Note: This article will be updated once COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted and schedules come out.
Whenever the Major League Baseball season nears, one of the biggest questions is where to watch the action. With a packed season full of 162 games, one of the best ways to keep track of your team is through a digital connection.
Typically, the channels that televise MLB live are ESPN, FOX Sports, and TBS. Local games will air on regional channels unless one of the national networks has an exclusive deal — like Sunday Night Baseball’s contracts with ESPN and FOX. Just be aware that some games that broadcast on regional sports networks (RSNs) may be subject to local blackouts.
When does the 2020 MLB Season Start?
Opening Day traditionally falls in the first week of April. This year was going to be the earliest start date in MLB history, with things kicking off on March 26. But due to COVID-19 precautions, the MLB season has been postponed. If things are only delayed for a few weeks, the rest of the season will be adjusted, with the playoffs running deeper into October or even November.
As far as which networks are expected to broadcast what once the season resumes, ESPN is slated to air games on Monday and Wednesday evenings as well as Sunday Night Baseball. Saturday night games may be broadcast on FOX for the first eight weeks (until the All-Star game) — the service would then carry Saturday afternoon games for the remaining three weeks. Its affiliate network, FS1, would also cover Saturday afternoon games and Tuesday matchups. For the final 13 weeks of the season, TBS is expected to broadcast Sunday afternoon action. Of course, this is only tentative depending on if and when the season picks back up.
Live TV streaming services for Major League Baseball
Amazon Prime Video comes with all Amazon Prime memberships ($12.99/mo. or $119/yr.) You can also opt for a standalone Amazon Prime Video membership ($8.99/mo.) Amazon Prime memberships include tons of perks, including fantastic shipping deals. Even though you can stream on up to three devices concurrently, you’ll only be able to watch the same game on two screens. Amazon Prime Video provides access to MLB.TV, so you can stream live out-of-market broadcasts as long as they aren’t subject to blackouts. You won’t be able to watch nationally televised or local games with this service. Amazon Prime offers new customers a 30-day free trial membership.
Hulu + Live TV is $54.99/mo. after a 7-day free trial period. The service carries a variety of channels, including ESPN, FOX, FS1, and TBS. Its DVR feature has up to 50 hours of storage, so you’ll have plenty of recording space. And if this still isn’t enough, you can upgrade to 200 hours for an additional $15/mo. The base package features 2 simultaneous streams, but you can upgrade to unlimited screens for $9.99/mo.
Sling TV has 3 different plans — Sling TV Orange and Blue starting at $30/mo. each, and Sling TV Orange + Blue for $45/mo. Sling TV Orange + Blue lets you watch on up to four screens at the same time. With Sling TV Orange, you’ll only be able to stream on one. Sling Blue gives you three simultaneous streams. All plans include 10 hours of DVR storage that you can increase to 50 for $5/mo.
Only Sling TV Orange + Blue has all the stations you need to enjoy MLB action all year round— ESPN, FOX, FS1, and TBS. Sling TV Orange only provides access to ESPN and TBS. Sling TV Blue gives you FOX, FS1, and TBS. Extra sports premium channels, like MLB Network and MLB Strike Zone, are available for $10/mo. Sling TV doesn’t offer a free trial but instead provides a $10 discount on your first month of service.
YouTube TV costs $49.99/mo. and carries upwards of 70 channels, including ESPN, FOX, FS1, and TBS. Like the other services on our list, YouTube TV lets you try out its service for seven days. The service has one of the best DVR features on this list, offering unlimited storage that stays in your library for 9 months. You can watch on up to 3 simultaneous streams.
How to watch Major League Baseball with an antenna
One of the most affordable ways to catch games in your local region is to invest in an antenna — with the right set-up, you’ll be able to watch most of your local team’s games for free. There are also DVR devices like HDHomeRun and Tablo DVR that let you record games when you’re not around. These antenna devices permit you to stream directly to Amazon Fire TVs, Apple TVs, and Roku devices.
Antenna Web has a guide you can use to determine if an antenna will pick up the games you’re most interested in catching.
The final cut
There are tons of options when it comes to streaming MLB each season — just make sure the service you select offers access to ESPN, FOX, and TBS. Live streaming services to consider include Amazon Prime Video, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV. With the exception of Sling TV, all of the services mentioned in this review offer seven-day free trials.
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