with more likely on the way as the month continues.
The NBA officially suspended its 2019-2020 season on March 11th, shortly after one of its players tested positive for COVID-19. With roughly three-fourths of the season complete at the time, many teams were actively vying for playoff spots. For now, though, NBA fans can access a free preview of NBA League Pass until April 22nd. The preview includes full-length replays from all the games during the 2019-2020 season, as well as a selection of classic games and other content. Beyond the full-game replays, fans can also check out condensed versions that package all the highlights into shorter videos.
You can access NBA League Pass via the official NBA website or via the app, which is available for iOS, Android, Fire TV, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and other devices.
The NBA’s official YouTube channel is also offering up packaged highlights from memorable players and games. You can also rewatch longer videos focused on historic moments, like Michael Jordan’s “double nickel” game in New York.
The NHL’s regular season was actually supposed to wrap up in early April and, as with the NBA, many teams were battling for playoff spots when the season was put on hold on March 12th. In response, the league has launched its Pause Binge campaign, featuring a curated list of classic games, documentaries, and other content to watch while the season is on hold.
The league is also touting free access to all 2019-2020 regular season games and it’s leveraging social media through a “#HockeyAtHome” series, where players show off a bit of their personal lives at home during the stoppage.
Speaking of pauses, you can’t actually sign up for the league’s NHL.TV service. A quick visit to the subscription page lets fans know they can watch games from the current season for free by making an NHL.com account and clicking the Scores tab to access each game.
Over on its YouTube page, you can find a selection of replays from past games, including the infamous 1984 Battle of Quebec between the Montreal Canadiens and the Quebec Nordiques.
The NFL’s season doesn’t start for some time, but the coronavirus outbreak has still made its presence known during the offseason. Teams would normally start official workouts during April and it’s currently unclear how the NFL will handle its upcoming draft, scheduled to start on April 23rd.
In the meantime, the league is also offering up classic content for free, with complimentary access to NFL Game Pass until May 31st. That offer includes the ability to replay all the games from 2009 to 2019, including the playoffs and the Super Bowl. Those broadcasts include full replays, as well as condensed version. You can also watch a selection of original NFL shows.
The league’s YouTube page is also hosting a selection of full-game replays, with more being added on a fairly regular basis. Recent uploads include a 2016 game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks, which came down to the very last moment.
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