How to watch sports without cable

If you’re a sports fan weighing the pros and cons of cable versus streaming, it’s important to know that you have options for watching sports without cable.

You can watch live sports coverage from publicly broadcast networks like ABC, FOX, CBS, and NBC for free via Over-The-Air (OTA) television. All you will need is a TV with a digital antenna to watch OTA TV. Find out which antenna channels are available in your area with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Reception Map Tool.

Several TV streaming services also allow you to watch live coverage of your favorite sports teams, including:

  • ESPN+
  • Fubo TV
  • Hulu Plus Live TV
  • YouTube television
  • TV Sling
  • Paramount More
  • Peacock Bounty
  • AppleTV+
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • DAZN
  • Individual League Streaming Services

Which streaming service is best for live sports?

As a die-hard sports fan, the best streaming service for live sports is one that offers coverage of the sporting events and teams you want to watch. Let’s take a closer look at what each streaming service offers when it comes to live sports coverage.

Note: Check the channel listings of different TV streaming providers to learn more about what programs are available in your area.


Stream more live sports with DIRECTV STREAM than any other streaming service.

DIRECTV STREAM lets you stream sports from channels like ABC, FOX, ESPN, NBC, CBS, TNT, TBS, FS1, the Big 10 Network, Tennis Channel, Golf Channel, Sportsman Channel, and Fanduel TV. Additionally, DIRECTV STREAM has regional sports networks like the Longhorn Network and most league networks like the NHL Network and MLB Network, as well as NBA League Pass.

DIRECTV STREAM also provides live score updates, notifications when your favorite teams are playing, and down play options. Check out all the features for sports fans here.

Price: $74.99 to $154.99 per month (plus tax)

Free try: 5 days


Stream NHL matches, UFC events, world football tournaments like LaLiga, FA Cup and Carabao Cup, golf tournaments like Masters and PGA Tour, tennis tournaments like Wimbledon and US Open, select MLB games, college football and basketball, coverage of lacrosse and cricket leagues, and the X Games.

Price: $9.99 per month

Free try: No

Fubo TV

Stream live sports on channels like ESPN, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, FS1 and FS2, belN Sports, the Big 10, Golf Channel and most league networks and regional sports networks (RSN).

Price: $74.99 to $94.99 per month

Free try: 7 days

Hulu + Live TV (with ads)

Stream live sports on channels like ESPN, FOX, ABC, CBS, TBS, NBC, FS1 and FS2, TNT, TruTV, NFL Network and select RSNs. With Hulu Plus Live TV, you’ll also get a free ESPN+ subscription.

Price: $69.99 per month

Free try: No

YouTube television

Stream live sports on channels like ESPN, FS1 & FS2, ABC, CBS, TBS, NBC, FOX, TNT, Golf Channel, Big 10 Network, SEC Network, most league networks like NFL Networks, MLB and NBA and some RSNs.

Price: $64.99 per month

Free try: Yes, but the duration of the free trials varies

TV Sling

Stream live sports on channels like ESPN, NBC, FOX, TBS, FS1, USA, League Networks for NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB, PAC 12, belN Sports, Golf Channel and Tennis Channel.

Price: $40 to $55 per month

Free try: No


Stream NFL games on CBS, UEFA Champions and Europa League games, National Women’s Soccer League games, March Madness and highlights and expert analysis from CBS Sports HQ.

Price: $4.99 to $9.99 per month

Free try: 7 days

Peacock Bounty

Stream Premier League football matches, Olympics, WWE wrestling events, Sunday night football matches, MLB Sunday start and select golf tournaments, as well as racing-related events from SuperMotocross, to IndyCar racing, figure skating, cycling, athletics, rugby and more.

Price: $4.99 to $9.99 per month

Free try: No


Stream MLB games on Friday nights. Apple TV+ subscribers can also stream MLS games with an additional MLS Season Pass subscription. Current Apple TV+ subscribers get a discounted price for the MLS Season Pass: $12.99 per month or $79 per season.

Price: $6.99 per month

Free try: 7 days

Amazon Prime Video

Stream Thursday Night NFL games and select NBA, WNBA and MLB games with a standard Amazon Prime Video subscription. Subscribers can add subscriptions such as NBA League Pass, and Showtime (boxing) for an additional fee.

Price: $8.99 per month (Prime Video without an Amazon Prime subscription)

Free try: 30 days


Stream live and on-demand boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA) events (excluding UFC events). DAZN also offers UEFA Women’s Champions League, Liga F, Championship League Snooker, Premier League Darts, World Pool Championships, Champions Chess Tour, Professional Triathletes Organization (PTO) Tour, Esports, Extreme Sports and some sports documentaries.

Price: $19.99 per month or $149.99 per year

Free try: No

Individual League Streaming Services

The MLB, NFL, NBA, and MLS offer their own streaming services for live sports coverage, giving subscribers access to out-of-market games not available on local affiliates.

Note: The NHL streaming service,, is included with ESPN+.

Stream all out-of-market MLB regular season games live (barring blackout restrictions) and on-demand. also offers off-season streaming packages that provide access to spring training games, documentaries, classic programs, World Series movies, and the complete archive of games from the previous season.


  • $129.99 per season for access to all teams
  • $109.99 per season for a single team subscription
  • $24.99 for the off-season package

Free try: 7 days

NFL Sunday Ticket

NFL Sunday Ticket will head to YouTube TV and YouTube Primetime Channels in 2023. YouTube and the NFL will release updated streaming service pricing, plans, features and functionality ahead of the 2023 NFL season.

NBA League Pass

Stream hundreds of NBA games live with NBA League Pass. Subscribers also have access to NBA TV, which offers 24/7 coverage, classic NBA games since 2000 and original shows like Game Time, Shaqtin’ A Fool and High Tops.

Note: The NBA League Pass is also available on DIRECTV STREAM.


  • $14.99 to $19.99 per month to access all teams
  • $13.99 per month for a single team subscription

Free try: 7 days

MLS season pass

Stream all MLS Regular Season games, MLS Playoff and MLS Cup games, and League Cup games on the Apple TV app. Subscribers will also be able to view match replays, highlights, analysis and a selection of original shows.


  • Apple TV+ subscribers: $12.99/month or $79/season
  • Non-Apple TV+ subscribers: $14.99/month or $99/season

Free try: No

What’s the best way to watch sports without cable?

Signing up for a TV streaming service is the best way to watch sports without cable. Relying solely on OTA TV means you’ll only have access to a few major networks, not to mention you’ll need to be within range of your local broadcast station to catch a clear picture with your digital antenna.

Stream live sports on DIRECTV STREAM

There are tons of different streaming services that include access to live sports coverage, but none quite like DIRECTV STREAM. Offering exclusive access to DIRECTV sports coverage and regional Bally Sports networks, DIRECTV STREAM makes it easy to be the sports superfan you are.

Explore DIRECTV’s streaming packages to find out which one has all your favorite sports channels and programs, and don’t forget to stay up to date with DIRECTV’s sports schedules so you don’t miss a minute of the gameplay.


What’s the cheapest way to watch live sports without cable?

Over-the-air (OTA) television is the cheapest way to watch live sports because it doesn’t require a subscription to a cable or TV streaming service. To watch sports via OTA TV, all you need is a TV and a digital antenna. It’s important to note that OTA TV only provides access to major cable networks like ABC, FOX, CBS, and NBC, and you’ll need to be in range of a local broadcast station.

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